Sunday, October 27, 2013

Personalized Learning

Looking over the boards we've selected to showcase this week, it's clear we veered off the path a bit from what others have done with the theme of Personalized Learning. Much of the discussion in the Connected Educator Month Kick-Off Panel and in the theme curators' blog have been around what we have come to consider Customized Learning, or learning that is empowered by data. Last week in the 21st Century Learning Lab, three Indiana school districts came together to share their work in that area. If you missed the webinar, you can view the archive once it is posted here. If you're not already following INeLearn on Pinterest, you may want to go ahead and do that now. It's very likely you will soon see a Personalized/Customized Learning board making an appearance soon! 

In the meantime, the INeLearn Pinterest Boards we opted to highlight under this theme are instructional practices that allow learners to assume some control over their learning process.

Genius Time | 20% Time: Our first pick is one that definitively personalizes learning. With just a few pins to its name, this board is a result of an interest that developed in one of our #INeLearn Twitter Chats. If you're curious about what this might look like in a middle school, we encourage you to visit the S.O.L.E. (Self Organizing Learning) Class visit

Gamification: If you have never lost yourself in a game or experienced the all consuming drive to level up, it's hard to understand the power of gamifying instruction. While this collection is small, it's packed full of good information.

Blended Learning: Like Personalized Learning, there are many variations of what it means when we talk about Blended Learning. This board looks at how combining traditional face to face settings with digital learning can result in personalized instruction.

Flipped Learning: This flip of instructional time surged in popularity after educators Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams started sharing the story of how they restructured their classwork and homework practices. The phenomenon of Flipped Learning illustrates how hungry educators are for innovation.

For decades, educators have developed creative ways to engage their learners, yet often those stories were relegated to journals or simply never shared. Today, there are no silos preventing collaboration. There are no juries selecting whose story will be published. This is the power of being a Connected Educator in 2013. It's hard to believe this is the final week of CEM.  While the days have dwindled away, the excitement continues to build. We would love to hear how you celebrated this month and what practices you will carry through the remainder of the school year! Thank you for joining us on Pinnovation.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Innovating STEM and Literacy & an Invitation to Collaborate

We are very excited to have joined Connected Educators as a collaborative pinner on a few of their boards such as this week's featured theme, Innovating STEM and Literacy. And we were glad to reciprocate the invitation to Connected Educators, who is now pinning to our boards Social Media, Leadership and others featured on Pinnovation. 

If you are still learning your way around Pinterest, you can identify group boards in two ways. When you are looking at a pinner's collection of boards, there is a silhouette of a group alongside the board title (see above left). And if you have a board open, you will see multiple pinners' avatars on the info bar just under the title (see above right). Are you thinking you might want to create or turn one of your existing boards into a group board?  It's as easy as editing your board to invite another pinner. 

Being part of a group board is just one way to connect and collaborate using Pinterest. Of course, the primary means is the ability to repin with the Pin It button. This sharing from one group of followers to another is most common. You will also see users Like a pin, which is essentially just collecting from others and storing a resource away for personal use. The one function we encourage everyone to try out this week is commenting. Adding a comment to a pin amplifies the value of the resource. Sharing how you've used a resource, adding more details to the pin or even asking a question is what moves us from connecting to collaborating virtually.

We invite you to visit our boards related to this week's featured Connected Educator Month theme and leave a comment so that we know you've been by. We'd love to see some discussions develop!

STEM This board doesn't require any introduction. What we can tell you is that you may be surprised by one pin in this collection that has received 306 repins (at the time of publishing this post)!

While the next two boards may not be terribly innovative, they are collections of digital resources pinned to support educators leaving the traditional textbook and they support STEM in general.
You may notice that Digital Content: Math is a collaborative board. We have invited Indiana educators to pin to our collection of digital content boards. You can see we are still in need of a science educator to transform Digital Content: Science into a group board. Any Indiana educator who collects resources for digital learning is invited to join one of the content area group boards.  Are you ready to pin with us? Just complete this interest form. After confirming you're an Indiana educator, we will send you an invitation to pin.

