Pinterest BoardI’ve spent the day investigating ‘Pinterest‘ – a virtual pinboard that “lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web”. I was a bit worried about how this would fit with the other ‘collating’ services I use – Google Reader, Google+ and Diigo, but Pinterest only collects images and videos, not whole web-pages. Apparently it’s particularly popular amongst us girls – I can see why as there are lots of boards containing fashion, stuff for the home, etc.. (I’m very tempted to create my own boards for these). However, today I’ve stayed focused, choosing to follow boards containing design, technology and education.

I must admit, at first glance there didn’t seem to be much of interest for HE educators but, having installed the ‘Pin It’ button on my toolbar, I was able to pin my own findings. My first was a YouTube video illustrating Live Augmented Reality in London, created by National Geographic. I’ve had this item ‘liked’ by 8 people at the time of writing (this means it hasn’t been put on a board but is stored on their profile page) and 1 ‘repin’ – pinned on someone else’s board.

Having had a play, I think Pinterest could be engaging for educational activity; I can see boards being compiled for research/’inspiration’ and also for tutorials, eg, a collection of videos demonstrating different Photoshop tools. You could even use it as a platform for video podcasts with visual diagrams alongside! You can collaborate on boards with others – brainstorming a design or presentation. Check out Eric Sheninger’s blog for more ideas and these 5 (practical) ways for students by Sarah Fudin.

Pinterest would also be a great way to showcase your e-portfolio although self-promotion is discouraged in their ‘Pin Etiquette’ guide. Having said this, there are a few blog posts excited about it’s potential for marketing brands so it will be interesting to see where this goes. BUT, it has recently received bad press in regard to copyrights being breached and all liability resting with the user (Kirsten, DDK Portraits, posted 24th February 2012).

Pinterest is easy, fun and could be an engaging educational tool …but, sadly, this needs to be cleared up ASAP. It’s probably fine if you’re mindful of what you’re pinning …but why take the risk when there are much easier ways of collating content?

(I’m covered via fair ‘non profit educational’ use’, yeah?)