Friday, February 28, 2014

Final Post for Digital Learning Month

We appreciate you following Pinnovation as part of the Office of eLearning's Digital Learning Month. Late last week, we realized that there would be a couple of gaps in the calendar so Monday morning we put out the call asking Pinners to share either their education boards or their profiles to be listed in today's finale. Crowdsourcing is a funny thing. You never know if it will be a flood or a trickle response. While you can see we had just two responses...we guarantee you these Pinners have shared valuable resources. Thank you to the other 26 Indiana educators who took time to respond to our feature interviews and share their insights with us! And with that, we present:

Morgan Walker, Director of Academic Services at Danville Community School Corporation who shares her education related boards:
Tim Wilhelmus is a Innovation, Curriculum and Technology Specialist with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. You can learn more about him on his Pinterest profile. He is currently curating nearly 60 boards and most all are related to his work. On a personal side, one of Tim's passions is Walt Disney World, so you'll find a few Disney boards in the collection as well.

Pinnovation Invitation: Let us know what you gained from Pinnovation. What would you have liked to have learned but didn't?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

New Washington Middle-High School Media Center


Meet the Pinner: We are excited to introduce you to another media specialist who is using Pinterest professionally. You may notice in the photo that the collection includes a teaser board that isn't yet built up. We like how Jill Sceifers, media specialist at Greater Clark County Schools, uses the board's description to drive interest for the school book fair. What most impresses us is how Jill's boards are both resources for colleagues and intentional educational tools for her students and their families.

What prompted you to begin Pinning?

I began by lurking and finding great things that I was personally interested in like recipes and craft projects, but never really started a board until this past fall. Our school corporation began a 1:1 technology initiative and started the year off with an awesome eLearning Conference for us. One of the presentors there challenged us all to have a Twitter account and Tweet every day. I have always loved technolgy and decided this would be a great time to try to use social media for professional purposes. I created the Twitter account, but still didn't manage to have time to Tweet daily, but a few students really liked the school library media center participating in social media. I established a My Big Campus library group, and then began to wonder about Pinterest for the school library media center.

I was amazed by the number of great educators and the amount of educational boards I found on Pinterest. I posted a query on our library ListServ, LM_Net and asked what others were doing with it. I also browsed through other school library media centers and gathered ideas from their boards. It all began with pinning just a few ideas for bulletin boards and lessons, but then I saw how this could develop into a great tool for our students and staff.


Do you have a favorite board you curate?
I have different favorites from time to time. It began with the boards that my students were most excited about that were on authors and suggested reading titles. It's now changing to my boards for teaching research. I am finding so many things that I think will excite my students when it's time to teach research skills -- I can't wait! I was also excited to tell our students today that the author, Meg Cabot had started following us -- so maybe my author board will be my favorite again in the near future too!

What have you gained from using Pinterest?
I use My Big Campus, Twitter, and I still use many websites on the internet to make webliographies for our web page. I find Pinterest so easy to use and search. I also really like the way it suggest other boards of interest. It's a great tool not only for connecting with other educators, but providing quality sources.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
I would suggest starting small and staying focused, there are so many good things out there and you can easily get distracted. Try to find another educator or friend to go through this experience with, it's great to have someone to enjoy it with!

Pinnovation Invitation from Jill herself: Don't forget this is another great way to connect with our parents and students. I have had a few parents make comments that they enjoy our boards, and I plan to try to publicize it more to both students and parents in the future to get a bigger following. I am excited to see how our boards evolve and can't wait to see the new ones others create!


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Pinner LInda Phillips


Meet the Pinner: Linda Phillips, a kindergarten teacher at Morgan Township Elementary, started using Pinterest about two years ago. She tells us, "As of today my Math board has 3,950 followers! I'm not sure if it is my favorite board, but I would say it's pretty popular among Pinners!"

What prompted you to begin Pinning?
I liked the idea that I could save interesting ideas without having to bookmark them on my computer. Pinterest has saved lots of memory space on my computer, plus I can access my pins anywhere, and on multiple devices. I have my pins organized onto specific boards which is another great reason to pin ~ if I want to look up a pattern for a crocheted hat, a recipe for dinner, or an idea for a math game, I am able to go directly to my boards and find what I am looking for. Another reason I use Pinterest is to promote my blog and my Teachers pay Teachers store. I have found that I get a lot of traffic in both from my pins.