Maker Movement, Programming, and Coding  While the Maker Movement is not just about technology, we decided to group it with other pins related to programming and coding.

Literacy As you will notice, this board has become a mix of digital literacy and traditional reading literacy. We'd love to hear your thoughts on keeping the board as one or splitting it into two.

Blogging with Students or on Your Own was a last minute addition to the list. Yesterday as we added the latest pin to the board, it occurred to us that blogging with students deserves to be included as an innovative approach to fostering literacy.  We encourage you to check out "Why Blogging Needs to Be in My Curriculum and Why My Students Need It!"

Thanks for dropping by and please leave a comment either here or on any of the boards featured this week! YOU make us better!

Monday, October 14, 2013

21st Century Classroom Management

Classroom management strategies rank high in educators’ professional interests. Promise to show how to engage the disengaged, and a book is published. Make classroom management the topic of a Twitter chat, and you are trending. Pin a blog post on digital distractions, and brace yourself for the number of repins. Even the DIY pumpkin spice latte syrup recipes don’t measure up to teachers’ thirst for this area of expertise.

The pinners for Connected Educator Month have developed a board on the classroom management theme that covers many diverse aspects of the topic. You can visit it here It prompted us to evaluate our boards and decide which ones best share resources and ideas that promote a positive, productive classroom environment. Here’s what we came up with:
Digital Responsibilities
This collection has a wide range of pins. Scan the board for everything from resources on learning about digital citizenship to tools that enable users to put digital responsibilities to work. You will also find current news stories highlighting the topic.

Raising Digital Citizens
Some things never change. The power of partnering with students’ parents is one of those things.  Both parents and educators are learning what it means to make good choices when connected so that we can pass those lessons on to our children. We encourage schools that pin for their community to create a board similar to this and share it with their school families. Perhaps you have parents who are strong advocates in this area. Consider enlisting them to pin to a group board.
Coaching/Embedded PD
This collection is still quite small, but it includes pins from supporting educators with digital tools to designing ways to engage learners in communication and collaboration in the connected classroom. Most importantly, it includes ISTE’s NETS for coaches.  We believe you will find standards one and three particularly valuable to classroom management.
AUP board
For more than a year, we’ve been encouraging discussion about moving beyond the standard, traditional Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for schools that have opened their networks to bring your own devices or have a one-to-one program. Rather than providing students a list of technical forbidden actions, we believe you can use the policy for instruction on what you can and should be doing with a digital device and global connections. As Dr. Scott McLeod says, “
We need more AUPs that emphasize YES! Instead of NO!” And yes, we pinned that.

We are very interested in sharing examples of responsible use policies that others have developed. If you have one to share, please leave us a comment with a link.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Celebrating Connected Educator Month 2013

You'll be disappointed if you're looking for a crayon inspired art project. You may be surprised that about half of what we repin comes from male Pinterest users. Truly, we are breaking the stereotypes associated with Pinterest for professional development.

About a year ago, the Office of eLearning began pinning resources for Indiana educators and pretty much anyone who opts to follow our boards. If you scan our pins, you'll find that they are focused on technology integration and all things related to transforming the profession of education. Our efforts on Pinterest are not centered on disseminating resources so much as an attempt to build a community of users who can ring in on the relevancy of pins and share ideas that amp up their value.  It's that potential for collaboration that makes us reach for the Pin It button on a regular basis.

In February 2013, we started this blog as part of a celebration of Digital Learning Day. We featured educators who found that Pinterest had impacted their professional practices and wanted to share their informal learning with others.  We recently revived the blog to begin focusing on the idea of developing Group Boards. For October, the Pinnovation blog will offer weekly posts on Connected Educator Month themes and highlight related boards that INeLearn is pinning.

