I’ve been distracted the last couple of days by a new endeavor. I decided to act on my idea from my Top Ten Random Things post from Monday night and create collaborative boards on Pinterest for users of Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding (BFSU) by Dr. Bernard Nebel to share resources they have found with one another.
BFSU is a great science curriculum in many ways. It is flexible, thorough and teaches real scientific thinking/understanding – not just memorizing random facts or vocabulary. On the other hand, it is definitely not an “open and go” sort of program. It takes teacher prep time to absorb Dr. Nebel’s material and decide how to present it. Plus there is the time involved to set up demonstrations/experiments and find any other resources needed — pictures, videos, printables, etc.
I had a brilliant idea over the weekend (in my humble opinion). ;-) I thought to myself, why not harness the power of Pinterest to help users save time and easily share the resources they have found or created?
So earlier this week I created 5 collaborative Pinterest boards on my Pinterest profile — One for each “thread” plus a general board for resources that relate to all or multiple threads. (Look to the second row of boards to see the BFSU boards).
I’ve been spending a bit of time this week promoting the new boards among BFSU users, answering questions and adding both new pins and collaborators to the boards. But hopefully once the boards are up and running they won’t take much of my time — ideally they will save time as Tony and I plan our science lessons.
Here are a few “Frequently Asked Questions” about the BFSU Pinterest boards:
What is Pinterest anyway? And what is “pinning”?
Pinterest is essentially a “visual bookmarking” website. You can “pin” a picture with a description of a web page. You can then organize those “pins” onto various “boards” (imagine like a virtual bulletin board) organized by topic or how ever you want to organize it. Then people who choose to “follow” you (or any one searching through the site) can see your boards and your pins. You can either pin something you find while searching the web or you can “repin” things that other people have already pinned (this just creates a copy of the “bookmark” for your boards/pinterest page). I love being able to glance through pictures from various things I have pinned (desserts from my dessert board, kids craft ideas, homeschool ideas, etc) and quickly find something I’m looking for.
Where do I find each of your specific boards for BFSU:
- BFSU General Resources
- BFSU Thread A Resources
- BFSU Thread B Resources
- BFSU Thread C Resources
- BFSU Thread D Resources
Will I find this useful if I use a science curriculum other than BFSU?
Yes, you will! The only thing that won’t be very useful is lesson code designation in each tag (and maybe some BFSU specific lesson plans on the General board). But otherwise, Thread A is loosely Chemistry and some Geology resources, Thread B is Life Science resources, Thread C is Physics resources and Thread D is Earth/Space science resources. The ideas and resources pinned could generally supplement any curriculum.
How can I help? How can I collaborate on your Pinterest boards?
To collaborate on the BFSU boards, you first need to be a member of Pinterest (see next question if you don’t know how to do that). Next you should probably “follow” the board(s) you want to collaborate on. Then just leave a comment on one of the pins or send me an email with your Pinterest user name (kirsten @ tonyandkirsten dot org). I will invite you to be a collaborator and you will get an email from Pinterest saying you need to accept the invitation in order to be able to pin on those boards. Once you accept the invite, the BFSU boards will show up in your list of board options when you go to pin something. Don’t forget to put the lesson “code” in the text of the pin (C-7, A-3, etc) to make it easier for everyone to find resources related to a particular lesson.
If you don’t want to join Pinterest but want to contribute to the boards, feel free to email me sites/pages that you think should be pinned or if you are a member of the Well Trained Mind forums, you can leave a comment in this thread with your pin suggestions.
How do I join Pinterest? Do I have to have a Facebook account?
You need an invite to join Pinterest. You can request one on the site (not sure how long it takes to get it) or you can request one from anyone who is currently a member. Feel free to email me for an invite. You do need either a Facebook or a Twitter account to get a Pinterest account. A bit silly, I know. If you are avoiding Facebook for whatever reason (and I know a number of people do avoid it!), it is not very difficult and less invasive to sign up for a Twitter account. You can mark your Twitter profile as “private” and not add any or follow anyone, and this should be enough to get a Pinterest account.
What if I don’t want to join Pinterest? Can I still see the links that everyone Pins?
Yes, you can see the boards and pins and follow the links without joining.