Monday, February 16, 2015

Brooke Allen

Brooke Allen, an East Porter County Schools teacher, shares her Pinnovation, which reveals that in addition to having secret boards, she has another Pinterest profile! After today, it won't just be her students and colleagues at Morgan Township High School wanting to follow her boards focused on English and Yearbook.

Brooke's Pinnovation:
Pinterest provides a space for me to to collect ideas that I may want to use. One of my favorite things to do is find ridiculous, outrageous photos that my students can use for writing prompts. A chicken on a woman's head? Write about it. A child inside a pumpkin? Write about it. A box full creepy clown masks? Write about it! It's fun to see what my 9th-grade students create from digital images I've found for them.

My yearbook course used Pinterest this year to have students collect ideas for the book by sharing a board. It was a really great chance to show my students how communication and ideas can come together for a team goal. We designed a book for our 50th anniversary inspired by different decades. Students pinned inspiration from these decades to shared boards so that the team had a shared vision while creating our book.

I also love Pinterest for my collection of lesson ideas. I can easily type in a unit, standard, or concept and find other teachers' ideas. Having a storage place online for all these great ideas helps me stay organized rather than feeling overwhelmed by hundreds of bookmarked ideas.

Brooke's Tips:
When I began using Pinterest, I created one board for teaching and titled it "Work Stuff". It didn't take long before I realized there is SO much available on Pinterest that I needed to keep myself more organized. Now, I have many different boards all labeled to help organize my pins AND find them again later. For example, I have all the different units I teach as separate boards, classroom management, reading, writing, etc. Pinterest is great, but if you simply pin a ton of things and can't find them again, then Pinterest doesn't become a good use of time (and we all know teachers need more time!). It would be the same as collecting piles and piles of paper resources that you never revisit again. Organization makes all the difference when using Pinterest effectively.

Also, I recommend that teachers take advantage of the "private" boards if they are not using two separate accounts. It's a nice way to be connected with other educators but also keep your personal pins separate from education pins.

My last advice is more of a personal preference, but I like to follow other educators who aren't pinning/sharing for-purchase lessons. It's so frustrating to search for ideas and then find pins where people want to charge each other for the sharing of ideas (i.e. people only pinning links to their Teachers Pay Teachers pages or another similar service). I want to use Pinterest to connect, to share, and to learn - not to shop.

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