Thursday, February 6, 2014

Today's Feature Was a Secret Board! Learn how Pleasant View & Brook School Elementary Teachers are Collaborating

Today's Feature Was Once a Secret Board!
If you are familiar with secret boards, you know they are only visible to the pinner who creates it and anyone they invite to join it. Secret boards are not searchable and the pins do not show up in Pinterest's stream. So how did I discover this secret board?

While attending a session on leading a connected school at CELL this fall, I heard assistant principal Dan Layton mention teachers at Pleasant View Elementary School using Pinterest for collaboration. I inquired about the group and he put me in touch with them for Pinnovation. It turns out the third grade teachers had decided on a secret board! Lucky for us, Pinterest recently updated their secret boards and the group was able to switch the board over to public.  If you look on the upper left corner of the board (image above), you'll see there are four pinners contributing to the group board. On their behalf, Kathy Drake responded to our Pinnovation call. She tells us, "Our group board, 3rd Grade Things, is where my grade level team members pin resources that we want each other to have in our toolboxes. This along with our individual teaching related boards are excellent resources for one another."

How would you describe your use of Pinterest?

I joined Pinterest the spring of 2011 and have been pinning ever since. I was prompted to begin pinning when I was looking for ideas to prepare for my first child. While on this social networking site, I quickly found the value that this could bring to my teaching. I started pinning resources that my fellow teacher friends had found and made readily available to me. 

Recently, I started a group board for my grade level team. Most of us were utilizing Pinterest already to find resources for our students, but now with the group board, we can pin resources that we want to be sure the other members of our team know are out there! There are so many great ideas out there that we lack the time to find. Now when a great resource is found that supports our curriculum, we pin it to our grade level board for the entire team to see at their convenience. 

Kathy's tips for using Pinterest professionally:
To start utilizing Pinterest as a professional tool, I would first start following the other teachers in your school. This is great because they are looking for resources to support your curriculum. This also allows you to know what others teachers are teaching and doing inside their classrooms. 

Find other experts to follow. An excellent person to follow is Nicki Newton. She is an international elementary school math consultant. She has great pins for every elementary math topic! She was recommended to me by a STEM coach in my building.  

Jump right in and be organized! I started with a generic "Teaching" board but quickly found that it became too overwhelming to organize and later find things that I pinned. I then started creating boards for individual subjects and projects; this made it a lot simpler to find things! 

You are encouraged to check out this group's board. Keep in mind, until recently it was secret, which meant only the four pinners were following it. Today, they have 215 followers! Now that collaboration has some serious impact beyond the Pleasant View Elementary Third Grade Team!

Pinnovation Invitation: I wanted to share another cool collaboration story with you for today's invitation. As part of yesterday's Digital Learning Day celebration four educators at Brooks School Elementary threw a Pinterest Party! We love this twist on teacher collaboration and encourage you to visit their boards to see what was pinned. This is a great way to begin building boards for your school! Learn more about how they did it here.

Would you attend a Pinterest Party to build boards for your school? Do you have another idea for engaging colleagues in collaboration other than the two examples shared today? Please comment below.

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