No matter how hard you work on it, communication seems to be the Achilles heel of every organization and this is why Im’ writing about the 5 Best Tips for Using Pinterest in the Classroom.. As a school we have always posted information in the local paper, read it aloud on the announcements, sent it home with students, flashed it on the marquee out in front of the school and with technology we have a whole new set of tools.
We can post on our webpage, send out a robo-call and a robo-text, update our school Facebook Page and tweet it out every hour for those connected to Twitter.
And yet, we still have people who aren’t getting the information they need or who can’t attend an event that is important because of work schedules, childcare or transportation.
Enter Pinterest. Hooray for another tool we can use to reach our families.
So, here are My 5 best tips for using Pinterest in the classroom.
- Pin your Policies.
The first of the 5 best tips for using Pinterest in the classroom is to create a board for your classroom or school and pin items relating to homework policies, calendars, attendance, anything you need for parents to know. Having all of this information for families on a site they are already visiting weekly, if not daily, helps them keep this information at their fingertips. You can simply pin the pages from your school website and drive traffic there, too.
- Pin for College and Career
Create boards that assist parents with financial aid, FAFSA links, trustworthy scholarship sites and due dates for locally offered scholarships. Pin the College Board site, Sites for SAT & ACT testing dates, have a board for your state and community colleges. Pin relevant articles about career paths, needed trades & job opportunities as the second of the 5 best tips for using Pinterest in the classroom. The college and career process can be daunting, intimidating and confusing. Have boards for anything parents may need. Some don’t know what questions to ask you and that flood of information schools give at the “Financial Aid Info Meeting” can be overwhelming.
- Pin for Digital Information
The third of the 5 best tips for using Pinterest in the classroom is regarding your families and whether they have the ability to log in and check out their child’s grades. Pin the links & the “how to” info here. Have concerns about cyber bullying? Social media use? This is a great place to have information from sites like CommonSense.org that can provide real resources to the parents of children of any age. Add a board for crafting a responsible digital footprint. Do you have a BYOT or 1:1 program? Pin your Acceptable Use Policy, Insurance agreements, describe the program so new students can learn about it before they come to your school.
- Pin for an Inside Look
Create boards that have videos and photos of all of your events. So many parents work evenings or on Saturday mornings and have to miss those choir performances, class plays, and student presentations. Pinning them means they can watch the videos with their child and even send grandparents, aunts and uncles to the site to view them as well. This is another great one of the 5 best tips for using Pinterest in the classroom. You don’t even have to wait for special events, parents enjoy seeing students hard at work being creative, playing at recess and just going about your day. Be sure you have parent permission and appropriate media release before putting up images of the students.
- Pin for Learning
The final of the 5 best tips for using Pinterest in the classroom involves linking to the great community resources you have available to students, the YMCA, the Children’s Museum, Zoos, local craft stores , parks, events that would be fun for families. You can also pin links for homework help, creative websites, apps that are fun and engaging for students. Pin links to articles that explain project based learning or any other terms your families may not be familiar with.
It is our responsibility to communicate, and communicate well with families, using any and every tool in our tool box and these 5 best tips for using Pinterest in the classroom will help. I’m happy to have one more that reaches out to bring families in to our schools! I pin for education every day, resources for teachers, families and schools on 23 different as New Tech Network. Follow them! Happy Pinning.
Theresa Shafer, Online Community Manager for New Tech Network. She moderates #PBLChat each week on Twitter. Tweets as @TheresaShafer and for @NewTechNetwork. Theresa was awarded HECC Technology Coordinator of the Year in 2009.