How would you describe your use of Pinterest?
When I first started pinning I had generic boards such as food, education, fashion. Now I have many more boards that are much more specific. My education topics each have a board of their own, Math, Literacy, Writing, etc. I have even broken my non-education boards into more specialized topics: "Looks Like GSP" features clothing I think my daughter would like, while "Fashion" has pins of clothing I would wear.

I use Google Drive to save items that I have made for or purchased from Teachers pay Teachers. I like Pinterest because it gives me direct links to websites and has access to so many things. It is nice how the site can be searched for specific topics.

What have you gained from using Pinterest?

I think that Pinterest helps to fill a void left by the serious lack of funds for professional development. It certainly doesn't replace it, but because a world of ideas is available at the touch of a finger, I feel that I can always find fresh ideas.  

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
I have found that by organizing my educational pins by topic is helpful when I want to find something. As I said earlier, when I first started pinning, I simply dumped all my education pins onto one board. It was very difficult to find what I wanted among all the many pins. Now it is much simpler to find a math idea when all of my math related pins are on one board. Some of my pins appear on multiple boards because they fit a number of criteria. I am also on several group boards. Some by invitation and some of my own creation. When the primary teachers participated in a Daily 5 book study last year, I created a group D5 board that anyone in my group could add pins to. I also follow other pinners who find great ideas. There is so very much interesting stuff on the web, it's impossible to find everything. The pinners I follow have found some great ideas. (I even come across pins from my blog sometimes!)

Don't be afraid to have a lot of boards right from the start. Think of what you are looking for and break it down to categories. I have a blanket Literacy board, but have been thinking of repining many of my pins onto even more specific skills boards: CVC words, Sight Words, etc.

Pinnovation Invitation: Look over your boards, is there one that is in need of being reorganized in more specific categories such as Linda's Literacy board? Select a few pins to move to a new board to begin the process.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pinners Kelly Masters and Sara Hunter

Meet the Pinners: Today we are featuring two Zionsville Community Schools educators. Three and half years ago, Kelly Masters began using Pinterest and created the Eagle STEM profile last summer. Sara Hunter, a returning Pinnovator, pins to Union STEM. This is what they shared with us:

We are both elementary Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Coaches. We teach a STEM class to students in grades 1-4 as well as work alongside teachers coaching in all areas of STEM. Kelly is also the high ability coach at her school, Eagle Elementary, and she also teaches a 2nd grade high ability math class in addition to her STEM classes.

What prompted you to begin Pinning?
As teachers, we spend a lot of time looking for things for our classrooms! Pinterest is full of great resources for teachers. Our time is limited, so we need to work smarter, not harder. Why reinvent the wheel? There are a lot of great things to “borrow” from fellow educators on Pinterest. Keeping all of these resources in a place that is easy to access is important. We both also like the visual aspect of Pinterest.
Kelly: I started the Eagle STEM Pinterest Board in order to share resources with teachers that are in a central location. Teachers use Pinterest already and I didn't want it to be "one more thing" for them to do or use. I share the Pinterest Board with teachers and let them know that I am curating resources for them to "steal". The link is also in my signature at the end of emails I send. I encourage my staff to follow the Eagle STEM Board. If I find something I think a specific teacher or teachers would like, I will send it to them personally via Pinterest to make sure they see it.
Sara: When I saw Kelly’s Pinterest boards for Eagle STEM, I thought it was genius! 95% of teachers in my building have Pinterest accounts, so it was a great way to curate resources to share with them. I like that users can create group boards, which allows multiple users to pin to the same board for collaboration around a topic.
Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Pinterest can be a bit overwhelming.  Once you start pinning resources, make sure your boards are organized in a way that is easy for you and makes sense.   This way your resources will be easy to find and readily accessible.

