Pinterest in Visual Arts
Lots of teachers and students are using Pinterest in secondary schools. Pinterest has revolutionized visual art research making it easier to collate web based research and opening up new areas of inspiration. Ideas around best practice with Pinterest are emerging and how you manage it is up to you. On this page i'll discuss the issues that surround Pinterest and suggest how you might like to manage it. If you would like to know some basics about Pinterest visit the Apps page.

At the bottom of this page is a list of relevant pinner's to get you started. 
Using Pinterest in the Classroom #edtech 

Getting Started
Logging in and usernames
Many users sign up to Pinterest with their Facebook account, however in a school setting I reccomend using your school email. I also recommend giving yourself a username which includes words that your students will remember. For example my Pinterest name is "NGHS Tim Thatcher". So that students can search for me using the school name, NGHS. If for example your name is John Smith or Mr Smith students may have trouble locating you on Pinterest. 

Making Boards
Pinterest will suggest some boards for you which wont be much use for students. As we divide everything into disciplines for NCEA you may like to consider doing this for your boards. If you use Pinterest over several years you will end up with 1000's of images so you need to categorize your pins early on. I have arranged my boards as follows:
  • Painting Artist Models
  • Painting Artist Models 2
  • Sculpture Artist Model
  • Drawing Artist Models
I make a second board once it hits about a 1000 pins. If your board is more than 1000 pins it will take a long time to scroll to the bottom.

Pinterest allows you to rearrange your boards. It is worthwhile placing all of your main boards at the top of your screen so that student can easily locate them. I have 56 boards, many of which are of individual artists or for individual students. These boards are at the bottom as they may not be relevant for most students. 

Once you've made your boards you can start pinning. You can pin within Pinterest or from any other website. If you would like your students to be constantly exposed to new artists I strongly suggest you pin things from outside of Pinterest. If we all just repin things that are already within Pinterest it soon becomes very self contained. Some teachers have already mentioned that there is a Pinterest style dictated by the tastes of major pinner's. To keep things fresh try to add new things every now and then. 

Students Boards
Some teachers get all students to make boards for certain topics or tasks while others let students use it as they wish. I get my students to create specific boards for each topic i.e Logos, pairing typefaces, poster artist models etc. Some students like to put their own work up but this is a practice that is discouraged by Pinterest. It would be much safer for students to showcase their work on a blog or e-portfolio. Once something is on Pinterest it becomes Pinterest property. 

Managing Students Use
If you are a BYOD school you may find students spend their lessons pinning rather than painting. Or you may find they pin so many ideas they can't decide what to use. Students must be taught to make critical decisions when using pinterest. The first decision they must make is whether they actually need more research or whether they need to just focus on what they have already until a certain process is fully explored. I use a few key questions to check whether a student actually needs to be using Pinterest during the lesson such as "what are you looking for on Pinterest today?" or "What decisions do you need your research to help you with?". This generally focus the students use of Pinterest or prompts them to close their device and do practical work. 

In terms of editing their selection of artist models I get my students to pull out their top 5-10 images from each board and place these on a Google doc or stick them on a Realtime Board. This way students are still encouraged to make critical decisions about their research.

Good Pinners to Follow
Here's a list of some great art education pinners.

Richard Fahey
A great site for painting, ceramics and art education
NPGHS Visual Arts
Great pins mostly in 
BHS Sculpture
A good prolific sculpture board
 I Need a Guide
A good selection of arty pins
Matt Jarry
Great photography board with useful tutorials
Good drawing and painting pins
Pippa Grocott WGC
Good design pins
NGHS Tim Thatcher
I've tried to have a balance of all disciplines.