For our first post, we thought we'd focus on the theme Making It Count: Integrating Social Learning Into Formal PDNaturally, we recommend you explore the Connected Educator Month organization's board for this theme: Integrating Formal PD into Social Learning but we would like to highlight 5 Boards from our collection as well.

1. Our Twitterific board has a number of guides and infographics, but more importantly it promotes several blog posts where educators share the value of professional learning possible through Twitter. 

2. The DIY PD board came about after Twitter chat discussions around the value of determining your own professional learning needs and not simply waiting for your school to provide what it is you really need in order to make the most of the technology available. There are also several options that can provide the experience of what it is like to be a digital learner.

3. Reimagine PD stems from the realization that schools will continue to provide professional development for their faculty, but if leaders continue to offer traditional models then teachers will continue to lead in the classroom using traditional pedagogies.  This board offers approaches that are learner centered and engaging.

4. When are we not looking for new people to push our thinking or to teach us a new trick or two? The EdTech Blogs Worth Exploring is exactly where to turn when you need to expand your PLN. We'd love to hear who you would Pin to this collection!

5.  Last but not least is our board on all things related to Connected Educator Month 2013!

We invite you to follow these boards, add comments and repin. We'll be back next week to tackle another CEM theme.

Monday, August 19, 2013

¡Atención, Une attention, und Achtung!

Meet Polly Franklin, Spanish teacher at Kankakee Valley High School, who pins as Profe Franklin. We were introduced to Profe Franklin through Twitter when she replied to a tweet announcing that we were starting collaborative boards. Would we like someone for World Languages she offered. . . and a new Pinterest board was born! It's not any ordinary board either. It's the first Group Board in the Digital Content Series, and that makes Franklin our first collaborative pinner!

We are very excited to see this collection of resources grow with the teaching and content area expertise of Franklin and other world language teachers like her. Franklin's advice to potential pinners could not be more fitting, "I would recommend that people be open to using Pinterest and not to worry about having a lot of pins." The value of these resource boards comes through quality after all, not quantity.

Making use of digital content is nothing new to Franklin. She has created a Google site for her KVHS classes and uses My Big Campus for content delivery. Some of her first pins on the Group Board Digital Content: World Languages came from Learnist, another powerful content curation site. And she manages a class Facebook page for her students. Franklin began using Pinterest last school year after she noticed that some of the most interesting and best sources of information for her subject area were there. She notes, "Before I really checked it out, I has assumed that Pinterest was only for people who were planning weddings or building a house. After some investigation, I saw that it was much more than that."  

And while Franklin's teaching assignment may be Spanish, you'll see from her 46 boards that she doesn't limit her curating to one world language. In fact when asked if she has a favorite board, her response was "No...I love all my babies equally."

Are you interested in pinning to one of the boards in the Digital Content collection? We invite you to join Polly Franklin on the World Language board or any of the other content areas here.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Introducing Our Digital Content Group Boards!

We are excited to introduce our next Pinnovation adventure! The Office of eLearning continues to curate blog posts, share inspiration and organize resources on over 50 Pinterest boards. Like many of the Pinterest users we profiled during Digital Learning Month, we often use Pinterest like a bookmarking tool to save, categorize and share important finds on the web. And we value the collaborative power of Pinterest, so we regularly search out educationally focused Pinners to follow. Those of you who primarily repin know the gratification of scanning your feed and finding something new. Repinning someone else's discoveries is simple and satisfying. We will definitely continue adding to our boards from those we follow, but we are ready to take the collaboration up a notch!

When we first started pinning, we created a board for Digital Content as a place to pin resources that could be used in developing curriculum to replace the textbook.  Everything from resources like NBC Learn that covers many content areas to websites that are very content specific were pinned in one big pile (err...we mean board). It became clear we needed to review our pins and start organizing them better, and so the Digital Content: Math board was started. Needless to say, now we have a small series of boards on digital content forming.

We want to make these group boards! Group or collaborative boards are collections built by multiple pinners. Our intention is to be very deliberate in the curation of these resources. The goal is not to develop bulging boards full of pointless pins, which is often the result of group boards. Rather it is to enlist your expertise so that resources pinned are educator-tested and approved.