  • Make sure your boards are specific and organized.  You probably don’t want to have a board titled Language Arts.  You want to have a board  for reading, one for grammar and writing, and one for spelling and vocabulary.  Organization and being specific is key, otherwise it will seem too overwhelming.  We’ve seen some people who have over 800 pins for certain boards, that’s just too much!
  • Pin from multiple sources.  When you find a great blog post on Twitter, pin it to save it and share it.  Pinterest can be a great search engine to find what you’re looking for, but it shouldn’t be the only place you search and find new ideas.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Pinner Indiana eLearning (INeLearn)








We had no intention of featuring ourselves in Pinnovation, but even the best laid plans sometimes fall apart. Rather than frantically try to fill two recently vacated days on the calendar, we thought we'd use today to acquaint you with some of our boards, and we hope to use Friday to showcase ANY and ALL new Pinners that have taken the Pinterest plunge! See details in the Pinnovation Invitation at the end of this post.


What are we pinning? Our primary boards were broad and grew quickly in the first year we were pinning. We started breaking some of the overloaded boards into collections such as our series of Toolboxes and Digital Content.
The Toolbox: There are currently nine Toolboxes in the series including Assessments, BackChannels, Cloud Store and Share, Curation, Graphic Organizers, Presentation Creation, Productivity, Research and Vocabulary.  New areas are developed as there is a demand.

Digital Content:
We've created more specific digital content boards for Business, FACS, History, Language Arts, Math, Science, and World Language. Ideally, we'd have all of these group boards with content area experts pinning together. Eventually we envision the boards breaking out even further by specific grade levels or courses. 


Some of our most popular boards are around learning theory and different models for engaging learners. For example, with the explosion of interest following the Hour of Code and our current book club read, our Maker Movement, Programming and Coding board is regularly visited. Explore any of our 65 boards covering all things PBL to Virtual Schools in Indiana.

We thought we'd share some boards that model how a school or district might Pin for their families:
Raising Digital Citizens is a board that educators can reference but that is designed to be shared with parents. Any school that embraces digital learning is encouraged to create a board with an online safety focus for families. 
What We're Reading serves as a virtual bookshelf for the fall and spring book club selections. This is such an easy way to share professional learning with parents. You don't have to just pin books. Share professional journal articles or blog posts that shape the culture of learning and leading in your school.

Since we primarily Pin with educators in mind, we found a few example boards that might appeal to families that inspire you to begin pinning for your class, school or district:

  • A board of After School Activities and Adventures would be easy to put together using this example. Notice too that this is a Group Board. What a great way to connect with parents and encourage involvement by inviting them to Pin with you on select boards! 
  • Not that we want more snow days, but that certainly would be a popular board--Fun Things to Do during a Polar Vortex... Here's an example from Arkansas River Valley Regional Library.
  • Share creative ways to encourage packing healthy lunches. You could even invite the cafeteria staff to take pictures of their offerings and post pictures to share school lunch options with families. 
  • There are a number of potential boards about wellness for all grade levels-particularly middle and high school students and their families. Learn more about how the counselors for a Washington state school use Pinterest here.

Pinnovation Invitation: Start a classroom, school or district Pinterest profile and begin with one or two boards for your students and or their families.  If you already have such a board or are willing to share your new efforts, email Michelle at mgreen@doe.in.gov so that your board(s) can be included in our final Pinnovation post for Digital Learning Month February 2014 this Friday.

We welcome all education focused boards for this special end of the month post. If you'd rather drop us the link through a Google form, here's a how! We are glad you've joined us for Pinnovation and hope that you've found something useful this month! 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Pinner Media Mumblings


Meet the Pinner: We admit Media Mumblings isn't really this pinner's name, but with such a cool username we couldn't resist using it in the post title! The library media specialist behind the title is Debbie Acord of Adams Central Community Schools. While Debbie shares loads of resources (nearly 10,000 pins over the last four years) on her Pinterest boards, you should know that she also blogs at http://mediamumblings.weebly.com/.

How would you describe your use of Pinterest?
The pins I collect are mostly from other pinners I follow. I started following friends, but when I wanted specific ideas, I would search for them and in the process found many great pinners to follow. I also started following pincers by looking at boards of those who started following or pinning me. After I had established some boards, I began pinning using the Pin It tool to pin some sites I found on the web.

When it comes to having a favorite board: I don't really focus on any one board. My focus changes according to my needs.

