Like many people, I have spent the last several weeks quietly laughing about my wife’s fascination with Pinterest. Very quickly, she has amassed a collection of photographs and web links about a host of topics ranging from recipes to DIY ideas. From a short distance, I was wondering with why we needed one more social media site.
In recent days, I’ve started to undergo a conversion of sorts. I’m not ready to spend hours “pinning” pictures on the site, but am wondering what it can be used for. Ali recently wrote on EdSocialMedia about how Pinterest could be used for schools. Resource collecting made perfect sense to me, as well as a few other uses, but I was wondering if it could be used in the classroom.

With that in mind, I’ve started a little bit of an experiment. Starting next week, I will be teaching a new unit in my 7thgrade Rabbinics class that focuses on the concept of “wrongdoing with words.” This is a pretty juicy section of the Mishnah (Bava Metzia 4:10) that compares wrongdoing with words to stealing:

Just as there is wrongdoing in buying and selling, so there is wrongdoing in words. One may not say to him, “How much is this item?” if he does not want to buy it. If he was a penitent, one must not say to him, “Remember your former deeds!” If he was a descendant of converts, one must not say to him, “Remember the deeds of your forefathers!” For it is said, “And a stranger you shall not wrong, nor shall you oppress him” (Exodus 22:20).

I’m looking forward to the discussion that this topic will generate, but I have a new project for my students that I’m hoping will add to our discussions. I’m planning on challenging my students to find images that they connect with our text and email me links to those images (plus a short explanation why). Since I’m just a little concerned about internet safety and since Pinterest’s user terms limit it to age 13 and above (as do most social media sites), I’ll do the actual pinning for now. My hope is to create a visual collage that could be part of our end of unit assessment.

I’ve gotten started with a few images here already. You’ll notice that I’ve included some text, too. You can do this by using a tool from PinAQuote that turns text into images.
I’m not sure that Pinterest is the best tool for this task, but I’m going to give it a shot.  In a post,Twyla Felty suggests that Stixty might be a more student friendly tool. I’m thinking about giving it a try, too.
I’ll report back in a few weeks how this experiment works out. And, if you find images that connect to this topic, pass them along.

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