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While Pinterest may be seen as being a female-focused social networking site full of cupcake pictures, and Instagram-altered pouting girls, some educators have demonstrated concern that the site, due to its lack of monitoring, may bookmark images deemed inappropriate -- which results in restricting Pinterest from use in class.
Perhaps in the future there will be a way to localize Pinterest for educational use -- but in the meantime, properly supervised and with the right age group, these digital noticeboards can be a valuable resource for learning.
Pinterest, the latest addition to hybrid forms of social networking, hosts a platform where users can 'pin' their favourite images to share with the world.
At first glance, such a service may not seem to have much academic value -- but teachers around the world are utilizing Pinterest to make lessons more interactive. Not only can it be used to share ideas and lesson resources, but the notice-board styled platform allows for better organisation of ideas and images than other sites generally support, such as Facebook or Twitter.
First of all, Pinterest is a social networking site based on bookmarking images, similar to the blog-roll site Tumblr but on a more organised and structured platform, and focused purely on visual content.
The concept is simple: Once a user joins the site, they can create 'boards' with image and descriptions linked to content around the web. According to comScore, Pinterest is the fastest social media platform to break the ten million unique visitors mark -- perhaps due to its visual appeal. In addition to sharing pictures, you can pin video and discussion groups.
Every item you 'pin' becomes a digital bookmark that can be used to access the original content. Links can be shared by other users deciding to re-pin the link on another board -- which also shows up on the visitor's profile.
If you decide to create themed boards that others find interesting, you may end up with followers -- in the same manner as Twitter. These users will be notified when new pins are added, and you can subscribe to others in return to see their updates on your front page news feed.