What have you gained from using Pinterest?
I love exploring new tech tools. I started pinning because I had heard of Pinterest and wanted to check out recipes and ideas for my home. About this same time, I was transitioning from a 5th grade classroom to a position as a K-12 media specialist. I began using Pinterest as a professional development tool to brush up on resources and trends.

I have another tool that curate on occasionally called Scoop It. I use Scoop It to collect articles and information. However, I curate on Pinterest regularly. Pinterest is very visual, and makes it easier for me to envision ideas and adaptations to the pins as I curate them. I love that Pinterest allows me to create lots of boards to organize my ideas. Pinterest also lets me search based on pins, boards, or pinners to get better search results.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Start lots of boards in the beginning! It is easier to organize pins when you have several empty boards. It will also provide some focus while looking at pins. It is VERY EASY to get lost in Pinterestland.  

If you see a lot of irrelevant pins in your feed, you can go in and unfollow boards that are not of interest to you. Then when you refresh your feed it will be cleaned up.

You can build boards based on projects/units by editing pins to move them in and out of boards or pinning the same pin on multiple boards for a more permanent collection.

What if Pinterest is blocked at school?
If your school blocks Pinterest, you can print out Pinterest boards and attach pins to lesson plans to serve as a visual reminder/guide.

Part of my job as a media specialist is to collaborate with teachers and plan programs in my school. I create boards based on collaborations with teachers or programs. I print these boards and take them with me to meetings so I can refer to them in meetings and leave them with the person I am meeting with.

Pinnovation Invitation: There are districts that block Pinterest categorically as a social media platform. What are the pros and cons to blocking a tool like Pinterest? How can educators make the case for making it accessible at school?


Saturday, February 22, 2014

Digital Citizenship | Pinner Bill Gumula


Meet the Pinner:
Bill Gumula is an eLearning coach with Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation. He happens to also be a certified Common Sense Educator and creator of the EVSC Digital Heroism Challenge. Given his passion for the topic, we wanted to feature Bill's Digital Citizenship board as part of Pinnovation. Seriously, it deserves more than two followers! It's important to note that Bill has other boards worth exploring too. 

How would you describe your use of Pinterest?    
As a guy I am not all about Pinterest (sorry if I offend) but I certainly find value in its ability to bring together the best of the web in one place and make it easy to digest, access, and share your own resources. I am a very visual person and so when I can see resources laid out for me in this fashion it helps me sort through them quickly and get to what I need quicker.

Do you curate using any other tools? What do you like about Pinterest in comparison?
I also use Evernote, Symbaloo, and Pearltrees to curate materials. I like the simplicity of Pinterest and, as I mentioned previously, the visual layout allowing me to scan a number of resources quickly.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Just dive in and start exploring. It is amazing the wealth of resources you will find waiting for you!

Pinnovation Invitation: How long has it been since you last visited Pinterest? Bill tells us, "About a year ago I dabbled in pinning, and then fell out of the practice." We encourage you to revisit a board that you have neglected. Scan the resources. Search for new discoveries that can be pinned. And share what you find with someone!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Richmond Returns with a Challenge for Other Schools and Districts

Meet the Pinner: As far as we can tell, Richmond Community Schools was the first or one of the first Indiana schools to have a Pinterest presence. Last year, we debuted their boards and promoted the idea of schools using Pinterest to connect with families, students and educators. Since then, Richmond has shared their non-traditional approach to communication in a 21st Century Learning Lab webinar and at conferences such as Indiana Computer Educator's annual ICE Conference. In fact, one of this year's Pinnovation features, credited Rob Tidrow's workshop for getting her started on Pinterest.

We asked Tidrow to share some insights for school leaders who are thinking they'd like to develop a Pinterest presence. Here's what he told us:

1. Start using Pinterest TODAY for yourself. Set up a personal account and follow Pinners who have similar outside interests as you (i.e. golf, movies, books, etc.). This will get you comfortable using the tool. 
2. Find other educators that are pinning and follow their education boards. 
3. Set up a corporate or classroom account and then start pinning!

Again, use it as a personal tool at the beginning. You will be amazed at the information other Pinners have found. After you set up a corporate or classroom account, make sure you talk about it at your staff meetings, etc. You will then find other "secret" Pinners out there. Have them follow your board(s) to get your followings.