So how does this work? Collaborative or group boards are distinguished by an icon in the upper right corner of the board like the one on Digital Content: World Languages displayed above. This indicates that the owner of the board invited multiple people to contribute pins. Once another pinner accepts the invitation, the board appears on their personal list of boards and they can pin to it like they would their other boards.

Any Indiana educator who collects resources for digital learning is invited to join one of the content area group boards.  Are you ready to pin with us? Just complete this interest form. After confirming you're an Indiana educator, we will send you an invitation to pin.  We'll be introducing our first collaborative pinner in the next post! Stay tuned.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Education | Pinner Kris Devereaux

Meet Kris Devereaux
Zionsville West Middle School Principal Kris Devereaux uses a variety of social media tools to support her work and learning. Visit the school website and you can examine her recent reads on an embed Shelfari shelf. You'll also spy the familiar blue button leading to a school Facebook page.  About a year ago, Kris began using Pinterest and a little over a month ago one of her pins caught our attention. You know this middle school administrator shares a sense of humor with her faculty when she pins, "Math is a drama queen. It can't seriously have that many problems." 

What prompted you to begin pinning?
I knew it would be a great way to capture resources and ideas.

Why do you prefer Pinterest over other tools?
I love the fact that I can follow others who pin topics that are of interest to me - such as digital learning. It is such a huge time saver, and I have found really great ideas to implement at school and share with my teachers.

Any particular recommendations to Follow?
Christopher Pappas - Free eLearning Resources
Wendy Brennan - Teaching Resources
Janny Hamelmann - Education Math
Jane Green - Social Studies
Sara Ellenz - Language Arts
Chris Hug - Technologically Speaking

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Think of something that you really enjoy or a need you have (like a new appetizer recipe). Do a search for that topic and pin away! The more specific you can be with your Boards, the easier it will be to find things after you have pinned them.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Digital Citizenship | Pinner Shawna Slaton

Meet Shawna Slaton
Shawna works as the Media and Technology Integration Specialist for Scott County School District #2 and began pinning last year. Her district's progressive technology initiative means that all learners can be connected and have access to tools such as Google Drive, Evernote and My Big Campus. Shawna supports both students and teachers by providing professional development that maximizes digital learning opportunities. Among her Pinterest Followers are district Vienna-Finley Elementary School and Scottsburg High, yet it's not just locals following Shawna's pinning action...she has a Texas school follower as well!

What prompted you to begin pinning?
Professional Development Training
The Amount, Quality, and Organization of Resources

Do you curate using any other tools?
I curate for my students using My Big Campus.

I enjoy the professional connections that an educator can make using Pinterest. I think it is very user friendly and visually appealing. I look at this as a type of social bookmarking, but this is my preferred method of organizing those bookmarks. 

I like that there can be some mixture of both professional and personal interests. I also like that there is a give and take with Pinterest. With some aggregators, it seems like the information only flows one way--outward; but with Pinterest, I can also make a contribution to the knowledge base.

How do you collect pins?
I use a combination of methods: repinning from those I follow, searching the web and visiting categories.

Any particular recommendations to Follow?
I started by following teachers I knew personally (those in my own district). 

Every time I would go to a conference, I would look up the presenters on Pinterest. Sometimes when there was more than one session that I wanted to attend, I would even "research" the presenter on Pinterest and then follow him or her regardless of whether or not I attended the session.

Do you have a favorite board(s) you curate?
My favorite board is my ISTE--SIGMS board even though I did not start that one; I am simply one of many editors who contribute to the whole.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Get your co-workers involved by sharing boards. Let parents know that you have Pinterest boards for their students.

