Saturday, February 1, 2014

Makerspace | Pinner Leslie Preddy

Meet the Pinner:
We wanted to do something special for the 2014 Pinnovation Month of Digital Learning celebration and when we saw this pinner's series of boards on makerspace, we knew where to begin! Leslie tells us, "My favorite boards are my Library Makerspace boards. With a school library makerspace, there is so much potential that Pinterest helps keep concepts organized for handy reference." And Leslie isn't just saying that! If we counted correctly, she has 21 boards devoted to carefully curated topics that range from project types to ideas such as team building and badging. And if you're just curious about the topic, check out the miscellaneous board. All we can say is that it's a good thing Pinnovation 2014 launched on a Saturday. You'll want the time to explore this Perry Township Schools librarian's Pinterest collection. You can also connect with her through her blog that is linked on her Pinterest profile or through Twitter.

It's no coincidence that the Office of eLearning's Spring Book Club has just started their reading of Invent to Learn which is focused on the Maker Movement. We invite you to learn more about the book club here. We find Leslie's explanation of the makerspace in her school a great starting place, "A makerspace in a school library is where learning goes to the next level. The school library is a place for learning and thinking, but with the addition of a makerspace it also becomes the doing. It is about getting students hands-on experience and opportunities to create. It is an exciting place for kids to imagine, create, and invent." 

What prompted you to begin pinning?I began pinning when I realized that it is where a lot of the teachers I serve in my school were going to quickly locate and organize classroom inspiration. They would come to me to help and resources, and then add what I shared on their Pinterest Boards, so I knew I needed to get on Pinterest, too.

How would you describe your use of Pinterest? 
I collect pins through the people, organizations, publishers, and professional news groups I follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. I also subscribe to a plethora of electronic newsletters and pin resources worthy of long-term collection. And finally, I can find worthy pins through my PLC: workshops, conferences, meetings, conversations, community events, etc.

Also, when somebody I do not know repins something I have pinned, I visit their boards to see if we have something in common. I will browse their boards to find specific pins to add. If there is a strong connection of interests, I will begin following their specific boards that interest me.

Do you curate with any other tools, and why?
I like using Pinterest as part of my PLC (Professional Learning Community), but when I think of working with students and visual organization of resources for students, I like Symbaloo. With Symbaloo, you can create a page of icons that look like app buttons. It works out well when guiding them toward effective and appropriate tools and resources for a particular task or unit.

Coincidentally, the 21st Century Learning Lab, part of the Office of eLearning's professional development offerings, just hosted a Symbaloo webinar if you want to learn more about how it works.

What have you gained from using Pinterest?
Pinterest is a visual, virtual organization tool. It is very handy, because no matter where you are, if you can access the internet, you can retrieve your resources.

Pinterest has the stigma of being for women, but that is not true. Think of it like a virtual file cabinet. Each board is like a file drawer. Each pin on the board is like a resource folder within that file drawer. So try it, guys, because you’ll find you like it!

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
Add a pin it button to your web browser toolbar. That way, if you see something you want to pin, but the the page you are looking at doesn't include a pin button, you can easily still add the pin to one of your boards.

Consider in advance whether you will be using Pinterest for personal or professional use, or both, and what you might be pinning. Are there things you wouldn’t want to share with your PLC? If you want to keep your personal and professional separate, create two different Pinterest personas, one for work and one for home. If you are using Pinterest for both personal and professional purposes, but keeping only one Pinterest account, think twice before pinning something that might be a concern.

Pinnovation Invitation: Leslie provides some great advice which leads us to wonder, do you think there is a "right" way to use Pinterest professionally? Can you mix personal and professional boards or do you need to open separate profiles? We'd love to open a discussion in the comments below.

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