Do you curate using any other tools? What do you like about Pinterest in comparison? How does it function for you? As a corporation, we use MOODLE and we are converting to My Big Campus. Individual teachers and staff use their own tools, such as Diigo, Symbaloo, and eChalk. Pinterest is a great way to curate and organize information in a graphical and easy to use format.  

Tidrow is fully aware of the stereotypes associated with Pinterest users, but he admonishes, "Start Pinning today...it's not just for females."


Pinnovation Invitation:
Last year Bridget Hazelbaker, Richmond's Community Partnership and Engagement Coordinator spoke about the popularity of the Prom/Snowball board and the "R"Community board, which according to Tidrow, remain favorites. He tells us, "The Prom/Snowball board is followed or looked at by both genders as there are tips on asking someone to a dance. Many of the male students frequent that board!"

What popular interest would make a good initial board to connect with students and or parents in your community?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Pinner Cindy Brady

Meet the Pinner: Today's Pinnovation is another diverse collection of boards. In fact, Cindy Brady admitted she doesn't have a favorite because "it is hard to choose. I like so many of them for different reasons." We are excited that she answered our call for Pinterest users and look forward to you meeting this Syracuse Elementary administrator who began pinning about a year and half ago. Let's see if you can pick a favorite out of her 85 boards.

What prompted you to begin Pinning?
I enjoy coming up with new and innovative ways to reach students. I also enjoy organizing things and Pinterest helped blend these two things. I found that Pinterest was an excellent way for me to share ideas with others without have to waste paper by printing these ideas. It also allows people to pick and choose which of my pins they like and want to use. 

How would you describe your use of Pinterest?
Most of my pins come from people that I follow or from categories. Many of the pins that I collect are based on conversations I have had from other people. I use the Pinterest boards to share the ideas with staff members, friends, etc that have identified a need or sparked an idea. This allows me the opportunity to help support them in their classrooms by providing resources and ideas and they can choose what of these ideas they wish to use, if any.

I started out using general topics for my boards and have gradually made them more specific. I am still tweaking the boards I have, I find myself pinning new items and not editing the boards I have. Instead of "math", I have tried to break it down into either primary math or even into categories such as "fractions". This allows people to search and identify resources much quicker and more efficiently. With the large amount of resources available through technology, it is easy for teachers with limited amounts of time to get overwhelmed and then not want to use the resources available.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Have fun with it! Finding new ideas can be rejuvenating, not just for students, but also for teachers and staff. I love this things that I find that I can use as pick me ups for volunteers, staff, etc. It is also easy to get overwhelmed with all of the ideas. You don't have to do them all - that is why you pin them for later.

Set a time limit because it can be addicting. When you find pins you like look at the boards that they are pinned to - you can find great resources from people that have the same interests that you have.

Pinnovation Invitation: Cindy tells us, "Pinterest is the only tool I use on a regular basis like this. I am very pleased with it. I find that I have to put myself on a timer in order to not be on it too long." Do you have a strategy or trick to manage how long you Pin at one time?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pinner Jayna Wild


Meet the Pinner: Jayna Wild started using Pinterest when someone suggested she look there for new ideas. She shares, "I started dabbling in summer of 2012, but really took off when school started in fall of 2012." A kindergarten teacher for twenty-five years, now in her first years as a Title I specialist with Barr-Reeve Community Schools, Jayna's boards range from reading and writing boards to inspirational boards for celebrating holidays and seasons. Sprinkled throughout are signs that she lives a full life such as a Grillin Board and Outdoor Living--a girl can dream of summer can't she?

How would you describe your use of Pinterest?
It's the best app around for giving me info on anything. I have it on my phone so if I am waiting for one of my kids at practice or at an appointment, I can do searches while waiting in the car. I can search education then change to food or gift ideas without leaving the site and having to start over.

I repin from friends and co-workers. I check out specific categories such as first grade reading or a holiday. Thirdly if I find something on web I find helpful, I will pin for others to see on my wall.

