I would consider myself to be a heavy user of social media maybe even excessive at times. I have written a blog post about using it as a PD (professional development) tool and presented on the topic of connected educators. I actively use Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn. I used Google Reader, now Feedly (a post for a different day) to keep track of blogs I follow. I use a variety of different apps, Zite, FlipBoard, Feedly, Pocket, WordPress, Evernote, HootSuite, and Summly to keep track of my content.
Notice I didn’t mention Pinterest? Pinterest just didn’t seem to fit into my workflow. I didn’t understand at all how I could jam one more social network into a very busy, sometimes messy flow of information. Colleague, Amy Oliveri, a member of my PLN (Personal Learning Network) and high end social media user has been bugging me for at least a year to start using Pinterest. I just didn’t get it. How do pictures of somebody else’s stuff help me? I was somewhat hesitant given the concerns related to image copyright. I want to be an example of appropriate use of copyright and the web (another post for a different day).
Finally, something clicked. Amy and I manage social media for Allendale Columbia School and she sent me a post from Brendan Scheinder’s blog about using Pinterest as virtual viewbook. Amy insisted that we start doing this and she would manage the entire page (click here to see what she has done so far). So, I decided to give Pinterest another look for professional use. I had to be missing something.
I now understand how Pinterest fits in my workflow. I have started using Pinterest as a place to store important information. I don’t use Delicious anymore. I “pin” everything I want to keep, articles, blog posts, inforgaphics, TED Talks, education sites…I keep adding boards as new ideas pop into my head. It’s also an amazing place to find information. There is so much information available from top resources like Edudemic, Edutopia, Richard Byrne, Eric Sheninger…there are too many to list. Unlike Twitter, Pinterest is easy to browse and search. Everything displays in a nice organized format.
As with all social media, you can’t force it on people. I remember back when I first realized how powerful Twitter could be as PD tool, and how wrong I was about it’s use. Pinterest too has it’s place in your PLN.