This educational technology post introduces you to the amazing world of visual social bookmarking. Combining a mind-blowing user interface with excellent classroom usability, visual social bookmarking sure to be a valuable tool for you and your students.
You probably know social booking has great benefits in the educational setting. You can bookmark and categorize websites and easily share this list with your students. You can also join with fellow teachers and create shared lists of online resources. Students, especially older students who are conducting research, social bookmarking provides a great way to collect and share online information.
However, many people are visual learners and might struggle with organizing a huge list of online resources. That’s where this cool web 2.0 visual social bookmarking tool comes in: Pearltrees.
Think of Pearltrees as a visual social bookmarking tool. When you bookmark a website, it becomes a pearl on your canvas. A pearl is a small, round icon of the bookmarked website. Mouse over the pearl and you will see a screenshot of the website on the left side of your canvas.
Collections of bookmarks (pearls) are joined into branching categories called pearlltrees. This allows you to visually organize your resources instead of using a list. You can collapse or expand pearltrees as needed to help organize the workspace.
How can you use Pearltrees in the classroom? Create an account for your class. One account will work even if you teach multiple subjects. Click the new pearltree icon at the bottom of the screen and create a pearltree for each subject you teach. Then, within each subject pearltree, create pearltrees for the different units you teach. Add pearls (bookmarked sites) to each of the unit pearltrees. For example, you may have pearls (bookmarked sites) inside a pearltree named The Civil War inside a pearltree named Social Studies. This will be a continuous process throughout the school year. By the end of the year, you will have all of your online resources in one, visually organized workspace. To share with students, just give them the URL of your Pearltrees account; they will be able to access all of your resources.
Have you used Pearltrees or a similar web 2.0 site? Please post a comment below. Thank you for reading the educational technology blog Teach Amazing!