Friday, April 26, 2013

Pinterest Project

After taking a look at the art teacher's Pinterest boards, I just had to get in a classroom and use Pinterest to do something, anything, but I was bitten by a Pinterest bug. So I emailed my fourth grade teachers who are getting ready to do the "Design a Room" project to see if they wanted to start the project with some Pinterest time for the kids to get inspired. A couple said yes, and today I worked with those classes.

That's a lot of zebra...and purple...
When I've done the Design a Room project in the past I haven't been overly impressed with the design aesthetic. I think the reason is that the kids haven't seen a lot of designed rooms. They get ideas--hot pink, camo, aquarium--and then make every single thing in the room fit that color scheme or theme. I love animal print as much as the next girl, but I don't want a bedroom that looks like a herd of zebras plastered themselves to every surface. I wanted Pinterest to help remedy this problem.

I think the hardest thing for the students to understand was that we weren't going to be searching for products, but for ideas. Yes you might find some great ideas if you search for mattress, but the odds are not that great. Instead I wanted them to focus on themes, colors, etc. that would inspire them. I wanted them to search for neon bedroom and see that everything in the bedroom wasn't neon. We also had a little chat about digital safety and citizenship. I think that Pinterest is clean for the most part, but if you search for beach bedroom you are probably going to see a bathing suit or five. So we talked about how to deal with that.

Feel free to take a look at their boards: Mrs. Liming's and Ms. Withem's. The students had a lot of fun finding inspiration and sharing that with each other. Time will tell if it helps them with the design of their room or not, but as they continue to research they can add ideas to their boards and easily check to see if they are following their ideas. It will also make it easy for the teachers to see what items the kids are picking out. In fact, I'm thinking that the design book the kids have to do will be made even easier now because everything will be in one place. If the kids pinned their products, etc to Pinterest it would make it easy for them to get the pictures on the iPads and then to use Book Creator for their design books. I may be on to something here...

I've started using Pinterest for inspiration too, pulling color schemes from photos of landscapes, etc. A great tool to help with this is the ColorZilla extension for Chrome. Not that I'm giving up Pinterest for finding recipes with ranch dressing mix in them, just broadening my horizons!

Have fun and share!

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