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 Last week Lorna Walker, Senior Lecturer in Marketing here at Regent’s College gave an excellent  short introductory talk and demonstration on Pinterest. I had seen Pinterest before and had even signed up with Pinterest but I couldn’t really see the relevance of it in a educational context. Lorna’s presentation changed my mind and certainly gave me a few ideas and showed me the potential of its usefulness!     

Lorna started with the question ‘What is Pinterest?’ and answered it with a brief overview of its main features:

  • Virtual scrapbook of images, pictures, infographs, video etc.
  • You curate (‘pins’) into themed boards organised around what interests you.
  • You can comment on your own pins and other people’s.
  • You can share boards with other pinners.

This was followed by a brief demonstration of how to set up a Pinterest account and how to use the basic features of the site; How to Pin, Set up account and profile, Start following people, Pin from the internet (‘pin it’ button), Upload pictures from your computer, Pin from your phone/ipad using app.

The bit I found the most interesting were her suggestions as to what Pinterest could actually be used for? Probably the two most important uses are for curating content and  organising ideas. Here Lorna showed us a variety of Pnterest boards from a variety of different sources: 

  • Sociology – Prof Jess
  • Pursuing interests – The Thesis Whispere
  • Typography, design and branding – Anitranot
  • Book Reviews – LSE Review of Books
  • Student assignments – Geraldine Saur
  • Carreers services – Priceton University
  • History – Dan Jackson
  • Retail Store design – Gino Van Ossel

What really struck me here was the very visual nature of Pinterest. So much of the content that we use in HE teaching is text based but the boards created in Pinterest are so visual! It just gives a totally different look and feel to the content and looks so different from everything else we do when teaching academic subjects.

It also opens up the possibility for ‘Collaborating’ both inside and outside of the classroom. It would be great to see students creating their own boards in Pinterest. Involving students in this way would make it a more active process, where they could then show their own boards to their peers or the lecturer, maybe even doing presentations using them.

http://pinterest.com/

’10 ways to use Pnterest in the Classroom’:http://teachbytes.com/2012/03/10/10-ways-to-use-pinterest-in-the-classroom/

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