“Explore to your heart’s content”, is how Jennifer Baker (2013), describes popular social networking site Pinterest. She views the site as a great way to curate and create something that is useful to your school or wider learning community. Based on my first time using it to create a ‘board’, I think she is right. Wilkinson (2013), believes Pinterest can be used by librarians to interact with patrons and a wider community of librarians. Whilst Thornton (2012), asks ” Is your academic library pinning?”.
My intention was to curate images of things that many of today’s youth find to be of interest. To make the ‘board’ look more credible, I asked two sixteen year olds and one twelve year old their tips on ‘what is currently popular’ – to point me in the right direction. I was encouraged to find images of popular gaming consoles and on-line games. New television series from the US, anime characters and popular music artists, were also recommended. This is what I gathered: http://www.pinterest.com/tonykapow/popular-with-young-people-2014/
Being a visual learner, I found the experience stimulating and fulfilling. My only frustration was caused by the decisions involved in on-line digital curation – namely which images to keep, which ones to delete. Regarding the selection of other people’s content to display, I found myself challenged by the sheer volume of choices. On reflection, I see that I was doing more than just ‘re-pinning’ or broadcasting the work of others. I found myself taking in ideas and content from these places.
One idea that strongly stuck, came after pinning Meghan Trainor’s number one song for this week, “All about that Bass”. The lyrics and video clip concern the notion of ‘body image’. It seems like a positive message to young people, though it has been criticised by McKinney (2014), for favouring larger girls at the expense of ridiculing ‘skinny’ girls. She does, however, view the clip as a possible gateway to feminism for Trainor’s fans. I think this song could be used in the curriculum, as a discussion point regarding body image and unrealistic portrayals, in many on-line images.
The discussion regarding healthy/realistic body images may need to take place during the preteen years. Tiggemann and Slater (2014), conducted a study to examine the relationship between media exposure and body image in preteenage girls. Their study concluded that: the Internet represents a potent sociocultural force among girls aged ten to twelve; and time spent on-line significantly relates to the internalisation of the thin ideal (as was time reading magazines and watching television).
Perhaps it is time to create another ‘board’, “positive on-line body images”, this time with students themselves identifying, selecting, and ‘pinning’ the images? This would be one way to further test the pedagogical potential of this site. (http://www.pinterest.com/)
Baker, J. Y. (2013). Beyond death by chocolate: USING PINTEREST PROFESSIONALLY. Knowledge Quest, 42(2), 74-77. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1460536185?accountid=13380
McKinney, K. (2014). “All about the bass” isn’t actually positive. Retrieved from:
Tiggemann, M., & Slater, A. (2014). NetTweens: The internet and body image concerns in preteenage girls. The Journal of Early Adolescence, 34(5), 606-620. doi:10.1177/0272431613501083
Thornton, E. (2012). Is your academic library pinning? academic libraries and pinterest. Journal of Web Librarianship, 6(3), 164
Wilkinson, Z. (2013). Oh, how pinteresting! an introduction to pinterest. Library Hi Tech News, 30(1), 1-4. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07419051311320904