Recently I’ve been discussing with a number of educators different tools that teachers can use with students or on their own for learning, sharing, and collaboration. There are many websites that do a tremendous job of exploring different tools that teachers can access like TeachThought, freetech4teachers , edutopia, edudemics and many more. There are also many educators that have great resources for specific apps/tools like Evernote and EduClipper where you can get great information about how to use these tools in the classroom. With that being the case, I don’t usually write about tools too much. However, I have been using a specific tool for curating items from the web for a number of years now and thought it would be worth sharing.
Pearltrees is a great tool for curating items, sorting them and sharing them with others. You can also use it as a team to gather information and share it with others. It has an easy to navigate interface and it’s easy to create ‘Pearls’ (topics/categories) for sorting the information.
This screen shot shows some of the different categories that I have created. Once created, I can share these with other people in a few different ways.
First, I can send them a link to the url for the pearl
This way, I can share a different items I have curated with colleagues or other people who are looking for information on specific topics.
By clicking on a particular pearl, I can see all the different items I have saved to that location.
If I want to see what a particular items is about, all I do is click on the item and it displays for me with information.
As you can see, there is a great deal of information that is available once I open a particular pearled item. If that isn’t the particular item I am looking for, I can search through the different pearls that are in that category by using the tabs, moving forward and backward.
I can also create pearl categories within categories for even greater refinement.
The pearl in the top right is another category that I have created with specific digital citizenship information that I am using for a grade 7/8 class that I am visiting to discuss digital citizenship.
Pearling is easy
I love how I can use any of my devices to pearl items in any application. So, when I come across a great link, I go to the pearl plugin on my browser toolbar and click Pearltrees
This opens up a page that allows me to place the item into the category I want
Once done, I have a few options or I can wait and return to the page that I was viewing.
Now, if I happen to be on twitter, I can add a link just by using the add@pearltrees option
By using the hashtag, I can have the pearl sent directly to a specific category
If I don’t know where I want to put the item, I leave this blank and it will show up on my pearler collection bar and I can decide where to put it later.
Another great feature is the ability to share pearled categories and network with other people.
I pick up a few gems from here each time I go through. Another great feature is the suggested content.
With this feature, I’ve added so many great articles and links to my own collections.
So Much To Offer
I’ve tried a variety of other curating tools and this is by and far the best tool I have found for gathering, sorting, sharing, networking and working with others. I would recommend that educators give it a look, staffs take a look at how it might help them with sharing, educators explore use with students and districts/division look at using it as a tool for collaboration and sharing.