With the myriad of social media tools, teachers must be very careful with the one(s) that they invest themselves in, and especially what they ask their students to invest in as well. This past week Diigo was hacked and its services were down. Many of us are already using Diigo, and I’ve been using it for over two years to help me develop a class list of articles, information, maps, and primary documents (i.e. an online classroom textbook). When Diigo went down, I thought about how much my course, my students and my pedagogy would be impacted. It turns out it would have been a lot. Fortunately, I had done my research in advance, and I knew that Diigo had a critical mass that would mean it was (for lack of a better term) “too big to fail.” It was restored within two days, and all is well in History again!
However, as we move forward with examining social media tools, Diigo is a cautionary tale for us. Read more about it HERE, and you’ll see that even Diigo realized its own faults, but also its importance as a tool used throughout business, personal and educational realms. This type of self-awareness (as a teacher, student, and professional) is important as we move forward an adopt to new tools.
One of the new tools that is being adopted into the educational realm in Pinterest. It is an image-based, content sharing website that can be used to share information, collect and organize information, and even distribute or push information out. I have just begun to use it in our current unit, studying the power of narrative and images in History. I’ve used it to allow students to connect to historical images of their own neighbourhoods throughout Toronto, and to get them excited about, dare I say it, our visit to the Toronto Archives. It was a huge success, in part because they ‘spoke the language’ of Pinterest already, and navigating it, using it and exploring it was not an issue.
To see if Pinterest is right for you, here is a great article on its uses in education, as well as some fantastic links to help you get Pinterest started in your own pedagogy. Just remember the cautionary tale about Diigo…
All images from http://www.ohsopinteresting.com/is-pinterest-a-teachers-new-best-friend-in-the-classroom/