Learnist: The Pinterest for Educators

The most popular bulletin board in social media today is Pinterest. But now, Grockit! is launching its own version called Learnist (http://learni.st) for educators. While both follow a scrapbook styled interface designed for communicative sharing, the focal points of each company differs. Pinterest is primarily used for sharing favored material goods and inspired ideas, whereas Learnist is intended for dispersing educational tools and learning resources. Teachers can easily design online content and craft a set of lessons using this powerful image-based platform. They take a topic they want to teach to their students and design a visual presentation around it.

On Learnist, teachers can also display  a variety of resources or “posts” that are pertinent to their lesson plan, including images, videos, blog posts, Google maps, slide share decks, podcasts, music, Wikipedia articles live streams and more. Teachers and students alike can add annotations, explanations and commentary to the posts; all of which can be shared on Facebook, if so desired. The posts can also be ordered, remixed, mapped, or scaffolded for differentiation on the bulletin to ensure that the sequence makes sense to students. Even full-length books can be posted on Learnist’s “Learnboards”. Students can check off the posts they have read or watched. Then, they can offer their own suggestions or get an expert to comment on a particular bulletin board. This process allows teachers to monitor both what is being viewed and the degree of student engagement with the posts.

For example, on Learnist, students can simulate a trip to ancient Mesopotamia by uploading their travel schedule, asking & receiving tips from travel agents, sharing pictures/videos, saving information on cities such as Sumer or Babylon and more. In Learnist’s humble opinion, “it’s really a more immersive & interactive experience.”

Learnist’s education platform is appropriate for students of all grade levels, truly running the classroom gamut.  Instructors and students can post videos of fire trucks (K-1), images of leaves and photosynthesis (2-4), primary source maps of the discovery of the New World (5-8), classic novels like The Great Gatsby (9-12), or even principles of macroeconomics (University). Even though Learnist is still in beta format, it will be a catalyst for safely incorporating social media platforms into education.

Why Use Learnist?

It can:

  • motivate students, as they are encouraged to become active learners who design, create, and produce.
  • allow students to design boards either independently or within cooperative groups.
  • promote cross-collaboration, allowing bulletins to be conjointly created by different classes throughout school or even throughout the world.
  • be a showcase for your school to present what students are doing within the classroom and the community.
  • allow your content to go viral (Pinterest’s track record of pins being “repinned” is 80%).
  • act as a collective event planner for graduation or other school events.
  • sell a product to help raise funds for your school.
  • showcase a play or other student performances (with parent’s permission).
  • offer a scavenger hunt for students to find items pertinent to lesson plans.
  • present a video of a debate in social studies.
  • offer a link to a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation.
  • link to your or another classroom’s Wiki or Blog.
  • pin a notable quote from English literature.
  • offer a contest such as “Pin It to Win It”, where students post relevant content to the class bulletin and have their peers repin their favorite posts.
  • pin to teach: showing images of  “how-to” or “step-by-step” instructions.
  • display visual images of a science fair or social history showcase.
  • present interviews of notable people.
  • offer a timeline of pictures, such as photos of a cocoon’s metamorphosis into a butterfly.

In what ways can you use Learnist to stretch the boundaries of active learning? Thinking about the 7 Habits of Creativity, in what ways can you use this platform to gentrify some great old lessons into a new, refreshing format? (To reply, please click on the comment link next to the title or scroll down.)

Andi Stix is an educational consultant & coach who specializes in differentiation, interactive learning, writing across the curriculum, classroom coaching and gifted education. For further information on her specialties or social media, please email her on the Contact page.

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About Andi Stix

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14 Responses to Learnist: The Pinterest for Educators

  1. I. Farrey says:

    I like the helpful information you supply in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog as you really cover the spectrum from teaching strategies to using great tools. I have already requested to be on Learnist and like the fact that you have to be invited. Really shows you that they want to focus on the education market rather than on the general population.

  2. Michael J. says:

    We all know that the strongest way to clarify what you know is to teach the concept to someone else. I particularly like the idea that students can teach others how to do something by presenting a step-by-step process by uploading visual images.

  3. Albertina says:

    My favorite part of this blog post was the Pin it to Win It piece. Just love having students participate in a scavenger hunt, take a picture of an item, and post it. Great idea! This way learning can be documented both inside as well as outside the classroom.

  4. Elaine says:

    This was an interesting website and the post was really awesome. We are always trying to raise funds for our school and never thought of using a social media platform before. If parents see the goods, they are more likely to buy it!

  5. B. Ossert says:

    Great content, especially for us educators who don’t want to be bombarded with goods at a shopping mall. It’s great to know how a good concept can spread and be focused for educators. Really like this blog! Becoming a subscriber now. I hope that you continue to keep us abreast of new strategies and applications for our classrooms.

  6. JC says:

    I like how students can participate and interact with this site. It brings the basic concepts of Pinterest to a new level.

  7. Ol Bevels says:

    Learnist is a great tool. With all the massive amount of responsibilities, it’s great to see things that can make our lives easier. Thanks for the updates.

  8. Eve says:

    Wow, this post is great news. Just love Pinterest, but like how I can have two separate lives. My professional life and my personal life. Also, it takes so much time to find good images on Google. Here I can see other people’s selections, which cuts my time in half. Thanks!

  9. Damien says:

    I seriously love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. What I really like about Learnist is how you can make multiple boards for the same lesson, thus scaffolding them. So much easier than making PowerPoint presentations. Can’t wait to get on it. I’m interested to see your next post. Thanks.

  10. more says:

    This design is incredible! I like the layout of your page and how you make it easy to read. As a technology teacher, I will teach students how to use Learnist along with designing a WordPress page. Even though I’m supposed to be speaking about Learnist here, I like how you make it very easy for the reader to click to your other sites. This is integrated well. I’m going to contact you for project advice, if that’s okay.

  11. Clem says:

    It’s amazing how all of these platforms and programs are streamlining education and making our organizational ability so much easier! thanks for the blog post. I’ll share this with my teachers. I’m interested to see how this develops for administrators. I’ll definitely use the contest ideas to raise funds for the school.

  12. Cleonice says:

    I particularly love the “Pin It to Win It” aspect of using Learnist with my students. How often and how much time do we spend looking for great images? With Learnist, your students can do the hunting and they always love a fun, competitive game. Thanks so much for the idea!

  13. Dia says:

    Due to your article, I started playing around with Learnist. I couldn’t get over how easy it is to swap images, sort them, comment on them and make them ready for my students. The organizational element is key here. It really is like walking in a shopping mall of the largest teacher store in the world. I agree with the other comment: It keeps you focused.

  14. Rebecca says:

    I really like Pinterest, but found that it was too much of a pain having both bookmarks merged at one site. I like how Learnist is just for educators. It keeps me more focused and I don’t get as side tracked easily. Of course, it is fun to see the latest shoes my girlfriend selected, but not while I’m designing a lesson for my students.

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