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Bringing Pinterest into the classroom

It's no secret that we're completely hooked on Pinterest -- and the new Grommet ideas are flowing here. About a month ago we corralled some of you to help out by pinning your favorite finds.  And we've really loved hearing about how you're using Pinterest in your day-to-day lives. In fact, over 50 of you spoke up and  told us what Pinterest means to you. We're learning so much and loving the conversation.

In fact, we recently heard from one of our community members, Tara, who told us how she's made Pinterest part of her classroom and is using it as a learning tool:

Tara, tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Tara McCrackin and I've been teaching at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, MI since 2000.  I've also been a practicing interior designer with a focus in commercial office design.  I've worked on projects for Steelcase, multiple showrooms across the country and their facilities in Grand Rapids -- and I completed a LEED Gold project for RackSpace in San Antonio, TX.  You can see some of my work here. I've been doing a lot of consulting for Turnstone in the past couple of years on color and space planning tips.  You can see their profile of me at the bottom of the page here.

How were you introduced to Pinterest? Did you bring it into your classroom or was it the other way around?

A former student told me about Pinterest and I joined in early October.  Then I told my students about it and suggested some ways that they could use it for classes (it's not uncommon for me to share technologies with my classes, and vice versa).  I also suggested that it would be a good organizational tool for inspirational images and for any furniture or accessory information that they collect for projects.

How are you incorporating Pinterest into your instruction?

So far I've used Pinterest as a suggested technology to support the class projects.  I haven’t required that my students use it.  My expectations are such that I intend to learn from the students as much as they learn from me  (I am a self identified “Digital Immigrant”).

What's the most surprising or helpful thing about using Pinterest in your instruction?

What has had the biggest “wow” moment for me has been to see how effective it is for group projects.  That the team can work collaboratively and “like” or “dislike” pieces and then share the images which has been very effective.  They all have on demand access to it, so I don’t hear, “Well, Suzy has it on her hard drive and I don’t know where she got it”.  The student who is working on specific areas can post images, and classmates who are working on the drawings can go to the websites and get dimensions, etc.

Here's a screen shot of what some of my students (Emily and Claire)  have been pinning for a recent project:

Tara: Thanks for sharing this with us and for giving us a peek inside your classroom. It looks like your students are using Pinterest in a really practical way, and I'll bet the visual (and convenient) aspect of the platform is making it more exciting for them as well.

We'd love to keep this conversation going -- tell us, what are some of the interesting ways you're using Pinterest? What's the most exciting aspect of the tool for you?


  • Christina in Cleveland Says:

    Love the new faux fur wolf caps. That being said, might want to wear them with caution in some parts of the country considering they are aerial shooting wolves. :(

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