Pinterest, the popular newcomer to social networking that focuses on images and allows you to create interest-based “boards” is a great tool for sharing visual links to catechetical ideas, images, videos, projects and more and more. Basically a virtual bulletin board on which you can pin any web link that has an image associated with it, it is a favored site of crafters and art-lovers, but there are a great many Catholic boards to be found, as well as boards associated with technology ideas. Some major Catholic organizations and publishers such as the Diocese of Cleveland and Our Sunday Visitor have boards as well.
The search function at the upper left enables you to find virtually any topic. To see how catechists and Catholic home schoolers are using Pinterest, simply put “Religious Ed” into the search box. Searching for “catechesis” gets another series of results. Some catechists use Pinterest to bookmark and share craft and teaching ideas. This sample of a Religious Education board is a great inspiration piece.
As you can see, this catechist includes crafts, recipes, seasonal items, lesson ideas and more. What’s more, exploring pins on a board like this will connect you with other sources of catechetical ideas.
Since the age-requirement for Pinterest is 13, like Facebook and other social networks, it is more likely a catechist of children would use it to connect with parents or other catechists. A board for a parish program, for instance, could be a great place to pin resource ideas for catechists and parents in the program, including links to helpful videos and articles.
Pinterest can also be a source for images and bookmarks to great items for obvious catechetical themes, such as Eucharist , Saints or Sacraments. Since Pinterest is a public space which includes many people who are not Catholic, it is necessary to sort and filter posts for appropriateness and Catholicity of some items, but it is likely that usage will continue to grow and more Catholics will pin their favorite links to boards for you to discover and share.
How do you use Pinterest? Are there more ways a religious educator can make use of it? Please add your ideas in the comments.