Our school also uses Pinterest for our parents. It is a good way to have more parents "follow" the school and to promote resources they can use with their children at home.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Teach Not Block | New Tech Network

About New Tech Network
New Tech Network is a nationwide program supporting schools, districts and communities in developing innovative public high schools that promote deeper learning, project based learning and 1:1 technology. According to their map, Indiana has 23 New Tech Network schools. Theresa Shafer, Online Community Manager for New Tech Network began pinning for the organization when Pinterest was still in beta. She took time to share her thoughts with us.

What prompted you to begin pinning?
I've never been really great at using bookmarking tools and thought this one might work for me to use in that way because it is totally visual so it fits my learning style!

Do you curate using any other tools?
I use storify for our #PBLChat archive, and I've attempted to use Diigo, but it has just never stuck for me. Now that I use a site, I can pin sites that even say "no pinnable image." 

How do you collect pins?
I scan others pins from pinners that I like, pin articles and resources that I find via Twitter.

Any particular recommendations to Follow?
Scholarhip Experts, Indiana eLearning, Mashable, ISTE, Edutopia and of course, us, NewTechNetwork!

Do you have a favorite board(s) you curate?
So hard to choose just one! I love our "Teach Not Block," "Project Based Learning" and "Digital Citizenship" boards.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Don't be afraid to rearrange and edit. The system I originally set up was just to general, I will likely go in and edit again soon since we are getting so many pins. Being able to customize your board cover is also great, the image you choose can really help in defining your board.

I love using Pinterest to grab and share ideas for other educators, but if I were still in a classroom or school district, I would definitely use it school wide to pin resources for parents. I can imagine boards for: Nutrition, Read Alouds, Bullying, Math Practice, Creative Play Ideas, Fun Family Trips, College and Career, FAFSA, and sooooo many others!

View today's highlighted board

Monday, February 25, 2013

Elearning | Pinner Dawna Montgomery

About Dawna Montgomery
Since the start of this school year, Center Grove High School Family and Consumer Science teacher, Dawna Montgomery has been using Pinterest to curate class content as well as a few personal picks.  It's hard to tell which is which in the collection of 3,300 pins that fill her 20 boards. While we chose to feature her board on eLearning, we would be remiss if we didn't encourage you to check out Understanding Changing Education!

What prompted you to begin pinning?
Because I teach 5 different subjects at the high school level, plus collaborate on Health for Center Grove Global Campus, it was important to find a method to keep web links and content organized.

Do you curate using any other tools?
I initially used to keep track of web sites. In, I would create a cork board for each class; paste the web link into the post it note, and write a quick summary of the link. Pinterest saves me time. I do not have to go from the website to an application. Pinterest allows me to view the web page and add to my assigned Pinterest page with a simple click.

How do you collect pins?
Over time I have found people who share similar interest as my own. I will follow all of their boards if they are applicable to me, my interest and the courses I teach. If all of their boards are not applicable to me, I will only follow their one or two boards that apply. I will also browse boards of the people, the people I am following, follow. ;o) I have used the search tool with success. I also now look for the Pinterest icon on web pages when I happen upon web pages I find on my own. I am able to link it to the subject board it pertains to in my Pinterest account.

Any particular recommendations to Follow?
Subject Specific: Health Blog, Baby Center, Insiders Health and Health Tap
There are not as many resources for FACS as other content areas. I apprecitate there are some other people in my subject area sharing resources.

eLearning: Mashable, Edutopia, Instructional Teachnology Solutions, Edudemic, New Tech Network, ASCD, CariAlwaysLearning, Indiana ELearning and Christopher Pappas

Do you have a favorite board(s) you curate?
Child Development
Adult Roles and Responsibilities
General FACS

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Do not be afraid to create new boards. Putting too many things onto a board can be distracting and not time effecient. Content you pin can be more specifically organized. For example, my HEALTH board has pins for all dimensions of health; I could have created boards for each diminsion to be more specific and locate items more quickly.

Also, check the link to what you are pinning. You may like the picture and decide to pin only to realize the web link was not what you had thought.

