- Is your school using Pinterest?
- Do you even know what it is?
It is a photo-sharing website that allows users to put together themed collections of photos and videos called “boards” which can link back to the websites they were sourced from. You can also upload your own image galleries.
Here are some basic facts…
- Pinterest was launched in 2010 and in less than 2 years it already had nearly 12 million weekly visits.
- According to Experian Hitwise, the site became the third largest social network in the United States in March 2012, behind Facebook and Twitter.
- It is the 4th largest driver of web traffic worldwide.
What makes Pinterest particularly relevant to schools is its visual nature. Whether you’re teaching Science or History, you (or your pupils) will be able to find images that explain the ideas you’re trying to teach in a fun and engaging way.
It is overwhelmingly popular with women and more specifically mothers, who are more likely to notice your school’s post on Pinterest and view it in relation to their educational choices. They are also more likely to be using Pinterest already or at the very least be attracted to it.
Pinterest is all about the viewers visual impressions so you need to use images to tell your story or put across your messages. So how do you do this?
- Create a montage of images around your school to illustrate what life is like there. See http://pinterest.com/sewickley1838/
- Combine important stats with visual imagery (otherwise known as infographics) to explain complex topics e.g. This infographic illustrates climate change.
- Encourage pupils to create their own in themed Pinterest boards. This is particularly effective with topics such as bullying where the school as a whole can be encouraged and be seen to put across the anti-bullying message for parents, prospective parents, the community and those in the school itself. Schools have used posters (see http://pinterest.com/pin/118289927682814857/) and videos (see http://pinterest.com/pin/144185625541434303/ (primary school) and http://pinterest.com/pin/281193570454111986/ (secondary school) to put across their school’s anti-bullying message.
- Create a competition to encourage affiliation to your Pinterest site and to encourage interaction. E.g. Encourage pupils to put together a board that teaches about sustainability. The one which best explains the concept wins a prize.
- Use it as inspiration for lesson plans. Simply research a topic you’re interested in e.g. If you look up photosynthesis, you’ll find diagrams, videos and even homework plans.
Pinterest is easy to use and increasingly popular. Why not lead the way with your school and get everyone involved? Even starting off using the suggested anti-bullying campaign would be a great step forward in putting your school on the map!