The Internet has so many fabulous applications that can be used for teaching kids about science that it can be difficult to keep up with new developments. One of the latest applications to be added to the online repertoire of teaching tools is called Pinterest.com. (you need to ask for an invite when you get to the site in order to participate). This application is basically a digital pinboard. What this means is that you can pin pictures, movies and text notes onto a digital background and allow people to view it, comment upon it and even add to it.
As a teaching tool this online application has a lot of potential. To start with it can be used as a tool for keeping students up-to-date with science lesson plans. Each day’s lesson plan can be pinned to a board so that students that were absent can get all the information they need to make up the work that they missed, and so that all students can check out supplemental material to help them study for exams or to help them complete assignments.
Another option that you can use this online application for is to demonstrate specific science concepts. For example, you can set up a pinboard for a science lab. The pin board can include a text block that provides the instructions and background information for the lab, a video that demonstrates the experiment and a comment section where students can post questions and results.
A fun application of Pinterest.com is to use it to collect data for a science fair project. In this application the student will set up the Pinterest board for their project. It will be just like a digital version of their physical display board. The student can pin a text block with questions that they are trying to answer, or they can pin a text block that requests specific type of data such as temperature readings from around the world on a certain date. The student can also include a video message to their classmates or a video of their experiment. They can then include a message box where data can be submitted, questions can be asked and suggestions can be made.