Sometimes it takes me a while to figure out a Web 2.0 Tool. I consider myself fortunate to learn from so many people on Twitter. Yet, there are times I feel flooded with new tools to try. When learning new things, it takes a while to feel comfortable using the new tool and figuring out what capacity it can play in my life and the lives of teachers and students I have the privilege to work with each day.
Lately so many people have mentioned how much they like Pinterest. I knew there must be more to the site’s concept than I was seeing at first glance. Before resigning to be a Pinterest dropout, I vowed to give it one more try. Now I am hooked.
As an Instructional Coach, I am always looking for real life examples of the coaching process. Reflecting on how we use coaches in a natural state, guides my own practice as an instructional coach. What was different with my Pinterest trial this time? I enlisted the help of a friend, a Pinterest Coach so to speak!
I had admired her Pinterest Boards for a long time. Some educational, some personal. I could see the utility in the website, if only I could just become more proficient in using it. I sought out her assistance this morning via Facebook. Our coaching session was short. I asked a few questions and she guided my newfound understanding. She provided me with one essential element that I was missing before. I may have eventually found this feature without her coaching, but I got to the place I wanted to be much, much faster with her guidance. I know coaching was the key to my success!
The piece I was missing before was the PIN IT button. After I installed this in my browser’s toolbar, Pinterest was a breeze. I am a visual learner. I love how Pinterest bookmarks sites by picture, as well as the simple categorizing feature (boards). I plan to use this site as a social bookmarking site. I have started boards on Dream Job (Elementary Principal), The Daily Five, Teaching Videos, Instructional Strategies, Instructional Coaching Sites, Classroom Transformations, Blogs I Learn From, etc… All I have to do when I find a site that I find useful is click the PIN IT button, choose the picture from the site I want to use, and categorize the site to one of my boards, or create a new board. These boards can then become interactive (a piece I have yet to learn).
I am clearly in the “imitative use” stage with Pinterest. I have a long ways to go before I have “executive control” of the tool. But I finally feel like I have a working understanding of the site and its potential. I am motivated to increase my skill. This process has caused me to think back to the day I did not understand Twitter. I think I had an account for a good year or so before I realized Twitter was more than silly status updates. Like with Pinterest, I did not learn Twitter by myself. I had MANY Twitter Coaches!
The same holds true for the instructional coaching process. It is through the teacher’s own motivation that moves the coaching process along in a collaborative manner. Learning is a social process. An instructional coach can provide a second pair of eyes or a sounding board. They can ask questions to guide a teacher’s reflection. They are there to learn from and with the classroom teacher. Their own experiences may also provide another layer to the learning.
My use of a Pinterest Coach is a simple example, but one that shows the power of having a coach or guide on the side to collaborate with and increase my own learning.
A special thanks to my own Pinterest Coach @mrskmpeters!
I would love to learn more about Pinterest! How are you using it? What role does it play for you as an educator? What tips or features can you tell me about so that I learn more?