Working with Pinterest

lawschoolpinteresttizedPinterest has not been in my social media inventory until now. So in this post, I am approaching it as an interested newbie. I’ve posted some brief comments about this at PleagleTrainer Blog, and expand on those comments here.

When we set up S|M| i |L|E, with the purpose of engaging with and supporting social media in legal education, we discussed how Pinterest should be included. None of us, however, had really used the platform in our legal education work. We are keeping an eye open for relevant resources, so if you know of any, please share with us!

I decided I would set up my Pinterest account and start using it, to learn more about it. Setting up is fairly easy, and you can link to your existing Twitter or Facebook account, if you choose. I also installed the “Pin it” bookmarklet in my browser, to expedite “pinning” of web content to my “boards”. The initial setup plus pinning some of my online materials took less than an hour.

So, yes, it is virtual pin board, which you can organise top-specific boards. You have the option of looking at all your pins at once (pretty!), or focus on a topic specific board. You can add individual “pins” to a board. Pins can be files from your computer (pictures usually) or web addresses for web pages,  audio visual streams, tweets, blog posts, etc. Pins and boards can be shared, or set up as private (“secret”).

I am particularly interested in how Pinterest could be used for research (my research involves scholarship of teaching and learning in legal education). This useful post by the Social Media Collective Research blog provides tips on “how to use it”,  “what you get”, and “why we like it”.

For an account of using Pinterest as a teaching and learning tool in higher education, see Kirsten Hansen, Gillian Nowlan and Christina Winter, ‘Pinterest as a tool: Applications in academic libraries and higher education’ (2012) 7(2) Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research.

When I searched for scholarly articles about using Pinterest in education, I noticed several articles appeared in the academic libraries literature. If you are thinking about using Pinterest as part of your legal education work, it might be prudent to discuss this with your liaison librarian, they are likely able to quickly tap into available resources.

I envisage that Pinterest could be used in legal education in multiple ways – academic/teacher profiles, subject-specific class projects, student small group work, specific legal issues, workshop/tutorial brain-storming activities, documenting field trips, etc.

As with any technology in education, it needs to be robust, accessible, cross-platform friendly, a modest learning curve to get started, and be capable of being shared into other formats. Pinterest tends to the mostly visual, so consideration needs to given to sight-impaired participants.

It would be good to have some accounts from legal educators about their experiences in using Pinterest.

About kristoffergreaves

Professional practice research and education. PhD and Australian lawyer. Legal education and practical legal training curricula and pedagogies.
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