My Pinterest Boards (and why I’m bothering to make some)

For the first half of this year it seemed like all anyone was asking me was ‘do you have Pinterest?’

All throughout semester one, when I asked students about Twitter or Facebook or Tumblr, I was guaranteed to get a few voices around the room crying ‘Pinterest!’

It sounded like a cool tool.  A virtual pinboard – just make a board on a topic or ‘interest’ (ahhhh… pin + interest = ‘pinterest’!), then add images and videos to it. Always a fan of putting posters on my bedroom wall, covering my school folder with pictures under contact paper, and putting stickers on random bits of stuff, this highly visual curation tool has always sounded promising to me.

I had made the decision in semester one, however, to steer clear of Pinterest. This choice was purely motivated by my fear of taking up another addictive web tool … the first semester of this year was just too busy already to attempt trying new things.

Some questions have also flown around over time about the ethics and copyright implications of re-pinning images without permission, and I confess this made me wary.

THIS SEMESTER, however, I am pinning!

My most promising board so far is the one I have made to collect links  for the unit ‘Culture studies: Indigenous education’ (EDB007):

I hope to engage students in my two tutorials by sharing the board with them and inviting them to explore the links I’ve collected/curated.

Of course, I could have chosen to share my links in other ways, but they all have their drawbacks:

  • on a handout (which is not hyperlinked)
  • in a Blackboard/LMS post (students hate and avoid Blackboard)
  • using social bookmark sharing e.g. delicious (so far unsuccessful; students don’t use/engage)

My hope is that the visual nature of Pinterest, and the ability to browse it socially and on mobile devices, will entice a few students to explore the links I’ve found.

As far as the image copyright issue is concerned, I think I’ll just wait and see if any of these organisations complains, eh? I have done my best to attribute the images, that’s all I can say.

Last word:

This slide presentation by Joe Murphy (@libraryfuture) was really helpful for me:

Acrl webcast pinterest for academics

View more presentations from Joe Murphy

Joe makes this observation: 

“Pinterest succeeds at the juncture of the major online and content trends of:

  • self curation
  • image engagement and sharing
  • visual search/discovery
  • and social discovery”

In addition, points made in these slides about the potential of Pinterest to expand community engagement and open up services to diverse clients made me even more eager to try using this service as a teaching resource.

Here’s hoping my bid to invoke some ‘cool’ in my classroom pays off!

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  1. Building up my Pinterest resources « Kelli McGraw

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