Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pining about Pintrest

Okay, I'll be the first to admit I have a need to get my Pintrest fix every now and then. I love getting new ideas for decorating, recipes, and organizing home and office. What a great way for people to share the amazing ideas they come up with. I've recently seen several Elf on a Shelf pins (most of which are appropriate for those with small children).

So...what's my beef with Pinterest in education? Again, it's a great way to share ideas, see things in a new light. It's really not so much the idea of Pintrest itself. Suggestions from Educational Technology and Mobile Learning offer suggestions on how to link ideas and videos for students and teachers alike as well as book recommendations, printable games, and lesson plans for teachers to use in their classroom. While sharing is something that can and should be done, what often gets missed is the collaboration behind the sharing. When teachers pull an idea off of Pintrest to use with students, the appeal is often that it looked like a neat idea, the materials were appealing, and it was easy to pull an idea into the classroom. What is lacking in these instances are the following questions:

How will this particular activity/lesson benefit my students?
How will this activity fit in with the rest of our curriculum?
How will I know that students have benefited from this activity?

While technology is a great way to save time a pool resources, teaching is hard work! The ease of the internet and its amazing tools will never replace the thinking that goes behind great teaching. So teachers, pin away. Share your amazing ideas. But always keep at the center of your work what is benefiting your students' learning.

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