Saturday, September 22, 2012

PLNs Can Be Very Pinterest-ing

Professional learning networks are vital to teachers. Teachers are always looking for new ideas and insights, and PLNs provide the perfect opportunity for growth. I am so fortunate to work at a school with two music teachers. Janet and I learn so much from each other and push each other to grow in ways that would not happen if we were isolated. Most schools only have one music teacher, however. Individual specials teachers can feel very lonely. Even collaborating with other music teachers in a school district can be challenging, due to scheduling and proximity. Never fear! I have discovered a huge PLN through Pinterest.

I first heard about Pinterest a year ago, when my dental hygienist was describing a way to "pin" recipes. I had no idea what she meant, but she offered to send me an invitation to join. I soon discovered that Pinterest is a virtual pinboard for ideas that you can organize into subjects of your choosing. The pins are visual representations that link to web pages. Is that confusing? Think of the pin as a bookmark with a picture.

After pinning recipes, craft ideas, home decor ideas, and more, I came across some interesting music education pins. There were music games, center ideas, lesson ideas, visuals...the list goes on and on. I started a board for my music classroom. Soon my music board was up to 100 pins. I began to notice the pinners of the pins I liked. I clicked on them and realized I could "follow" them. Now all of their pins would show up in my newsfeed. WOW! More and more cool ideas for the music room to pin on my board. I had to add  more education boards to start organizing the pins.

As I began to pin more music education ideas, I began to gain followers. I typically try to check out my new followers, because they are usually music teachers. Then I can follow them, and so on, and so on. My PLN is really starting to blossom. 

In addition, the pins are taking me to some really exciting music education blogs. I am constantly discovering more resources and learning from more people. Reading other teachers' blogs inspired me to start a blog with ideas we use at Crestline Elementary. Now I have the opportunity to learn and share with people from all over the globe. I started the blog three days ago, and the stats tell me there have already been visitors from Germany, Canada, and Burkina Faso!

You can check out my boards by clicking below. It will take you to my Pinterest page, and you can decide from there if you want to follow any of my boards.

Still aren't sure about Pinterest? Check out this article with ways educators can use it:

I encourage you to join Pinterest and be a part of a global PLN. It's very Pinteresting!

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