Back to School With Pinterest Beyond recipes and decorating ideas, Pinterest is the perfect tool to start your school planning early. School Matters
School Matters  |   July 01, 2014
Back to School With Pinterest
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Article Information
School-Based Settings / School Matters
School Matters   |   July 01, 2014
Back to School With Pinterest
The ASHA Leader, July 2014, Vol. 19, 28-29. doi:10.1044/leader.SCM.19072014.28
The ASHA Leader, July 2014, Vol. 19, 28-29. doi:10.1044/leader.SCM.19072014.28
I’ve tweeted, posted, pinned and filtered my way through #summer14. Through social media, I’ve shared updates with my friends about my new house, renovation projects and vacations out West. Once the calendar flips from July to August, my social media accounts start to fill up with speech intervention items, again.
My first social media stop for back-to-school resources is Pinterest. I can browse boards where I have stored links to organization ideas, data sheets and social language skills. Surfing Pinterest for treatment ideas feels a bit like searching your favorite online shopping site. Designed for those of us who are visual in nature, Pinterest shows a dozen ideas at a time, letting us browse them at a glance.
The basics
Pinterest is now the sixth most popular social media site. It takes the place of your browser bookmarks in the form of an electronic bulletin board. Pins are visual bookmarks added to boards cultivated by users. Each pin links back to a website. If you see something you’re interested in, you just click on the picture and follow the link to see more information. When Pinterest launched in 2010, it was filled with home design, recipe and clothing boards. As of 2013, more than 70 million users were pinning.
It didn’t take long for thousands of educators across the country to start using Pinterest to bookmark educational materials. Today, more than 500,000 education-related ideas are pinned each day, and according to an annual survey by Edutopia, Pinterest is in the top five of professional development websites for teachers. Not to be left out, school-based speech-language pathologists across the country are using Pinterest to share professional resources and ideas.
Back-to-school boards
The August version of me is determined to have an organized school year. I know if I start the year prepared, my life will be easier. In the past, I would use a search engine to look for organizational ideas. Now, instead of using Google, I use the search bar in Pinterest. I tried a quick search of “speech therapy organization” and found “Common Core Aligned Speech and Language Posters”, “Fun Deck” organization strategies, three links to scheduling tricks, data binders and continuing education tracking worksheets.
After picking up a few new organization tips, I searched for speech bulletin boards. In all honesty, making a bulletin board is the bane of my existence. If you’re a school-based SLP who has to make one, cruise through Pinterest, find one to re-create and leave it up all year.
Being organized and decorated means I’m likely buried in my office reading individualized education programs and getting to know any new students. That’s about the time the panic starts to rise about what we will actually do this year! If you’ve had the same group of kids for years, they might know all your tricks. When you are looking for treatment activities, searching for specific goals will yield the most direct results. I started with a search for “AAC activities” and found AAC professional books, printable activities for high-tech devices and book companions for low-tech users. A second search for “middle school social language” produced a social curriculum and video links for episodes of “The Middle” and “The Big Bang Theory.”
Future pinning
The value of Pinterest for SLPs will likely continue to increase as more SLPs become active on the site. Each SLP uses different resources, adding unique content to his or her boards. It’s easy to get started. Head to the website and create a login. Set up your boards and title one something work-related. The next time you find something useful online, pin the picture to your own SLP board. Later in the year when you need the full details, just glance over your board, click on the picture and follow the link. You’ll land directly on that website. Anything that feels like online shopping is bound to be the most enjoyable professional development you’ll do this fall.

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July 2014
Volume 19, Issue 7