7.08.2013

Yikes! Did I Pin That?

Be careful what you pin... From "Yikes! Did I Pin That?" www.traceeorman.com

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Even though I stress this to my students, I have to admit I do not always verify and check all of my sources. ("What!? You're a teacher!" I know, I know... I think, as I hang my head in shame.)

Case in point: pinning on Pinterest. I have been known to become mesmerized by pretty or eye-popping pins that have funny, helpful, or thought-provoking quotes. I'll pin them onto my boards without clicking on them to see if they are legit or just links to SPAM or phishing sites. While Pinterest does a great job of alerting me to some of these pins, some are pretty sneaky about it.

Look at the example in the image above. The pin seems like a valuable resource for teachers: "The Ultimate List of Educational Websites." A quick glance at some of the sites (TED.com, gutenburg.org) makes you think it's legit. Clicking on it just takes you to a Pinterest link where the original pinner posted it, not the "source" site. It's not connected to a SPAM site, so it must be OK, right? No. Or, at least for me, definitely not something I want to hang up in my classroom.

As I looked closer, I noticed a few things that alerted me that the creator of this is probably not a teacher. The first tip was noticing "Poemhunter.com" as a website for books. It seemed a little out of place, plus I really despise "poemhunter.com" as a poetry resource. Poets.org,  Modern American Poetry, and Poetry Foundation are so much better.

The second (and third) examples are under the "Random Knowledge" websites. Hmmm....not the names of websites I've ever directed my students to go to. I can't imagine what our tech guys would say if I had a class full of teens trying to access "f***inghomepage" or "bada**oftheweek."

So I looked at the bottom to find the "source" of this image and found it, which is also listed as a great "Random Knowledge" website. Now, I don't know who these sexy Russians are, and they may have a perfectly legitimate website chock-full of useful educational information. But can you imagine your students' reactions (let alone a parent's reaction) upon seeing this list? Yikes! That's when I went back and deleted it from my board.

The moral of the lesson? Be careful what you pin. Oh, and follow the same instructions you give your students. Because I can already hear mine lecturing me, "Mrs. Orman! I thought you told us to ALWAYS check our sources!"

I know, I know...


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I teach high school English in Illinois; enjoy family time, baseball, collecting PEZ dispensers, and talking about anything related to my favorite books. They include The Hunger Games trilogy, To Kill a Mockingbird, the Chaos Walking trilogy, and anything written by Amy Tan.

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