Pinterest for Nonprofits

A How-to Pin for Nonprofits

A How-to Pin for Nonprofits

As part of FLC’s Social Media Month, FLC has put together tips and strategies for using social media platforms as a nonprofit organization. If you’ve missed the first two webinars, check out the Twitter webinar on Thursday, November 21 at 12 p.m. This week we provided a webinar on the 3rd most popular social media site in America: Pinterest!

Pinterest is an image-based social media site that was created in 2010 where users can share photos with their followers and create collections of photos based on a theme. Each individual image is called a “pin” and the collection on which the pin is posted is called a “pin board.”  A user that follows another can decide to share a specific pin with their followers and “re-pin” it to one of their boards. Finally, there are “likes” and “comments” that function the same way as they do on Facebook. Pinterest users are more often than not women. They make up 80% of the 700 million users on the site.

Pinterest is beneficial for nonprofits for several reasons. Pinterest is known for having outstanding SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This allows for an accounts pin board to be found from an ordinary Google search even when the person who searched it doesn’t use Pinterest. The site also directs back pins to where they first were originated, so it’s a good idea to pin content that originated on your website or blog—this will take a user who clicks the pin to be brought to your organization’s site.

Driving traffic back to your website so that people can read about your mission and what your organization does is one of the biggest reasons why businesses use Pinterest. In fact, Forbes has found that Pinterest pins can significantly drive sales. Why not drive donations too?

There are some things to keep in mind when you’re beginning to choose content for your Pinterest. Above all, remember that Pinterest is a photo-sharing site. Articles and blog posts aren’t going to be as popular here, so if you want to post a blog on Pinterest, make sure to have some sort of image that people would want to re-blog. Photos of a tutor or student who has completed their GED are also good ways to supplement a blog post.

Other useful content to post are Infographics and Inspiring Quotes. Infographics are basically a graphical representation of statistics about a certain theme. You can find inspiring quotes with a simple Google search, and then use to make them look more appealing. Infographics can be found at or The latter allows you to create a basic account and try your hand at making literacy infographics. Useful Pinterest accounts to follow include Larry Ferlazzo, GCFLEarnFree, and ABC Life Literacy.

Here are some good strategies to use when you first start pinning:

  • Research Keywords
  • Follow Other Literacy/ Education Organizations
  • Plan:
    • Peak times- 2pm to 4pm or 8pm to 1am
    • Don’t forget the weekend
    • Diversify target audience with several Pin boards
    • Promote and Integrate with Social Media
    • Get followers to your Pinterest
    • Link Facebook/Twitter Accounts

First Look at PIAAC and What it Means

The first results from the PIAAC survey is 466 pages, so no one expected you to read it overnight. Luckily several people in the field of education and economic development have done some of the reading for us and compiled their findings.

Here are a few websites to start analyzing the results of this survey-

Skilled for Life? Key Findings from the Survey of Adult Skills

Charts providing a visual interpretation of the results

PIAAC Gateway

PIAAC Gateway also includes press releases on PIAAC. These are the top four that explain the results and what they mean-

New York Times- “U.S. Adults Fare Poorly in a Study of Skills”

Associated Press- “American Adults Below Average on Global Test”

USA Today- “U.S. adults lag behind counterparts overseas in skills”

Inside Higher Ed- “Troubling Stats on Adult Literacy”




2013 Adult Learner Day

The Florida Literacy Coalition is pleased to invite adult education students in Florida to participate in this year’s Adult Learner Day on May 8, 2013 from 8:30- 5:00 pm.

Adult Learner Day is a unique initiative brings together approximately 70-90 adult learners from adult literacy programs throughout Florida. Students are invited to attend 5-6 special Adult Learner Day workshops providing information about a variety of life skill oriented topics. Adult learners are involved in planning and coordinating this event. The day always includes presentations by adult learners for their fellow students and adult educators.

This event is free for students and promises to include a few surprises along the way.

Here is a tentative schedule for workshops-

Adult Learner Experience: Why we stayed and what you can do with your students
Join members from the Adult Learner Committee in this interactive workshop as they discuss why they stayed with their literacy programs. This workshop will provide insight on how practitioners can increase student retention and recruitment. Be prepared to participate in this informative conversation!

Managing your money and planning for the future
Does the term finance scare you? Jaclyn Boland and FLC AmeriCorps* VISTA’s will help you get a better understanding of managing your money and creating a budget. After participating in this workshop, you will walk away with tools that will help you plan for your future.

Basic computer skills and the new GED Test
From the basics to the necessities, learn how to use a computer in ways that will help you succeed. This workshop will start with how to turn on a computer and end with copy and paste, and keyboarding.

Libraries open the door to learning
Learn how you can use the library and find information that will help you in your learning process. You will learn how to find information on things like citizenship and health literacy. All learners are welcome to this presentation.

