Sunday, February 2, 2014

Winter Olympics | Pinner Susie Highley

Meet the Pinner: 
If you're like us, you can recall special times throughout the year when your school librarian put together a display to highlight resources around an event. 21st Century media specialists do the same, but now they also do it digitally! Today we feature Susie Highley's use of Pinterest with a special focus on her Winter Olympics board. "One of my newest ones is on the Sochi Winter Olympics. As the games get closer, I will keep adding to it," Susie tells us.

When you visit Susie's Pinterest profile, notice that she included her Twitter profile, which is a great way to connect your virtual professional collaborations. Read on to see what other tips you can gain from this MSD Warren Township media specialist. 

What prompted you to begin using Pinterest professionally?
I first started pinning after I learned about it at ISTE in 2012. They created a group board for the media specialist interest group (now called SIGLIB) There are still frequent contributors to that board.

I didn't do much for a while, but then decided to do a comparison with Pinterest and a Quia page I had created for summer reading. It became obvious to me very quickly that the visual aspect of Pinterest was more interesting to students.

Another thing that encouraged me to pin more was that I won a contest from Horace Mann Insurance to be a guest pinner. I solicited some ideas from fellow librarians, so that one is called Crowd-Sourced Librarian Favorites. It is not just about libraries; I reserve that board for resources I consider to be among the best of the best; many of them are infographics as well. I blogged about that experience and still continue to list some top boards in a post.

How would you describe your use of Pinterest?
I get a lot of my pins from Twitter and Facebook. I follow many educational pages on both, but can tell much more about a link on Facebook.

I try to go back to the original source of a pin, not just to "give credit", but to see what other useful resources might be there. There are so many people now pinning to earn money (such as Teachers Pay Teachers), that I try to only pin things that are free. I think that my followers on Twitter are very different from Pinterest, so I consider the audience when deciding where to curate something. I also try to use an exact title and some annotations to make my resources more searchable. Sometimes I think I spend so much time curating that I don't have as much time to actually apply what I've learned. I've found as I've pinned more and more that I have made some of my boards more specific for just the same reason.

TeachThought, Mindshift, and several librarians and organizations provide many pinteresting sites.

What other curation tools do you use and what have you gained from using Pinterest?
I have over 5000 sites bookmarked with Diigo. I belong to several groups there, and maintain collections for the Association of School Library Educators (AISLE), elementary teachers in my district, and middle/intermediate. I have also used Livebinders, ScoopIt, Symbaloo, and Evernote. The ever-growing volume of great content on Pinterest (and much of it quality) has encouraged me to pin more. I created a board for a book club at school, and the students really liked being able to see the nature of the links quickly.

Can you share any advice for new Pinners?
I would be specific in your board titles. It's interesting to see the board names when people repin my pins. Sometimes the boards are pretty generic, like "School Stuff" or as detailed as "Information Literacy Assessment". 

I use the "Pin It" in my browser toolbar usually, but sometimes you get a bigger choice of images by being in Pinterest and using the "Add from a website" button.

At this point, you can change the order of the boards (although sometimes I've found they don't "stick"), but you can't change the order of pins within a board. I have deleted a pin and re-pinned it so that it will be closer to the top if I want more students or teachers to notice it.

Pinnovation Invitation: If you haven't already, follow Susie's lead and find 3-5 professional organizations on Pinterest. Look at their boards and see if there are any specifics you want to be following for possible repins. Maybe you want to "Follow All" of their boards. Share your finds in the comments below. Having trouble? Tell us what you're looking for and we'll try to help you connect! 

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