One of the reasons social media is so disruptive to higher education is that it can serve so many purposes. Students can use it to do research, professors can use it to communicate — and everyone can use it to procrastinate. Regardless of whether you think social media is an inspiration or an interruption, it’s an issue that deserves to be addressed in your classroom.
In 2012, Pinterest emerged as one of the hottest new social networks. It adds a visual element that other sites currently lack, and it quickly grabbed the attention of artists, photographers, the DIY community and, of course, marketers. Pinterest contains all of the same distracting elements of other social networks, but it is the first site to offer a really innovative way to organize visual snippets from around the web.
Students are on board, and, increasingly, universities are using Pinterest to showcase everything from tailgating to dorm-room decorations. Professors have held out, probably for fear of introducing another distraction into the classroom. However, as the infographic below outlines, there are productive ways to incorporate Pinterest into your curriculum if you are so inclined. Some professors are gathering ideas for lesson plans, while others are showcasing students’ work. Take a look and let us know if you have found ways to make Pinterest valuable for your students.