Social networking site "Pinterest" enhances student learning - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Social networking site "Pinterest" enhances student learning

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WAVERLY (KWWL) -

This week, many area teachers are back in classrooms. But as any educator will tell you, student achievement is on their mind all summer.

As Waverly Shell Rock Community School District teachers explained, technology improvements are allowing them to share ideas year-round -- especially through popular social networking and sharing sites.

About a year ago, many area teachers started taking notice, or "interest", in an emerging social network.

Third grade teacher Sally Kittleson remembers, "Walking down the hall in our building, and seeing another teacher post a really cute idea that I'd never seen before. So I asked where she got it."

The answer -- Pinterest.

"Once I found it I was an addict," said second grade teacher Sharon Chesnut.

While many people use Pinterest to find recipes or plan a party, educators feel they've landed on a goldmine of information.

"I wish I had the creativity of some of the people. Just half of what they do," said third grade teacher Karen Erdhardt.

The site goes far beyond ideas for decorating the classroom.

"Sometimes it's a reading strategy idea, or classroom management," Erdhardt explained.

On Pinterest, teachers are finding innovative ways to connect with students through blog posts, project ideas, and worksheets they can then tweak to use in their classroom. And the best part about what the teachers find on the site -- it's pinned by their peers.

"Elementary teachers are really visual, so we like to see pictures of everything and see it in someone's room," said Kittleson.

"They can tell you what works, and it probably meets the standards of the common core that many of us are required to use," added Chesnut.

The teachers realize the ideas have probably been out there for years -- it's only now they can find them all in one place. It makes them wonder what more they'll be able to find, and "pin", in the future.

"I think it's only beginning. It's just going to be the wave of the future," said Erdhardt.

Another site the educators frequent is called Teachers Pay Teachers. It's similar to Etsy or Ebay -- teachers sell projects they've created in their classroom for a small fee. The Waverly Shell Rock educators say, it's now one of the first places they look for curriculum ideas.

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