Pearls of Information

When we have something special, we treasure it.  When we treasure something, we keep it in a special place.  The Web is full of treasures: interactive tools, social networks, videos, images, blogs, wikis, and more.  There is so much, and it is overwhelming to fit it all into one place. For me, that special place is Pearltrees.

Just like Diigo, Pearltrees is a bookmarking tool that allows users to collect, organize, and curate information found online.  Individual preferences for classifying and organizing information help grow unique pearltrees.  Users can reorganize their favorite pearls within a tree in a very simple fashion – drag and drop.  It is just as easy to pick a pearl from someone else’s tree and add to own collections.  I love the fact that I receive notifications when any of my single pearls or whole pearltrees gets picked by another user because it helps me discover who has the same interests as me . I may choose to follow another users’ pearltrees or even organize a pearltree team, a place for people with the same interests to work collaboratively and grow collections.  The owner of a peartree completely controls who can become a team contributor.  For example, I have the Online Collaboration Tools team that is our “folksonomy” (Richardson, 2010, p. 91), a social community of educators joined by the same interest.  It helps us work smarter and more efficiently as we are traveling the roads of the enormous Web in an attempt to map out the most significant resources to support our passion.

Pearltrees provides users with tools to take notes and upload images.  The icon of each pearl is a visual representation of the bookmarked resource that allows users to preview the site before going out to the actual url.  Anyone can comment on pearls and converse about the topic.  It reminds me of Twitter; only favorite tweets are combined into a string of pearls.  With a premium account, users are able to highlight and post notes which makes Pearltrees very similar to Diigo.  I also love to see the statistics of my pearltrees: how many pearls are picked and by whom, how many comments are posted, and how many views each pearl has received in general.  In addition, every pearl can be shared with others with provided embedding codes and shortened links. Users are able to connect Pearltrees with their Twitter or Facebook accounts to make it easy to bookmark resources and post them onto multiple platforms with one click.  As Diigo uses Diigolet, Pearltrees uses Pearler to make it convenient to add web resources to collections.  If I am not sure where I want to add a certain pearl at the moment I pick it, the drop zone is the place where I can temporarily store the pearl until I decide how it should be categorized and to which tree it needs to be added.

Since Pearltrees requires a log in for creating pearltrees, elementary students cannot use this tool individually.  Teachers may choose to use this tool to provide young students with resources for certain topics.  However, middle and high school students can take a full advantage of this tool to work collaboratively to collect resources, curate information, and share notes.  I use Pearltrees to organize resources for teachers. Below is my Pearltree of online treasures:

azink and Inspirational / Assessment / Inforgraphics / Presentation Tools in Alena Zink (azink)

Organize your interests with the Pearltrees’ app for Android

Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. California: Corwin A SAGE Company.

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