Pinterest: A Classroom Encyclopedia of Ideas

Thanks to Hamilton Southeastern High School Art Teacher Liz Clark for today’s post!

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” -Vincent Van Gogh

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 11.24.48 PMArt is about the process as well as the product. As students become more sophisticated as artists, they need to understand the importance of devoting adequate time to research, planning, and idea generation. Most students want to breeze over this step and go straight to production. After they start, most students realize that they did not spend enough time thinking through the process. Often this realization comes after they have devoted a great deal of time to an idea that does not work. How could I get my classes to spend time planning and developing an idea before committing it to materials?

I discovered a great way to help students gather and connect relevant information in order to make well informed artistic decisions. My students started using a social network called Pinterest. Pinterest is like a virtual scrapbook. It is great for organizing information and visual brainstorming. I use it to collect resources for students about a topic. In the past, I checked out books from the library with examples. Often, the examples weren’t current. Now, students can see what I want them to see and create their own boards if they choose.

There are many great ideas on Pinterest. My students spend time on the site outside of the classroom. Many of them create their own pin boards. It inspires self-directed learning.