View Dawna's Board

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Video Examples in EDU | TechSmith Education

About TechSmith
In any discussion with teachers who are flipping classrooms, TechSmith will be brought up. And it's not just this model of instruction that adopted TechSmith's screencasting and capturing tools. Students and teachers alike are using Camtasia, Jing and SnagIt to demonstrate learning, provide feedback and be more productive. As a partner in Digital Learning Day, TechSmith put together this toolkit for educators. In fact, if you visit their website, they've developed a page of tutorials on things like how to embed content and build in the capacity for conversations around video.

What prompted you to begin pinning?
I do a lot of research on the education market. I'm also personally addicted to pinterest and go there to search for inspiration and ideas for everything- including work. I noticed how many educators were starting to share lesson ideas and learning/ teaching resources and decided to create a techsmith board of education ideas. My hope was to make it easier for educators to have a 'go to' starting point on pinterest to get ideas for lessons, apps, digital learning examples, tools to try, share ideas, etc.

Do you curate using any other tools?
We have used Storify before; however, Pinterest is much more flexible. I love that I can create a board for each subject, grade level, topic, etc. as many as i want, as often as I want. And one of TechSmith's goals is to share our customers success stories. Pinterest has provided a place other than You Tube to post our customer's videos to help inspire other teachers to either flip their classroom or use technology in education in some way.

But Pinterest can also be addicting. Before you know it, you will have spent 3 hours on it and pinned more ideas than you'll ever be able to do.

How do you collect pins?
I mainly search by subject. I do follow quite a few other educators as well and often repin their ideas.

Any particular recommendations to Follow?
I have noticed that a lot of other education providers have started Pinterest boards as well that I have started to follow (i.e. Educreations, etc.) However, the way I personally use Pinterest is to come up with project ideas and hands on activities. So I would suggest following educators that teach in the fields that you're interested in. It's amazing the lab projects, experiments, resources, etc. that they come up with and share on their boards.

Do you have a favorite board(s) you curate?
I am quite proud of our customers that have videos that cover their stories. But as for the other boards that I curate, I admit they need some work and time dedicated to improving the variety of content.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Jump in! You can always edit and delete boards. Just get started. And use it whenever you need an idea for how to engage students, an idea for lab projects, or an idea for organizing your classroom or home. 

View TechSmith Education's Featured Board

Saturday, February 23, 2013

PLTWvideos | Project Lead the Way

About Project Lead the Way
A leading provider of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education curriculum programs, Project Lead the Way recognized the value of sharing resources on Pinterest in June 2012. While they pin to 9 different boards, we chose to focus on their collection of videos which highlight this hands-on approach to learning.

What prompted you to begin pinning?
Relationships are very important to us and we value the opportunity to connect and learn about the people we interact with on a daily basis. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have allowed us to connect, create, and continue relationships with our partners, schools, teachers, and students. Pinterest is another way to share news with our network, celebrate our schools, teachers, and students, and discover more about our community.

Do you curate using any other tools?
Our social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+. Pinterest, however, is unique and allows us to connect with our network using different mediums and approaches. Images can express and communicate a motive or message as much if not more than text and Pinterest is an ideal outlet to share and spread your personality, interests, or mission with your community.

How do you collect pins?
We create pins from both our website and outside websites, and we gather pins from other Pinterest boards.

Any particular recommendations to Follow?
The list is long! Everyone brings excitement and a different flavor to Pinterest.

Do you have a favorite board(s) you curate?
We love "PLTWnews." Mostly, this board highlights our schools, teachers, and students. We find great joy in celebrating the achievements of our network!

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
First, start. Then, strategize. Create a couple of boards and starting pinning, but be strategic in your pinning. You want to make sure that your content or pins accomplish your objective. You want your followers to look at your pins and boards and be able to make a general assumption about your personality, and in our case, our mission and vision.

Pinterest is a casual, fun, and unique way to connect with your network and learn about your audience. Be professional, but remain playful. People are drawn to Pinterest because the platform serves as an escape and an opportunity to let your mind dream, imagine, and create. Keep your content fun and fresh and you will keep your followers following. Happy pinning!

