Please find my Pinterest page here.
This week I have made a foray into the previously unchartered (for me) territory of Pinterest with a view to discerning just what young people are enjoying at the moment. My board represents the interests of young people I know well, my daughters and their friends so it reflects more the tastes of older teens (17-19) than younger children. Indeed I would consider some of the content to be quite unsuitable for younger children and teens. The process of putting together a board like this is interesting. By gathering lots of ideas from various sources, then searching for suitable images to reflect those ideas, there is a tendency to focus on the specific individual posts. At the end of the process my concern was how to distill any coherent thoughts from what initially appeared to be a random collection of ideas. Then I believe I began to understand the value of the Pinterest platform as seeing all the posts together I perceived patterns emerging.
Essentially the posts fall into categories: games, television shows, books and movies, and music, together with a number of delivery platforms and some more direct forms of self expression. Online games are represented, but recently one of my daughters has been playing the board game version of Dungeons and Dragons via Skype video links, so really finding new ways of playing an older game. Television shows were either old and had a retro appeal such as Star Trek, or were current and violent such as Breaking Bad. The books seem to be all about fantasy and movies were only of interest if they are based on a book that is already enjoyed. Even as older teens they still enjoy the books they have grown up with so Harry Potter continues to be popular. Preferred music is generally heavy metal although some new folk styles are also enjoyed. In terms of delivery platforms, Facebook and You Tube are ubiquitous with all of the teens using these platforms. Snapchat was new to me but the idea is quite appealing – an image to capture a moment in time which then disappears. There is of course a cat meme. The most interesting ideas I found were those about self expression – fan fiction to allow readers or viewers to express their own creativity by carrying on from where favourite stories end. Both of my daughters love steam punk style with the younger especially employing it very much in her own fashion choices.
I am not a teacher but I can certainly see the value of Pinterest as a means of bringing some order to a seemingly chaotic collection of ideas – especially in those fields where images can speak so much more evocatively that text.