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How Pinterest is changing your child's education

Maureen used to be obsessed with baseball -- and then she had children. After she welcomed her son, Charlie, and his extra chromosome, she discovered her passion for writing about Down syndrome and disability-related issues.

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You know those hours you've lost, poring over projects, crafts and recipes on Pinterest you know in your heart you'll never make? Good news! Your kids' teachers are right there with you — but their return-on-(time)-investment involves enhancing your child's education.

Teaching teens

Tracee Orman has been in a room with teenagers for 16 years. That's right — 16 years spent teaching English to grades nine through 12.

"Teaching isn't quite as 'hard' on days that we use social media in class," Orman says. "Using sites like Pinterest with students lets them know you are trying your best to relate and connect with them. They will do practically anything in class if it means they can use a social media site. Learning becomes 'fun' again."

Orman cites the ease with which she can point students to resources just by pinning to one of her boards. "It’s such an easy way to share ideas and suggestions with them," she says.

Orman's Pinterest projects

Grammar police

"One project I do with students is pinning real-world grammar errors, then having students correct the errors," Orman explains. "Many students started their own boards and shared them with the class."

Novel ideas

To help students prepare for a robust classroom discussion, Orman has them create Pinterest boards for characters and chapters from a novel. "[Students] can create a book board and pin images that would represent each chapter after reading it," Orman explains. "Or create a character pin board and use Pinterest as the character, pinning images that character might pin." Orman says students have more room on Pinterest to explain why they pinned each image, vs. sharing on Instagram or Twitter.

Favorite boards for high school classes

1:1 Technology board

"My students have laptops, so I pin lots of websites and apps they can use," Orman shares.

Classroom humor

"Everyone needs a good laugh!"

Young adult literature

"[This includes] book suggestions, reviews and anything related to YA lit."

Still on the fence? "Try it out and see what works with your students," Orman advises. "Start with sharing some pins and asking students to share with you. Then you can expand to assigning students to create boards for different subjects or units. Let their behavior/interest steer you, and be flexible."

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