By Lynn Zimmerman
Editor, Teacher Education
After reading an article about it, I decided to sign up for a Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/) account. It is touted as a virtual bulletin board, and the article I read especially recommended it for teachers. I have been looking for a simple way to create a “swipe” file for online materials related to TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), and it looks like Pinterest may be what I was looking for.
Setting up a free account on this social networking site is quick and easy. Then you can create boards to organize items you “pin.” These items are web pages that must have graphics on them. I created a board called “TESOL” on which I am pinning related links. I have pinned some websites that I found by searching the Pinterest site using the search terms “esl” and “tesol.”
Since you can also add a “Pin It” button to your favorites bar in Internet Explorer, you can pin sites that you run across yourself. In turn, these can also be re-pinned by others who see them on your board. Editing the board and editing your pins, deleting, renaming, etc. are simple and easy to do. Time will tell if this site continues to serve my needs, but for now, I am satisfied that it is easier to manage than my desktop folder where I stored articles and information from websites.
I intend to share Pinterest with my students so they can add it to their teaching toolbox along with some other free sites that I think teachers would find useful. For example, I have found electronic post-its that can be downloaded to your desktop. Another useful tool for teachers is Penzu (http://penzu.com/), a free online journal/diary application that is fairly easy to use.
Has anyone else found quick and easy sites that meet a specific need and/or that teachers and students could use?
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