Virtual HRD: Utilizing Pinterest as Informal Learning Tool

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Virtual HRD: Utilizing Pinterest as Informal Learning Tool

  1. 1. Virtual HRD: Utilizing Pinterest as Informal Learning Tool By Rochell R. McWhorter HRD scholars and practitioners are bombarded with the challenge to stayrelevant in an ever-changing workplace. One way to keep current is by frequentlyperusing web content for new and interesting ideas, including news articles, blogs,and social media. A new method to easily save and share useful web content is by“pinning” it on the social network, Pinterest. Pinterest (pinterest.com) launched in 2010 and was recently ranked thirdmost used social media behind Facebook and Twitter (Knapp, 2012). Originallydominated for home use, such as saving recipes and home décor tips, its utility nowextends to professional use because of the ease of saving and sharing web-linkedimages. Essentially, Pinterest is a social bookmarking tool where users have a main“board” where they can either use pre-made categories (“pinboards”) or customizecategories for their “pins”. A pin is a digital object such as image or video eitherfrom a website or uploaded by the user. Like other social networks, users cancollaborate by following other users, share content, tag objects, and makecomments. Instructors might consider utilizing Pinterest as an informal learning toolthat can also create community in online courses (Delello, 2012). For example,students could be asked to locate course-related content or current news events onthe web and then “pin” links to a class-wide pinboard thus increasing informal
  2. 2. learning opportunities. Practitioners might find it beneficial for such activities asproduct and service research. Pinterest is free to users but an account is required. To join, you will need aninvitation from a friend or you can visit www.Pinterest.com and click “Request aninvite” and enter your email address. Pinterest requires Facebook or Twitter tocreate a new account. However, once the account is created, you can easily unlinkfrom your Facebook/Twitter account and log in with your email address instead.Pinterest “apps” are currently available for mobile devices such as the iPad andiPhone with other mobile access through http://m.pinterest.com . The “power of thepin” is becoming increasingly useful for integrated learning and productivity. ReferencesDelello, J. (2012). The teacher’s quick guide to Pinterest. Retrieved from http://people.uis.edu/rschr1/et/?p=4285Knapp, A. (2012). New study pegs Pinterest as the number 3 social website. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/alexknapp/2012/04/09/new-study-pegs-pinterest-as-the- number-3-social-website/

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