"If we talk about literacy, we have to talk about how to enhance our children's mastery over the tools needed to live intelligent, creative, and involved lives." ~ Danny Glover
One of my favourite professional books on literacy is "The Read-Aloud Handbook" by Jim Trelease. It's a fascinating read about how the power of simply reading aloud to your child is one of the most powerful things you can do to support literacy. It's a must read for every parent and teacher. However, when we talk about literacy in school there are many more aspects to a balanced literacy program that teachers need to develop in order to support the variety of learners in their class. I've always been a person who believes that teachers need to use every tool in their toolbox, or find new tools, in order to support all students. We should leave no stone unturned!
Last night as I was reading my Zite feed I came across an article that outlined how an educator can use Pinterest. My purpose in tweeting out the article was to show that Pinterest can be a venue for inspiration, not a site that you can model your literacy program from. You can see the tweet below.
I've heard many teachers and others with a passion for literacy argue that using Pinterest is not what literacy should look like. That it can be viewed by some as the lazy teacher's way out of creating an authentic literacy program. That attitude has always confused me. As a learning technologies coordinator I would get push back from certain program staff about software that didn't meet their framework of what should be in a balanced literacy program. My view was that if a student benefited from a software program, why wouldn't we use it? The tweet I sent out last night and the conversation that followed reminded me of those same conversations years ago.
I have been witness this year to many fantastic literacy activities that were inspired in part from Pinterest. It's a social media tool that can provide a visual representation of an idea or strategy that has been tried and tested in some classroom. Does that mean that teachers should base their entire literacy program off Pinterest? Absolutely not. But it also doesn't mean there isn't value in the work that other teachers have posted on their Pinterest site. A teacher visiting a Pinterest board can decide if the activity has merit and if it will work in their classroom. They most likely will take that idea and modify it to suit their needs. To me, it's no different than reading a professional book prescribed by board staff and implementing those ideas. Pinterest can provide inspiration for literacy ideas that will engage many learners. Why not take advantage of it.
If you've used an idea in your literacy program from Pinterest I'd love to hear about it.