Reading Strategies and Family Literacy
Reading to your child is a remarkable moment. This workshop will teach you reading strategies that will help you read a book to your child. Leave this workshop with a book to take home and practice tonight!

Digital Literacy and Blended Learning in Adult Literacy Education

By: David Rosen, Ed.D

21st century, adult literacy education (including English for immigrants) must integrate digital literacy, a new set of core literacy skills, with existing curricula. While reading, writing and numeracy are still essential, adults now also need to be comfortable and competent in using technology for daily living, work, higher education and lifelong learning and training. However, many adult literacy education teachers are not well prepared to integrate the use of technology in their classes, and many adult literacy education programs and schools cannot afford and/or do not know how best to use state-of-the art technology. The effective use and integration of digital technology in teaching and learning is now essential to prepare adult basic education learners for opportunities in work, vocational training and apprenticeship, and post-secondary education.

There are important lost opportunities for adults who lack the ability to use technology for living, learning and working, and for the communities in which they live.   For example, adults without up-to-date skills, knowledge and experience in using technology to meet their daily needs:

  • Cannot as easily access government and private sector services
  • Miss opportunities to find jobs, and apply for college. Increasingly jobs are advertised and applied for online. In some cases only online applications are accepted. College admission applications and financial aid application are now most often made online.
  • Miss the opportunity to learn online.  Adults who do not have digital literacy skills cannot take advantage of free or inexpensive, high quality online and blended learning through which they can improve their basic skills, including English for immigrants.
  • Cannot engage with and are isolated from local and global communities and family members. Children use text messaging, social networking websites such as Facebook, and Twitter:  parents need to keep an eye on those activities.  Schools reach out to parents by email, and community groups use online networking and social media to organize and promote community events.   Immigrants use Skype to make free calls and to videoconference with relatives in their home countries.  Each of these is an example of the ways that the inability to use technology will limit adults’ ability to be active, engaged parents, family members and members of the broader community.

The following policy recommendations might help to address this problem:

Digital Literacy

  1. Require that programs receiving public funds integrate digital literacy skills in their curricula and instruction;
  2. Require that programs offer all adult learners basic digital literacy skills (including, for example: how to navigate the worldwide web; search for and evaluate information online; send and receive email; make good use of online learning; and use basic tools such as word processing, spreadsheets and email) so that they can be competent and comfortable in computer based testing; apply online for, and succeed in, post-secondary education; and use computers and other web-accessible devices in the workplace.
  3.  Provide funding to increase program access to computers and the Internet
  4. Provide funding for teacher training and for hardware and software  to enable programs to successfully accommodate those with learning disabilities, through assistive technology and universal design.

Blended Learning

  1. Provide funding to Increase programs’ hours per week of instruction) through blended (face-to-face and online) learning that will enable learners to progress more quickly. Learners who have more time for learning, because of unemployment or other reasons, can increase their basic skills learning intensity through online learning.
  2. Provide funding for web-based professional development for teachers who want to be effective in blending online and face-to-face instruction.
  3. Provide funding to develop adult basic education open education resources that support blended learning.

Top Stories in Literacy: April 2

Top Stories in LiteracyProgram teaches computer literacy to older generation
Seniors gather at the Hallmark, their assisted-living facility in Lower Manhattan, for computer classes. They wanted to begin the task of catching up with a technical world whose rapid-fire evolution has left much of America’s oldest generation isolated from its children, grandchildren and tech-savvy friends.

Teen’s Hip-Hop Song Wins Financial Ed Themed Contest
The contest was designed to tap the talent and creativity of teens across the U.S. to raise awareness of the importance of being smart about money, and to spread the word about the financial education program Money Matters: Make It CountSM available through all 2,900 Boys & Girls Clubs that serve teens.

AT&T Aspire: $250 million national job readiness program already given $800k locally
In its new $250 million initiative program called AT&T Aspire, the company aims to help young and driven students to graduate from high school with the technological tools and skills they need to advance into a successful career. Find out how to apply!

Digital Divide Impacts Technological “Haves,” Too
The failure to find tech-savvy talent is preventing U.S. companies from innovating their way out of their current financial doldrums. A survey by Moritz’s firm found that 57 percent of U.S. CEOs said that creating and fostering a skilled workforce should be a top government priority.

Top Literacy Stories: February 13

Top Stories in LiteracyStates shake up adult education to help low-skilled workers
President Barack Obama’s recent proposal to “train 2 million Americans with skills that will lead directly to a job” barely scratches the surface of one of the nation’s most vexing labor problems.

Low Literacy Hurts Women’s Wages More than Men’s
Women at all levels of literacy tend to have lower wages than comparable men, but the gender wage gap is most noticeable between men and women of low literacy levels.

