Pinterest Professional Development


Pinterest is a social network more synonymous with fashion, shopping and cooking than education and training. But with boards and pins now branching off in every direction, the professional value of the network should certainly not be underrated. The visual nature of Pinterest means that content is presented in a much more attractive and engaging way, which can be of real value if you struggle to involve staff in new ideas or if there is a reluctance to embrace technology.

PinterestName: Pinterest –
Pricing: Free
Access: Email/Facebook signup
Privacy: Customizable (privacy policy)


A Quick Look

If you have not had  chance to play around on Pinterest, it’s well worth investing a little time in. With a vibrant and passionate community of ‘pinners’ it can be a delightfully fun way to discover new ideas.


In Practice

1. Private school PD collection

Pinterest is relatively unique in that you can create private spaces called ‘secret boards‘ for sharing pins with only the people you invite. This means that secret boards can be the perfect place for your teams to store, share and archive PD resources. With apps for iPhone, iPad, Android and web, it also means these resources are available anywhere at anytime.

2. Learn from the best

While Pinterest is renowned for the sharing of shoes and engagement rings, there is actually a very healthy and helpful community of educators sharing the best of the web on their pinboards. Try checking out Erin Klein, Edutopia, Debbie Clement and Miss Kindergarten to get started pinning and repinning with the best of them.

3. Share accomplishments

What do you do at home when your children score an A on a test or get a reward in class? You stick it up on the fridge! Try using Pinterest as your class or school digital fridge, and start posting your achievements there. This can be as public or private at you want and some schools are even using Pinterest as a communication replacement for blogs and newsletters.

4. Recommended reading

One idea that book clubs and literary enthusiasts have taken advantage of on Pinterest is using boards to share their favorite reads. Try setting up a Pinterest board to share your reading list and get recommendations from colleagues. This can be an easy first step if some of your team are hesitant about pinning.

5. Open it up to the community

This may be a bit of a gamble for some schools, but it can promote a sense of openness and collaboration within the school community. Create a board where parents and students can pin their ideas and links for developing learning. Pins can be ranked by their re-pin popularity, helping define the school direction together while also promoting ownership through the entire community.


Links and Next Steps


Feature image courtesy of Flickr, eflon.


  1. PERFECT TIMING: thanks for this! I just posted something at Google+ about the benefits of interweaving Pinterest into my daily teaching routine and, even better, I have some students who are already serious Pinterest enthusiasts! So, now I need to take some notes here and share this article around. Thank you!

    By the way, my favorite thing about Pinterest is the way the network presents itself to you: when you pin something, and it shows you other boards with that pin, I find REALLY good stuff that way, much better than the “recommendations” I get at Google+ and Twitter. Shared pins is a very reliable way to connect up with other boards, at least for me and the kinds of things I do with pinning.

    Here’s my Pinterest experiment in my classes this semester, based on student enthusiasm for a kind of Pinterest pilot we did last year:

    This weekend is when that experiment really gets started; I am hoping good things!

    1. Oooooh Laura! Love that tip! Yes, the “also on these boards” discovery is a brilliant way to explore like-minded pinners.

      Thanks for the link too and hope your experiment knocks the ‘pins’ off them :)

  2. In my PA district, the art teachers use Pinterest to collaborate and teach. Some teachers allow parents and students to follow their pin boards. My only caution is that the students have to be over 13 (?) years old to create a Pinterest account, as I believe it says in the Terms of Service. Teaching middle school art, my wish is that someday Pinterest will develop an educational app that would be ‘safe’ for younger users! It is such a valuable resource!

    1. Thanks for the comment @artmonty. That’s a very valid point regarding age restrictions and it wouldn’t be beyond Pinterest to develop or tweak a kind of walled garden for students. Nice idea… Perhaps a well times tweet to @Pinterest could get the ball rolling :)

    1. Ahhh… Pinterest Insomnia Complex or PIC as it is commonly known :)

      Thanks for the article link Belinda. Completely understand your line about Pinterest being the visual bookmarking tool you had been looking for. I remember listening to one teacher describe her dream bookmark sharing tool and wishing there was something out there. Essentially she had described Pinterest to a tee! Her whole team now use Pins and boards to share their ideas…. It really is very cool!

  3. I teach technology to pre-service teacher in the College of Education at Kansas State University. Here is a link to my EDUCATION Pinterest site.
    I require all my Pre-service teachers to use Pinterest, it has really had a positive impact in teaching to the keep track of their resource and things to help them in their future.
    I do wish I could just have my Pin It button in Safari on my iPad, rather than always naive to switch to the app.

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