a note for podcast 7 @The Undisciplined Room

Here’s a note from yesterday’s podcast, Loose with My Use:


A common theme for us (well, for me at least) concerns the relative merits of Pinterest vs. Tumblr. I like how easy Pinterest is to use and how you can put lots of different images beside each other on your boards. But, I’m concerned by the business/marketing focus of the site and the etiquette rules. In the last couple of days, I’ve set up a tumblr site (staying in trouble) and I’m experimenting with how I might be able to use it for some of the same purposes as Pinterest (collecting images/examples of trouble). So far, I’m liking Tumblr. It’s really easy to post a variety of media and create a (semi) custom design. It’s also fun to experiment with new media.

I wonder, though, how much social media is too much? And are these various forms encouraging new ideas and connections or merely distracting me from digging into the ideas/theories/stories that I’ve already imagined? I don’t really think that this should be asked as an either/or question; I think pinterest and tumblr can and should inspire and distract. In fact, sometimes distractions are good. They can enable us to break bad habits, rescue us from creative ruts, shift our attention away from problematic ways of thinking and remind us to not always be working. For more on using distraction to open up news of engaging, see “Designing Choreographies for the ‘New Economy of Attention’“. And for more on the need for shifting attention in feminist classrooms, see chapter one in No Angel in the Classroom.

Anyway, yesterday on our podcast, I mentioned one interesting use of Pinterest that I recently came across: One of my Facebook friends (who also teaches Women’s Studies) has set up boards for her two classes on Pinterest. She’s sharing resources related to class discussions, including posting images of Victorian “antimasturbation” devices. A few days ago, a random Pinterest user commented on her board that “she seriously had issues” and that it “wasn’t even funny.” Ha! Ha! Aside from the clueless commenter, I thought this was a cool and creative way to use Pinterest. I wonder how she incorporated it into her class lecture/discussion?

In discussing this use on the podcast, I suggested that one cool assignment students could do with Pinterest is to create a board (or several boards) in which they collected examples of key feminist concepts: white privilege, heteronormativity, sizeism, ableism, racism, colonialism, etc. Or, students could create a board based on one product (like beer or perfume, for example) or brand. Their board could serve as the data for an analysis of the hidden assumptions and norms that are perpetuated through various ad campaigns.

After writing this last paragraph, I began to wonder, How are educators using Pinterest in their classrooms? Here are 2 sources that I found:

5 Tips for Using Pinterest in Your Classroom
a few tips: visit the education category on pinterest, create a board with sources, create reading lists, have students use it to track online research.

Educators May Use Pinterest in the Classroom
This post has different suggestions for inspiration, lesson-planning, and professional development.