What have you gained from using Pinterest?
I like being able to go on to Pinterest and getting ideas which lead to other ideas etc. If I pin a reading activity, it will give me other ideas as well. It is easy to follow.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
You need time to explore at the beginning. Be creative, if you want a specific item, search for only that or you could get discouraged if you cannot find it. Sometimes I just explore everything. Pinterest is great for any topic and you can get lost in it for hours.

I use Pinterest for many activities and ideas, but if you want to search only search education activities, you will search education or specific activity only. You can narrow it down to specific activities, like reading or math or grade level activities. For example: You could go to search, in search box narrow it down to first grade science on clouds. It will give you all the ideas in that category without all the other boards showing up.

Pinnovation Invitation: Be that someone who pointed Jayna in the direction of Pinterest. Who do you know that could benefit from using Pinterest? Share a Pinnovation with them and encourage him or her to start exploring.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pinner Rachel Porter


Meet the Pinner: Rachel returns with new resources and perspectives to share with Pinnovation seekers. The Digital Curriculum Integration Specialist with Southwest Parke Community Schools tells us, "I've been pinning for a couple of years, both personally and professionally. I find it to be a relaxing evening activity to spend a few minutes pinning some quality resources for teachers and recipes for myself! I quickly learned that my Pinterest hobby was going to be big, so I separated my personal boards and professional boards into two differnet accounts. Together they would be a Pinterest monster!"

How would you describe your use of Pinterest?
I began pinning professionally because I found it to be an efficient way to share resources with the teachers I support. So many of them were already using Pinterest, and it is an easy tool for newbies to learn. Sharing resources on Pinterest doesn't feel so much like a work task. It's a digital playground for teachers.

What have you gained from using Pinterest?
I use Pinterest to it's fullest, I think. I daily pin from people I follow and have grown an effective PLN so that there is always something worth pinning. I also browse the education and technology categories, and pin things from the web when I am looking to build up a specific board.  

I have used lots of tools to curate - My Big Campus, Pearl Trees, Mentor Mob, Symbaloo, etc. Each of them seem to serve somewhat different purposes. I use Pinterest as the first step in curating - to collect anything and everything that I want to learn more about and potentially use - a sort of brainstorming tool. Often the content for my My Big Campus bundles comes from the resources I've pinned. Those tools that become daily or frequently used are added to our school Symbaloo.

Do you have a favorite board?
I have boards for each content area as well as a digital curriculum board that are probably my biggest collections. Recently I started a board for parents after having several requests for advice on what they can be doing at home to help their children in school. I already had a blog for parents, but have found that they are far more likely to follow my Pinterest board than to read blog posts! My entire professional account is full of education boards, so it's hard to pick one. I'm passionate about them all!

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?I think it is nice to have a good piece of time when your first starting with Pinterest to really get some to know it. It's easy to get sucked in and spend hours on Pinterest, and a lot of people avoid it because they think they just don't have time for it. But even just giving it a few minutes a day will slowly build an enormous collection of quality tools and ideas.

Teachers often ask me how I find out about all the things I pass on to them. They are usually shocked when I tell them that a great deal of it I found on Pinterest! Here are some of my favorite follows:

SHIFT eLearning
Education.com
Edutopia
Indiana eLearning
SAS Curriculum Pathways


Pinnovation Invitation: While exploring Rachel's boards, we discovered her Who to Follow Board! What a clever idea! Start you own board with recommendations for colleagues and share the link if you're willing.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Indiana FACS


Meet the Pinner:
Alyson McIntyre-Reiger, State Program Specialist for Family and Consumer Sciences with the Indiana Department of Education recently created this collection of Pinterest boards for educators in the field as a way to share new resources, but also as a means to connect teachers to each other. 

How would you describe your use of Pinterest?
I collect pins through a variety of methods. I do collect pins from those Family and Consumer Sciences teachers I follow. They always have great boards and pins related to our classroom content. I also look for pins on the web from topics that area specifically related to our course needs and topics. Additionally, if I see something great on my personal Pinterest page, I will search for it to add to my FACS page.

I only utilize this Pinterest account for educational purposes. I try to only follow teachers or related professionals in family and consumer sciences or education. I also only have boards that are related to my educational purposes and topics.

