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Leeana teaches knitwear in various Fashion and Textile programs. She has been a leader in the use of Pinterest outside of Blackboard with students and shares her ideas and experiences here.

How do you use Blackboard?
I update my course every year in a program level shell. All the content consists of word documents that give the components of what they need to complete the subject. There are some knitting graph patterns included for download.

So what are you doing in Pinterest?
I use it as an alternative to Powerpoint. Powerpoint involves too much double handling. I don’t have to move the images around or worry about sourcing because Pinterest always points to the original. All the images I need for a class are ready made for showing and referencing. And there is a degree of copyright protection in that fashion sites such as Stylesight and WGSN stop images from being pinned. It then becomes a place for the students to collect and curate and annotate images. It is also completely transparent as I can always see if a student has been doing their work or not just by getting them to log on. The internet does not lie.

Pinterest has a different role to Blackboard. Students still complete their assessments physically after having collated and researched online. Blackboard is like a dropping off point. I put no visual imagery in Blackboard. The students love Pinterest. I introduce it at the first session and there is never any sense of it dragging along. I also use Pinterest for saving time. As a sessional I can be anywhere on any device and be pinning away and my teaching preparation is done.

I also use Pinterest for my own research in the study I am doing for example with spinning and yarn technology.  I use it for science and technology diagrams and images that I collect on private boards. The wider world doesn’t have to see everything I pin. As well Pinterest gives dates for when you locate an image, which is invaluable for citation and referencing.

So do you structure each lesson into Pinterest?
Each lesson is structured around a topic like shaping or hems and ribbing. I can make notes under each pin displaying examples of knit structures or design features. And if a student is absent I can put the notes on Blackboard with a link to that particular Pinterest board.

Are you using other tools?
No. I could use Instagram but Pinterest is used as more of a design or inspiration tool, rather than a display of random images inc selfies and social pics. I also thought about getting students to share their pins in Facebook but they just go and do that anyway. I sometimes give general guidance about using Facebook as a fashion industry tool, pointing students to pages they should follow. There is no point working against students. I would rather work where they are and be learning how to engage and work in their spaces.

You can see Leeana’s main Pinterest board here.