So a few days ago, I read an article about Pearltrees. I was lucky enough to have Oliver Starr contact me with some assistance.
My experience with pearltrees has been very limited, but I can tell you from what I’ve tried so far, I like it. We all know about my relative techno-idiocy. I will start by saying Pearltrees is easy to use. Ya!
Pearltrees is an application that lets your sort your files in a more visual way than typical folders you might use in another program. You create a home base or root tree, which is your main topic. You then add “pearls” (like branches/leaves) to your tree with content you collect. For example, if I wanted to start a collection on Tim Horton’s, I could add a website, reviews, newspaper articles, personal opinions, menu etc on all different pearls and SEE them all surrounding my tree. For me, seeing them spread out in a visual pattern is very appealing to me and it gives you a thumbnail shot, too.
Great things about pearltrees in the classroom? I can use this as a collaborative tool. I could create a tree called “Justice Collage”. I can add each student’s work as a “pearl” to create branches. Each pearl has the option to comment – so students can view each other’s work and comment on it. This way of sharing the tree is easy, as you can embed your pearltree into a class site. Then, students have access to view work and comment, all within the site. Since I have been looking for a way to engage my students in the course and with each other, this seems like a great option. What else is cool? Well, you can share your information with other people – you can see other people’s pearltrees and share information that way. If someone else has a public Tim Horton’s file, maybe they have information I can use and will share it! Yippee! I like sharing. Pearltrees will suggest to you common themes and other trees to look at. Then, you can group them together.
I’m becoming a new fan. I like easy to figure out. I like visually appealing. I like sharing. I like finding a way to get students to interact with each other. If you are looking for a new way to collect and share information, then give pearltrees a try.