What have you gained from using Pinterest?
I began pinning about 2 1/2 years ago. Honestly, I started right before having a baby and spent a lot of my downtime on maternity leave exploring Pinterest. I loved seeing what others were interested in and learning new ideas. Pinterest is fun and a great way to connect to all types of learners.

Do you have a favorite Pinterest board?
Any board I am working on becomes my favorite. When you start pinning on a specific topic it is so interesting to see what information you can find. I have to say finding pins for Fashion and Textiles and Interior Design is always fun and makes me think. . . I have the best job in the world.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Start pinning what you like and is interesting to you. From these, boards will start to form organically.

Pinnovation Invitation: Share a content specific board or Pinterest profile that you follow in the comments below. Tell us what the content area is and share a link to the board or collection of boards. Are you looking for someone to follow? Let us know what your needs are and we'll see if we can help you make a match!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Pinner Shelly Burnside


Meet the Pinner:
As a media specialist at Brownstown Central High School, Shelly does a lot of curating. She tells us, "I do curate educational resources for students via my Destiny Library home page; however, it's student-centered while my Pinterest page is currently colleague-centered." As you look over the 18 boards she currently pins to, it's hard to believe she only began using Pinterest last October!

How would you describe your use of Pinterest?
Most of my pins are finds on the web although I do get many from pinners I follow. I am on various listservs and receive many e-mail newsletters. Those often have valuable information that I want to save. Rather than save the e-mail (which I can never find later), I pin the website itself so I can locate it as needed.

What have you gained from using Pinterest?
I needed a space to organize the many great ideas and tools I came across on the internet. I like the eye appeal of Pinterest and I can access my professional pins easily. My avid pinning truly started when I began exploring more digital citizenship and technology-related professional development opportunities. I needed a public location where I could store and share the many websites I located. I wanted my findings to be available for colleagues in my building as well as beyond my building.

Do you have a board? I like to curate the Google Drive and Digital Citizenship boards. There are so many updates and improvements to Google Drive that I can always find and learn new techniques and tools to help me when assisting both students and staff. As our school moves more in that direction, I find the need for more Google Drive tips and tools. Digital citizenship is an area that many educators take for granted. Students at all levels need to be more aware of their digital footprints and how technology should be used properly. As a media specialist, I believe digital citizenship should be taught more in the classrooms.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
The website behind the pin is the true value of the pin. The image is simply a visual representation of the website itself. Also, organization is important when curating so you can easily access your pins.

Start with just one area of professional interest and start building a board. You'll be amazed where you'll go and how involved you'll get.

Pinnovation Invitation: 
Shelly has only been pinning for a few months, but she's built up a valuable resource for her colleagues in that short amount of time. Yet we notice that her following it limited. What advice can you share to grow your Pinterest audience?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Westfield Washington Schools BYOD | Pinner Maria Esterline


Meet the Pinner: The pinner behind WWS BYOD is Maria Esterline, Instructional Technology Coordinator for Westfield Washington Schools. Maria was an early Pinner from the Beta days when a friend had to send you an invite to get started.

How did you get started using Pinterest?
Honestly, I didn't know what I was doing at first. I navigated around the site and observed my colleagues to see what they pinned and I would repin. I saw so many incredible ideas and great resources that were simple to integrate that I got hooked.

Do you curate using other tools?
I do use Feedly to follow various blogs on the following topics Instructional Tech, Leadership, Google, Mashable, CNN, and etc. This particular tool is one way I'm building my personal learning network. Pinterest is a great tool because I'm a visual learner. Therefore, I like the visuals that are associated to the different pins. I use pinterest very often as it is my first source to search for ideas and content integration. Feedly is a tool that I like to use for reading purposes.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Do organize the boards. Do your best to dig deeper than just the visual of the pin. Do try the different ideas that you discovered. When I started this Pinterest site, I looked at examples of people that I follow such as Indiana eLearning team, and Eric Sheninger to see how they organized their boards. I do a lot of repinning through the people that I follow. On the Westfield BYOD boards, I do pin articles or websites onto multiple boards. I particularly pinned on multiple boards so that staff members can locate resources in various locations.

Don't be afraid to repin. That's how you get started. Once you become comfortable with the layouts of the site, you can start uploading a pin. Don't create too many boards at the start. Begin with a few boards and then add on as you continue searching on this site. Do not let the visual images overwhelm you.

