to pin or not to pin…

I wrote about how much I like(d) using Pinterest just last week in Pinterest for Teaching. About how excited I was about its potential for sharing resources and even professional development, of a sorts. It’s so exciting, it’s almost addictive.

And then 2 things happened, maybe 3.

  1. I had a conversation with some people at work.
  2. I read this article.
  3. I realized how clumsy the service is.

  1. I recently started working as a tech integration consultant at a school board with two adult education centres and one of the things I did in preparing myself to begin last week was to start collecting resources about adult learning. I began a little blog (soon to be moved to the school board’s servers) and I started pinning, inspired by other educators who were pinning collections of resources on their own pinterest accounts.

    I told our technology director about this and his reaction to it all was that was all fine and good BUT. And the but had to do with preservation of information.

    Pinterest is a neat way of collecting resources, there’s no getting around that. It harkens back to my high school bedroom wall, which was covered in pictures torn out of magazines, quotes I loved from the books I read, and posters from the albums I listened to. That bedroom wall was my private sanctuary and pinterest is about sharing those things – at a rapid speed.

    The other night pinterest was down, just as I was writing that post I referred to at the top of this one. A major concern that was outlined in this conversation I had with our technology director had to with saving resources on an outside server. What happens when/if they decide to shut it all down, or something horrible happens and their servers crash in a major way. Or. Or. Or.

    Part of my job is to share and organize resources for the people at our centre. They need to be able to have access to them without the worries that they may one day disappear. I get that. And when I am putting a lot of energy into a search for resources I want to make sure they are somewhere that can be found in the future.

    (one could argue about the transient nature of web-based resources to begin with, that they are all renewable in the sense that they change at a propulsive rate. And that the web search itself is a thinking tool so a collection of resources may not be the holy grail that people are looking for…)

  2. In The Reason I Just Deleted my Pinterest Account, Jeff Dunn talks about copyright issues and how Pinterest is saving its butt by pushing all consequences to the user. Now, I think this actually makes sense. Pinterest is just a vehicle and users should be aware of stealing images from others but many users aren’t. And no one reads the terms and conditions of registering for online services. They just don’t. So I’m wondering how many people know that they could get sued by Pinterest if anyone comes after Pinterest with a copyright infringement lawsuit.

    Even though I think it makes sense, at the same time the very nature of the service Pinterest offers encourages copyright infringement. And that makes this all pretty shifty to me.

    (once again, one could argue about copyright and copywrong, about who information really belongs to once it makes its way out of our heads and into the world but in the meantime, copyright infringement lawsuits are very real and costly things.)

  3. Again, when I was putting together that post I reference at the top of this one about using Pinterest in education I lost a resource and just couldn’t find it again. I had done a search for boards on education, fsl, math, science, literacy, adult ed, learning, etc… and had found one great board of quotes that play with the English language. For some reason I had forgotten to link the reference in my blog post. I had the pinner’s username and I had the name of the board but could not find it by searching on Pinterest. In fact, I had two such cases. One I was able to find with the help of a Google search but the other is still lost in the pinterverse.

    That is what I mean about it being a clumsy service. Even if you know exactly where something is you can’t necessarily find it. I guess the secret to that would be to pin and like everything that you think you may want to see again in the future but you don’t always know, do you?

So. Back to the question – to pin or not to pin? I’m starting to lean to the not. Though I really do like the essence of this service, there is starting to be too much that gets in the way of my using it comfortably. At the least, I’m going to begin double saving the education resources I pin. That may become cumbersome in the long run though, however for now I do like the idea of sharing the resources I find with other educators and looking through the ones that they have already found.

What do you think? Do you pin?

In the name of honour…not: Teachable takeaway from the Shafia verdict

Turning on the car yesterday morning and the first words I heard from CBC were Shafia. On the television, in the newspaper, on my Internet browser…Shafia, Shafia, Shafia.

And honour killing.

Afghans around the world were interviewed to comment on honour killing.
Random people on the street felt their country’s values vindicated through the guilty verdicts with statements like – Canada is not a place for honour killing.
Facebook statuses were updated in the same vein: my country = no honour killing

This is what I take away as teachable from this case.

Somehow this case became more about honour killing and less about what it actually is – the killing of women. In Canada. We need to question this.

Is it because when we talk about honour killing we think we are talking about something that has been transplanted here by recent immigrants and therefore not Canadian?

Why was it that this particular murder of women got so much press? That this particular murder of women is taken so seriously by Canadians? Is it because of that lens? That honour killing lens that allowed us to look at it from a distance?

Is that why the Canadian public (news media, government…) doesn’t look at murders of women like the 600 and counting missing/murdered aboriginal women across Canada with such sensationalism and ease? Because we can’t reframe those murders as easily?

Reframe it in any way. What it comes down to is that there are people (many people) who still think it is ok to kill women. And yes, in Canada. And the Shafia case is but one example of this.

For that, I am happy about the verdict. But not for the reasons it is being lauded in the media. Not.

Response to ‘British Educators Explain Why Boys Fail’

When will the realization be made that it is not necessarily about different ways to teach different people?

Umpteen years ago people felt that girls were getting a disservice so it was time to change how teachers taught girls.

Now it is the boys who are getting shafted and it is time to change how teachers teach once again. And Education Week has made it all quite dramatic:

Why boys fail

Undoubtedly things will eventually tip the scales toward boy-teaching and girls will soon be failing once again. Or maybe boys schools are suffering from under-enrolment and this is a brilliant marketing campaign.


(I feel like a broken record lately)

It is not this or that, it is both this and that.

We can focus on an inclusive teaching philosophy that teaches everyone. We really can and it’s not rocket science.

Let’s start with the same list I came up with when talking about how teaching kids with special needs was not rocket science, shall we?

This just makes too much sense to me. I get irked that we are muddying the waters, looking for magic bullets when all we have to do is care more about our students as people.

I love tutoring :)

**Cross-posted at Camping out with Tracy & Jack**

Oops! I neglected to write about this! I had forgotten how much I love tutoring. I met Eunice and Eugene (not their real names but if I ever have twins I may just need to torture them with those names – delightful!) on Wednesday and the 2 hours flew by. They are both very excited about their new lives in Canada. Eugene was quick to show me the practice puck he managed to nab when he saw the Canadians win over the Bruins in game 6 (maybe he should have brought his luck along with him and attended game 7…) and said that he couldn’t wait to learn how to play hockey. Eunice was bubbling over with the French words she already knows, though she was always quick to remind me that she doesn’t understand it all that much.

I’ve been to them now 3 times and they really are a delight to work with. I thought that an hour would be too long for little Eunice who is 6 but actually the time allows me to be generous with the few minutes of downtime she needs between the reinforcing and learning of new concepts.

Yesterday I was tired and just wanted to lie on the couch with my little Jacky Boy in my arms but once I got to their house I was fine. I guess this is good practice for September when I will be (hopefully) working full time.


Leading from the Heart was forced to take a little rest by our hosting company.

Never fear! I’ll be back up and running shortly (well, maybe not so shortly as I’m in the process of mining through 4 years worth of a MySQL database to try to locate my posts).

As a result of the MySQL mess, I have decided to try FlatPress, which doesn’t use a database, saves everything in text files. For my needs, it is certainly robust enough.

I tried it but wanted to modify the theme design and decided that I didn’t want to learn how to do so with a new platform. Maybe one day when I’m not nursing a 2 month old every 2 hours :)

In the meantime, Come see what I’m up to at Camping Out with Tracy & Jack.

I’m looking forward to seeing you there!