Friday, February 22, 2013

RTI (Response to Intervention) | Kelly Miller

Meet Kelly Miller
Since opening her Pinterest account a year ago, Kelly has created 43 boards, curated 1,541 pins (at last count), and accumulated 64 Likes.  You can learn a lot about Kelly from her bio on Pinterest. We will fill in a couple of blanks though. She teaches for Yorktown Community Schools and Pinterest isn't the only social media tool she uses for work. Kelly uses Twitter in a variety of ways. One tweet that caught our attention was when she shared the scratch-off tickets she created for her students based on a Pinterest find. 

What prompted you to begin pinning?
A friend told me that Pinterest was a neat place to find ideas for recipes and home improvement. I originally started using Pinterest for this reason but as I saw other pins related to education, I decided it was a great way to organize ideas for the classroom.

Do you curate using any other tools?
I've tried bookmarking websites in the past however I've lost my bookmarks in the past. It can also be difficult to keep them organized. I like Pinterest because it's more visual. It's easier to find the website I'm wanting because it has a corresponding picture.

How do you collect pins?
I pin from everywhere! I like the fact that you can follow someone else's education board or you can follow all of their boards. You can see what other interesting information they're collecting. I also like being able to search for certain topics. We were discussing the Common Core one morning in a staff meeting. I went to Pinterest and did a search and there were tons of resources in seconds.

Any particular recommendations to Follow?
Follow lots of people! The more you follow, the more pins you'll be able to see. I highly recommend Christi McLendon, Indiana eLearning, and New Tech Network. Again, you can follow all of their boards or just the boards you're interested in.

Do you have a favorite board(s) you curate?
 really like my Common Core, RTI, and For My Students boards. The Common Core board has some really great resources to help me more in that direction. I'm a Business teacher so RTI isn't something that I'm necessarily trained in however it's become part of my job to help improve students reading and math skills. My RTI board is a place I go to find ideas on how to help intervene with a student. For My Students is a board I just recently created to put things I think my students would be interested in or things that I can reference to in class.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Don't give up. I hear many people say they signed up for Pinterest and "didn't get it". Just get on and try it. You'll find something that you're interested in! You also don't have to have an account to view someone's boards. You can go and see what they're using Pinterest for to give you ideas for your own account.

If you start using Pinterest, you can start small and then expand. I started with just a classroom board. After awhile, I found that I had pins that covered a range of topics so I created some new boards and moved those pins to the boards that made sense. Don't feel like you have to start with 10 different boards.

View Kelly's Board

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kinder Writing | Kara Bunch

Meet Kara Bunch
According to this kindergarten teacher from Mayflower Mill Elementary in the Tippecanoe School Corporation, Pinterest is one of the best things on the internet!  Kara finds it  convenient to access the social bookmarking site on the computer and even on the go using her iPhone. Finding new ideas to enhance her students' learning experience fuels her excitement for teaching. 

What prompted you to begin pinning?
I wanted some new ideas for teaching to keep it exciting.  As a kindergarten teacher, I need to keep it fun, bright, and interactive. I love to be crafty and Pinterest was the perfect place for me. As a new mom, I believe in working SMARTER not HARDER!

Do you curate using any other tools?
Our school uses Twitter for educational reasons and I am not a big fan of it. I don't like the short phrases and hashtags. It's very hard for me to follow as I am a visual person. I think Pinterest is very user friendly and being able to search any topic is super easy. 

How do you collect pins?
I do a combination of things. I follow a lot of teacher friends that I teach with, have taught with, or know from other schools. I always check to see what they have pinned for the day. Then I go to the education category nightly. I also search weekly on the topics I am discussing for the week or common core skills. 

Any particular recommendations to Follow?
Not really.  Just start your own board and follow colleagues or search other boards on a specific topic.