Pinnovation Invitation: The trick to not getting a ton of useless pins in your Pinterest feed is to follow specific boards rather than complete profiles. Maria shared that her favorite boards in the WWS BYOD Collection are BYOT/BYOD, All Things Google & Google Chrome, and Pinspired. Look through the the whole collection and follow the ones you can see feeding your needs.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Pinner Special Services, Johnson County and Surrounding Schools


Meet the Pinner: Special Services, Johnson County and Surrounding Schools has created a profile for sharing resources among their staff, with schools and for families. Multiple program support staff members contribute to the pins and if you look closely, you'll see the Group Board icon on a few of the boards to the right of the board titles. This means that multiple pinners (profiles) are pinning to the board. Each pin on the board shows which pinner made the contribution as you can see on the iPads for Education board below.




We discovered the Special Services, Johnson County and Surround Schools boards by checking out who Indiana educators were following. When we contacted the organization (which was possible because they linked their webpage to their profile), they put us in touch with Kris Baker, a behavior/autism consultant, who graciously responded to our Pinnovation invitation. She told us: 

Special Services, Johnson County and Surrounding Schools has several staff members that pin; a speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, preschool teacher, transition coordinator, as well as program support staff (behavior consultant). Each of these experts in their field have boards and pinners that they follow. We also have our own personal accounts that we use to re-pin to the SSJCSS Pinterest page. We also create pins from ideas shared by staff and by following boards specifically linked to our students' needs such as visual supports, sensory integration, structured tasks, independent living skills, behavior intervention, apps for education, early childhood education and more.

Kris gets the value of Pinterest and shares how she got started using Pinterest for professional learning and collaboration: I personally began pinning in 2010 after learning of ideas for structured tasks based on the TEACCH model out of North Carolina. At this time, the only way to share ideas with structured tasks was word of mouth or from a book. Our cooperative decided to create a Pinterest account and boards after a meeting of individuals that attended the National CEC (Council for Exceptional Children) conference. We wanted to find a convenient and easily accessible way to share up and coming ideas and resources specific to the special population of children we serve with the staff and families of our students.

How would you describe your organization's use of Pinterest?
We were prompted to begin pinning because we were trying to find a way for the staff in our cooperative (SLPs, OTs, PTs, preschool teachers, school psychologists, behavior consultants and more), the staff in our 8 supporting districts and parents to have quick and easy access to lesson plans, visual supports, technology programs, apps and other relevant resources in one location. We wanted to have one place where they could go for a multitude of resources for the vast needs to best serve children and youth with special needs. I have found that staff and parents are often willing to try something new, they just need a little inspiration and the ideas found on Pinterest can do just that. For example, if we have student struggling with a sensory need and what we have tried so far doesn't work, staff can turn to our Pinterest page for alternate ideas that they might not have considered otherwise. 

Do you have a favorite board that you curate?
I think the entire Special Service Pinterest page is excellent. The boards are geared towards serving students with special needs; however, they can be used by general educators as well as parents and families. While I work as a behavior consultant, I have used pins from the boards managed by our SLP and preschool teacher for students in other grades and shared their boards with families for some ideas and activities at home.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
I think the biggest thing is to be creative with your search if you don't find what you want with your initial search. For example, to find sensory activities, you may have to look under sensory, occupational therapy, autism, and/or sensory integration.  

Once you find a pinner with several pins you appreciate, follow either the pinner or their specific board. Also, look for fellow staff members that might be pinning. Often the best ideas can come from the person across the hall!  

When you find yourself pinning a lot of pins from a specific pinner or board, make sure to follow that board. If you don't, you may spend time trying to find that board. This defeats one of the great benefits to Pinterest, it is quick and easy access to ideas and inspiration.  

Take time to pin your own ideas and creations to share with others! Often, I have found most people spend their time looking for other pins. Take the time to share your genius! The more people that are sharing their ideas, the greater the inspiration.  

Pinnovation Invitation: Think of the stakeholders you serve in your work. What is a need you can address by creating a resource board for this group? Share your ideas in the comments below. Do you already have a board for this purpose? Share the link!