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'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?

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