Do you have a favorite board(s) you curate?
I am a huge fan of my kindergarten boards. I have one for each month since we have different themes that we teach monthly.  I also have one for each subject area Kinder math, Kinder reading, and Kinder writing. Another one I have is school fun. This one just has creative ideas and classroom management ideas. The last is whole brain teaching, which is one classroom management idea I practice in my classroom.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Start small, organize your boards into multiple categories so that when you need to find something you can quickly. Think specific not broad. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Pinner Andy Smith

Meet Andy Smith
In the last year, Andy Smith, a teacher with Hamilton South Eastern Schools initiated an effort to collect resources on three boards he created. His experience with Pinterest is limited and we commend him for sharing with us. We'd like to return the favor and encourage you to connect with him on Pinterest (particularly if you are teaching or interested in theater arts and mass media).  We hear he's really a good egg, but perhaps with a little friendly pressure we can encourage him to change his profile image. 

What prompted you to begin pinning?
Looking for new ideas to implement in my classroom.

Do you curate using any other tools?
Pinterest is the only tool I use at this time.

How do you collect pins?
Repinning from categories

Any particular recommendations to Follow?
Kris Devereaux

View Andy's Boards

So, today let's mix it up a bit!  Here's an invitation: If you see something on Andy's boards that you find interesting, leave him a comment.  Do you notice that he's interested in a particular topic? Recommend someone who is pinning related resources for him to follow. Follow Andy on Twitter @ajsmithtkd so when he tweets a pin you see it.

If there's one thing we've learned from this project, it's that your Pinterest experience only gets better when you are part of a community.  Would you like to build your Pinterest community? Leave the URL to your boards in the Comment section and let us help connect you to others!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The World Is My Classroom | Pinner Betsy Pruitt

Meet Betsy Pruitt
The fact that Betsy has liked over 650 pins on Pinterest tells you a couple of things. One, she enjoys providing feedback. This serves her well as an academic coach for Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. And two, she's been on Pinterest a bit longer than others. In fact, Betsy began pinning in the spring of 2011. Since then, she's started 32 boards and has pinned what basically averages 100 pins per board. 

What prompted you to begin pinning?
A friend of mine kept emailing me things she had pinned, so I was intrigued with how Pinterest worked. I was planning a trip to England and needed one place to curate all of my ideas, plans, and dreams for the trip and Pinterest seemed to be the perfect mashup! I am a very visual person, so seeing everything laid out in front of me really appealed to my creative brain. When I discovered how collaborative Pinterest is, it really appealed to my need for community-so I was hooked!

Do you curate using any other tools?
I have attempted to use a few other tools because I thought they may be more "professional" but I have always come back to Pinterest because it meets my needs better than any other app or site I have found. It functions as a virtual space where I can curate all the different aspects of my life in one place. I love that I can use Pinterest for my family, my health, my work, and my dreams.

How do you collect pins?
I collect pins in every way imaginable! I follow lots of Pinners who are respected educators so I get a lot of pins from them. I also explore topics and find new boards and people to follow that way. Many times when I am reading an article online there will be an option to "PinIt!" so I will add to my boards from those outside sources as well.

Any particular recommendations to Follow?
Larry Ferlazzo, Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Cybraryman, ASCD, Hello Literacy, Eric Sheninger

Do you have a favorite board(s) you curate?
My favorite board is "The World is My Classroom." I am able to collect new ideas from educators across the US and around the world and share them with people who follow me on Pinterest. I also pin specific things to this board that I want to use with teachers or classrooms in my coaching.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Explore the site and search for any topics you are interested in. Start to follow people who pin topics and ideas you are interested in. You can search your own Facebook friends to see who is already on Pinterest and follow them. Try to click on a pin to go to the site before you pin it so you do not pin spam (unusual, but it happens). Curate topics that are important or useful to YOU! Your boards will be unique just like you are!

Pinterest is an ideal place to put ideas, pictures, projects, advice, resources, and ideas for a rainy day all in one spot. The only downfall is finding time to Pin AND to follow up on all the great ideas you find on Pinterest. Happy Pinning!