We’ve all heard of Pinterest.  Typically we smile and nod enthusiastically, recounting the woes of staying up too late pinning their ideal kitchens on the “Someday” board and outfits completely out of budget on the “Style” board.  However, teachers at our school are having some additional fun.  We have a PLN pinboard we’ve titled “School” (original, I know) where we share ideas between grade levels and have the opportunity to add to our repertoire of great ideas.  Having the ability to search through ideas already edited by teachers is a bonus, but we also write notes on the pins, such as “Great for first grade” and “Can we do this next year in Spanish?”

Here’s how to have a group Pinterest Pinboard:

First, make sure all your teachers have Pinterest accounts.  Some of our teachers did not want to use their Twitter or Facebook accounts, and it’s no problem to sign up without them.  We did find, however, that our school email address didn’t seem to work when signing up, so teachers should start with their personal email addresses.  Then someone will need to take charge and create a board for the PLN group, setting it up as a “Me + Contributors” pinboard.  In the settings area, add teachers, and away you go! So far, our “School” board has about 230 followers.  What a great form of professional development and PLN development!

The best way for us to get the word out to our teachers has been to hold a few professional development training sessions both before and after school.  So far, almost all of our lower school classroom and specials-area teachers participate.  Now our only problem is deciding which grade level team will grab the coolest ideas first!

At first I was worried that teachers might become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of content, but I’ve been impressed with how they have considered both their benchmarks of which skills their students needed before the end of the school year as well as our school’s mission to incorporate 21st century skills.  Teachers have intentionally chosen pins that exemplify relevant, rigorous, multisensory, and creative ways for students to practice inquiry, innovation, and impact in their classrooms.

What wins will your pins inspire?

Picture pinned to Pinterest from http://melissaculver.blogspot.com/2010/02/turning-ordinary-into-extraordinary.html