Image challenge – week five
Why and how to use Pinterest in the classroom
During my last visit in Malta at the Image Conference I met Andreia from Brazil, who had a powerful workshop about the way she uses Pinterest in her classroom. I liked it a lot but thought that it may be too complicated or not interesting for my students. Then, one evening I decided to give it a try and that’s how it started – love at first sight. When we talk about visual teaching in the classroom - Pinterest is a must!
What is it and how it works?
Pinterest has quickly become a favorite online tool among educators in the past few years. The concept is simple. You find images you like, and pin them to your Boards. You create boards based on categories you create. You could have a board for home inspirations, arts & crafts, cooking, quotes, fashion etc. Using online “pinboards” teachers can save everything from photos to blog posts in one easily accessible and usable place. All need to do is log in (can be done by Facebook account) and here you go.
Pinterest is also a social networking site. You can follow other people on the site that you know or don’t know, people whose pins you like, your friends, etc. You can scroll through pinboards by subject to look for visual content that you like from pinboards that other people have pinned. If you see a picture you like from another pinboard you can pin it and add it to one of your own pinboards.
Compare and contrast
But how to put it into practice? Let me give you an example. You are looking for some photos referring to the topic of extreme sports. All you need to do, is to type a phrase ‘extreme sports’ in the search box and a huge selection of photos concerning this topic together with website links will appear. You can save them, print them out or just show your students and have a compare and contrast activity. Let’s use those two first photos shown in the attached picture that I have taken (extreme skiing and paragliding). Students work on their mobile phones or if you have an individual lesson you can use yours. Ask your students to compare and contrast them and decide which sport they would like to try and why. Students can also choose the pictures to describe for the other students. Great pair work activity. You can also modify this activity. Ask your students to create a board called ‘extreme sports’ at home (with maximum 20 extreme sports) and bring it to the lesson saved on their mobile phones. Students working in pairs compare their boards first and then various activities can follow.
1. Choose the most daring/exciting/unusual/difficult sport from you list. (practice of adjectives)
2. Name three the most risky sports that you wouldn’t like to do and why.
3. If you had some spare time which of the sports would you like to try and why.
The list of topics for discussion is endless. Be creative and rack your students brains. It’s also great for FCE/CAE students to practice Part Two of the exam - compare activity.
Imagine you are covering the topic of environment and you need a creative warm up activity. Divide your students into two teams. Ask your students to create the board called: how to be eco or ecology in Pinterest and ask them to add any images they like. (It can be done at school or at home) Then students compare their images and discuss which ideas are the best. Each team has to choose maximum 5 best ideas. Then, the teacher writes down their ideas on the board and introduces necessary vocabulary. You can also use the images to create an information board in the classroom (they just print out the pictures they enjoy and put them on the board creating a kind of a collage) or a magazine cover (students using graphic programs or just a sheet of paper to create the cover of the ECO magazine with suitable photos and headlines). As you can see, there are plenty of ideas to use it creatively.
Why should we use Pinterest?
Because Pinterest provides a place where the user can VISUALLY bookmark photos and we do teach visual generation students. They love browsing websites full of interesting photos more than reading pages of texts. It is easy and creative and for sure mind stimulating activity.
If you got interested in it and want to know more there are plenty of ideas to use Pinterest in the Internet. One of them is TEACHTHOUGHT.COM, where are listed 37 ways teachers can use Pinterest both for their own use and the classroom use.
Website address: http://www.teachthought.com/social-media-in-the-classroom/37-ways-teachers-can-use-pinterest-in-the-classroom/
REMEMBER! - The use of Pinterest is just endlessJ