HELP! I’m On Pinterest and I Can’t Get Off!

            Do you wish you had one special place to organize all of your career and personal interests? Then Pinterest is the place for you! In this BYOD, learn how to navigate and organize your own account. Pinterest is an ideal resource and organizational tool for teachers. This virtual pinboard is full of pictures, videos, lesson plans, website links, and so much more. Images that are "pinned" lead back to the original website, which provides instructions, printables, and usually, inspiration! People use Pinterest to collect, share, learn, create, and organize ideas about everything: travel, recipes, crafts, special events, exercise, Do-It-Yourself projects, fashion, music, and the list goes on and on. Beware . . . it can be addicting!

*What is Pinterest?

You can read and watch a description from Pinterest

Some call Pinterest a virtual pinboard — a place where you can create collections of things you love and "follow" collections created by people with great taste.
People use Pinterest to collect and share all sorts of things -- wedding inspiration, favorite T-shirts, DJ equipment. You name it, people are pinning it.

*How do I get started on Pinterest?

Go to and create an account with a current email address and password
Create a display name, add your age and gender
Choose some interests from the general categories to start your home page feed
Add the Pin It button to your browser
Now you can pin info you like from websites or repin items from your Pinterest home feed

*How do I navigate Pinterest?

If you are logged into Pinterest, hit the red P icon on the left side of your screen to go to your Pinterest home.  Just like going to your home page on Facebook or Twitter, this will show you your feed. Here you will see all of the recent pins of the people you follow.
Click on the home page drop down menu, to the right of the search box and you will see a Popular link. This will show you what is hot on Pinterest at the moment based on comments and repins.
Under that is the link to Everything. This brings up the feed for everything!  The most recent pins from everyone on Pinterest are featured in this feed.
There is the Gifts link which features pins grouped into price ranges. 
*Tip for getting started on Pinterest - before you set up your first board and before you pin a single thing, click on the Everything feed and spend some time looking around. This will help you see what kinds of things people are pinning, what kinds of boards others have created, and give you a general feel for what Pinterest is all about.

*How do I pin something to Pinterest?

Use the Pin It icon .  NOTE: Many Internet Explorer users report that it is difficult to use the Pin It in Explorer. Unfortunately, there are not any good solutions for you other than to try Firefox or Google Chrome. 

*What should I pin on Pinterest?

Think of your Pinterest boards as inspiration bulletin boards. What is it that is beautiful to you? What do you dream of teaching, having, seeing, doing, hearing, reading, and wearing? What is it that you want to remember and come back to? Pinterest is all of the best inspiration bulletin boards combined with all of the best social bookmarking.

*Who should I follow on Pinterest?  How do I unfollow a board on Pinterest?

When you begin, Pinterest will help you find friends using your email, Twitter, or Facebook.  Pinterest will then make suggestions for you and display those suggestions on your home page. You have the choice to follow all of someone's boards or follow individual boards they have created. If you follow all that means that you will follow every board they have at present and all future boards they will create.
Unfollowing a board is simple. For example, quite a few people have boards related to celebrities. If that is not really your thing, just click on that board from your feed, click the Unfollow button on the top right-hand corner of that board, and it is gone!
* For every pin, there is a space for a description. You can keep a comment short and sweet or you can provide a full description of the pin or a brief explanation of why you are pinning it (like "this would be perfect for Sue’s luau party"). Note that when repinning, the description from the person who pinned it before you appears in that space by default.
* "Like" is a wonderful and helpful feature on Pinterest. If you come across something that you like but don't necessarily want/need to pin, you can simply Like it. This won't show up in the feed, but you can click on Likes from your profile to see a list of everything you have Liked on Pinterest.  You can use like when you want to review something in depth before pinning it.  You can even use like for everything you want to pin and then go back and sort the pins later.
* To tag another Pinterest user when you pin something, use @ just like on Twitter or Facebook.
* Pinterest has apps! You can use it for skimming your feed during downtime or snap a picture and pin-on-the-go.
*Can Pinterest really be addictive?  J
As with all good things, it's a good idea to set up some boundaries if you are prone to losing track of time!  You could decide on a time that works for you and you could set a timer to keep track of it. 
Pinterest FAQs:

Is it rude not to change a pin's description when you repin?

No, in fact it seems most people do not edit the description when repinning. There is nothing rude about this at all.  J

What are group boards? Why would you create a group board on Pinterest?

Inviting other people to contribute to a board you have created is an easy way to collaborate on an event or project with others. Pinterest boards can be useful for lesson and theme planning for school, menus for parties, décor for reunions, etc. Book clubs can have a collaborative board where people pin future book club selection ideas. Anything where more than one person contributes ideas to a project could be easily organized on Pinterest.


Pinterest Pro Tips:

*When you click on the best and most helpful pins (click on the picture itself), it takes you directly to the original source.
When you create an original pin from a website (Pinterest can only pick up images - not text!), MAKE SURE that the address in your browser's address bar will direct other pinners to that exact spot.  If not, pinners will find this extremely frustrating and so will you.
*Be thoughtful when naming your boards.
Not every single board has to have a catchy or interesting board title, but who are you more likely to follow?
If you are wondering, "How do I get more followers on Pinterest?"  BE INTERESTING! Start with your board names and go from there.
*You can contribute to the Pinterest community with original pins rather than relying solely on repinning.
As you become familiar with Pinterest, you will see a LOT of the same pins coming up again and again in your feed. The most interesting pinners are the ones who constantly bring new material into the community to share with others. Pinterest is partly about you, but it's also partly about the community as a whole. You can help to keep it fresh!
When you highlight text on a webpage and then hit "pin it," it copies your highlighted text into the pin description field. J

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