You may have heard of the new social media tool Pinterest. For those of you wondering how the tool works, users ‘pin’ interesting images/videos to ‘boards’. These boards are broken up into categories, and users can have several boards. The boards can be set up so that others can contribute, thus making collaborative work possible.
Users can find ‘pins’ they like by searching the categories, such as ‘Art’, ‘Education’ & ‘Sports’ as well as many more. The dashboard also displays a variety of pins from other users that you follow. Because Pinterest is essentially an image based social bookmarking tool it can be a great resource for interesting, valuable and useful user shared content. As with any social media tool there is a vast array of content, and it is about filtering out what is useful.
Some of the downsides to the tool is it can be difficult to filter out what is useful, and the dashboard has been criticised as an overwhelming clutter of images (or ‘pins’). It also forces users to connect with either Facebook or Twitter, although these links can be altered in the settings once you have created an account.
There are certainly many possibilities with this tool; it is simply a case of matching it to the requirement of a certain learning need. Whether it is using it for collaborative work, encourage students to create a board of pins related to a topic area (particularly relevant for visual based course), or encouraging students to use the comment option to comment on each other pins in order to build discuss.