A Jewel for Collaboration

I like tools that lend to collaboration.

I like graphic organizers.

I like things that run over the web and work nicely in your browser.

I think that’s why I immediately liked Pearltrees.

From a central node (or as is called here “pearl”), you connect other pearls.  These other pearls are web resources that connect to the central pearl.  Pearltrees automatically organizes the content in a circular fashion around the starting pearl.

The result is a perfectly symmetrical graphic document.  Of course, as you work with the graphic, you can shift the focus so that one of the outside pearls could be the starting point for another pearltree.

And the logic could go on and on and on!  Tools are located across the bottom to create new pearls or new pearl trees.  If you need to rearrange any pearl, just click and pull it away from the tree to reorder, trash, or expanding content.  Since each of the pearls contains a web resource, click on them opens that page but you’ll never get lost.  Major navigation remains at the top of the screen as well as the ability to share the resource with Twitter or Facebook.  It’s like a reverse embed.  Instead of embedding your content on a web page, you’re embedding the web resource in your content!

But, it gets better.

And this better include some serious collaboration.  Invite others to your pearltree and they have the ability to help you build and grow your original!

The process is called teaming up.  You have a number of options for inviting others to join and collaborate on your pearl tree.  When you’re done, there’s embed an embed code to embed your work into a service that supports active embeds.

Creating a pearltree, adding pearls, and inviting others to help out is very easy.  There are many ways to create graphic organizers but I really like the concept of adding collaborators to help you do some research and curate resources for a project.  Picture your students working in groups and trying to build content based upon a central theme.  How are they doing it now?  Would they be good candidates for using a pearltree?

You can check out my digital footprint shown as a pearltree.  It’s located here.  Flash is required to access it.

Post updated – March 2014 – There is an app for iOS.  It’s available here.

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3 thoughts on “A Jewel for Collaboration

  1. Doug, I love this! What a great, visual way to show and interact with your digital footprint. It also reminds me of two of my favourite iPad apps: Discovr (for music) and Discovr Apps. They work very much like Genius does in iTunes but with great visual appeal. Pick an artist or app that you like and these apps will draw out similar “pearls” around it.


  2. Pingback: Better than the Original « doug – off the record

  3. Pingback: The 4 C’s- Critical Thinking (1/4) | Techie Teachers' Tricks

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