Nora Sanders has been named the Adult Learner of the Year
Nora Sanders of Shelbyville has been named the Adult Learner of the Year by the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE). Sanders was named Tennessee Adult Learner of the Year last fall and was selected from COABE from among other state winners.

New Report Finds More Older Americans Seeking Literacy/Basic Ed Programs
The percentage of adults 55 and older in adult literacy/basic education programs has doubled since the economic downturn in 2008, says a new report from ProLiteracy and Senior Service America.

Congress Ponders Adding GED Requirement to Unemployment Benefits
The House and Senate are debating a provision that would tie unemployment benefits to a high school diploma or a GED and to drug testing.

Top Literacy Stories : January 30

Adult literacy can be shortest path to an educated society
Family literacy is one of the most important things for an educated society. Children learn from their parents’ actions. Educating adults means educating families.

Most Florida jobs don’t require a bachelor’s degree
When it comes to Florida’s jobs, more than 85 percent do not require a four-year degree, according to data from the state’s “Workforce Estimating” conference earlier this month.

Internet promotes literacy, study says
The internet allows for critical engagement between printed text and readers. Enthusiasts of particular series are able to learn more and talk to other fans about their ideas in the stories while building digital literacy.

Statewide literacy tour kicks off in Sarasota
Ann Scott kicked off the 2012 statewide Celebrate Literacy Week, Florida! on Monday at Sarasota Middle School. The goal for this year is to have students read 20 million minutes.

Marilyn McMullan: Incorporating Career Awareness into your Daily Curriculum

It’s a rare student who comes into my ABE/GED classroom without the intention to get a job or get a better job.  Students are well aware that without strong literacy skills and a high school diploma or GED, their career options are really limited.  However, I find that only a few have clear understandings of what jobs may be available, or what skills are necessary for those jobs.  For many, the motivator is something like:  “I hear you can make good money as a _______”.  Rarely do students have a clear view of the variety of careers available.  As teachers, we need to help them get this information.   Students also tend to think of the skills they are learning as something for “the test” and disconnected from the skills they would need for a career or for life.   As teachers, we need to bring students closer to the understanding that while the skills we are teaching are for “the test”, they apply to the world of work as well.

An easy way to fill both these needs is to train yourself to use examples which emphasize career reference.  For instance, instead of “The dog (ran, is running, will run) down the street yesterday”, how about “The computer technician (ran, is running, will run) a virus check on my computer yesterday”?  Instead of “One third of the 75 books were fiction”, how about “One third of the 75 prescriptions filled by the pharmacy tech were antibiotics”?  As we teach, we need to constantly use career references in our examples and skills practice so that our students become familiar with various occupations and relate the skills they are learning to those occupations.

Marilyn McMullan

Another way to incorporate career awareness into skills teaching is to structure lessons around a certain occupation.  Take a few minutes to do a quick internet search for information on an occupation, especially one with high job availability in Florida.  Copy or rewrite an article on a radiologist, mix up the paragraphs, and have the students put them in the correct order.  Copy or rewrite a paragraph about legal assistants, leave out the commas and have students correct it.  Use truck drivers or transportation for questions dealing with the distance/ rate/time formula, calculating miles per gallon, or figuring gas cost per trip.  No matter what individual skill your students need or what level you are teaching, you will increase your students’ interest and knowledge by incorporating career awareness into your daily curriculum.

Apps for Education

Smart phones are becoming increasingly popular. Now that they are becoming more affordable, it is not that uncommon to see people in every economic bracket with one.  The PEW Research Center has completed surveys about the demographics of smart phone users.

I heard about using cell phones as a tool during tutor training at the Adult Literacy League. But after the trainer explained how she came to it, it made complete sense. Her student wanted to practice the new words he was learning, but didn’t want to be embarrassed as a grown man using flash cards.  After many trail and error experiments, they found an application that would work well for both of them.  I decided to compile a list of 4-5 applications for the most popular smart phones.  I suggest that you try out a couple and see what works for your student. The gFlash allows you as the tutor to upload a list of words for your student to use, or you can download a list already made by someone else.   All of the applications include audio so users can see how the word is spelled and hear how it is pronounced.  Is there anything else you would add?


Flash cards + $0.99 English Voice download- FREE (includes pronunciation button) – FREE

Math games- FREE

World Lens (Translates street signs) – FREE

Top 50 iPhone apps for Educators


Spanish-English Dictionary ColorDict Dictionary- FREE

Math Wizard- FREE

gFlash (create your own flashcards)- FREE pronunciation button)- FREE


gFlash PRO flashcards (create your own or download someone elses)- $4.99

Math Flash- FREE

Student Notes (good for those studying for the GED)- FREE

Learn to Write- FREE

Dictionary and FREE