Thursday, April 9, 2015

Change Up Your Organization Style with Pinterest

I am always on the lookout for new ways to teach difficult scientific concepts to non-majors, but I struggle to keep track of the great active learning ideas I find on the web.  My browser favorites and bookmarks get messy and the titles hardly ever reflect what the original site had to offer.  I know I have lost many good ideas this way, from the lack of a system to file away the stuff I might use someday.  Then I found a user-friendly organizational tool in Pinterest.

When I first heard of "pinning", I thought it was only good for recipes and vacation ideas, and maybe the occasional home improvement project.  I was worried that I might end up wasting more time in front of my screen, but so many friends recommended the site that I finally created a free account.

I was surprised to find out how many people use the site for education.  It's easy to learn and there are already collections of active learning techniques created by instructors.  I make my own "boards" (categories) like the one shown above for Biology Activities, and I use them to organize all of the "someday" stuff I stumble across here and there.  Because the pins are visual representations of the ideas, it's easy for me to remember what I liked about the page.  As a bonus, Pinterest sends me suggestions from other boards containing related content.

If you want an introduction to the concept of pinning, click on the video for a quick tutorial.

Yes, Pinterest has the potential to be a time sink, but at the end of my web surfing at least I have a useful product.  Here are some other educational boards I found to give a taste of what the site has to offer:

ESOL for Adults
College Algebra
Inspiration for Students

For more ideas or to learn how to use Pinterest, visit us in the CTE or email Meg Elias at