Thursday, 10 May 2012

Everybody loves Pinterest!

is probably the most popular social media platform today.

I have to say I was quite reluctant to try it at the beginning (not more online social networking for me please, I don't have time for it!), but then I discovered it's good fun to collect and share pictures while your worries and pending matters seem to gently drift away (I mean, seriously, who can resist Johnny Depp's smile or the view of a beach of golden sand in the Pacific and feel any kind of discomfort at all?).

So yes, I fell in love with yet another social media platform, but my question remained: "how can I make this relevant to ELT?"

This is what I'm using Pinterest for:

For my own professional development
  •  I got to meet some very interesting educators and at the same time reinforce my relationship with my PLN from Twitter and Facebook. A couple of examples: The Classroom from the wonderful Carla Arena and Language and Teaching from the always inspiring Shelly Terrell.
  • I keep updated and informed of current events, following Teacher Associations or Special Interest Groups. This is Rhona Mowat's board on #IATEFL.

To work with my students
  • I created a board to publish the set readings for a seminar I'm preparing on Literature and Pragmatics. I loved the result! It's visually appealing and you can include as many details as you want in the comments section below the picture.
  • After working on motivation with a group of adults, we did a web search and pinned some posters and motivational phrases and a couple of students suggested some reading material on the topic. You can have a look at it here. This was our first attempt, I think the class was a huge success! After this, they created and started curating their own boards on topics we work on in class. 

  • Finally, and most important, I found that the real beauty of using Pinterest in the ELT classroom is that students have real, genuine interaction in English by commenting on other people's boards, reading comments and titles and looking for content relevant to their needs and interests!

So... enjoy your pinning!