Pinterest for consuming, curating, producing

By Anne Collier

I love seeing the clear distinction being made by this teacher between consuming vs. producing social media – and the learning value being placed on the producing. Seems obvious, I know, but I still see peers – including media researchers – referring to today’s media as merely consumed.

“As I looked into using Pinterest as an educator tool,” writes educator Lisa Nielsen, “I found that most people I asked were using it more as a consumption or curation tool.” Curation is great – that’s an important way to learn media literacy (basically, figuring out what’s viable and useful, based on one’s interests and goals) – but, as we learn from the research in Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out, there’s a great deal to be learned in producing social media as well. It’s a progression that many users go through, as the title of the book suggests, from casual interaction to the trial and error of “messing around” with interests, ideas, and media to serious “geeking out” – developing a professional-level proficiency in or with media, in any craft, art, science, or profession. [Of course Pinterest is only one example of the many social media tools that can be used for curating and producing as well as consuming and socializing, including Twitter and Tumblr and mobile apps such as Intagram and Vine.]

Lisa likes that Pinterest, known as a social-scrapbooking tool (see this) can be used on any device. She lists five ways it can be used for education-related producing and sharing, though these seem geared for school-wide more than classroom use, but certainly classes can post everybody’s science fair project and teachers and students can post visual, annotated book lists. Teachers, students, parents, and grandparents can come up with lots more creative ways to use Pinterest for learning.

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