Do you suffer from info overload? Is your RSS reader bursting at the seams? Have your bookmarks gone bonkers? Like that alliteration? Me neither. Anyway, we are all slammed with information every time we go online. What’s the best way to organize it all into at least some reasonable manner? Teachers, students, and admins alike don’t have the time to properly visit every site (except Edudemic of course so they turn to curation tools. Below is a simple list of my favorites. Hope they help de-clutter your life at least a little bit.
(Formerly Read It Later)
The uber-popular social network / social bookmarking / time sucking website is a great way for anyone who wants to organize their online travels. You can pin just about anything (as long as it has a big enough image on the page)using a bookmarklet. Pinterest is by far the easiest tool of all the ones mentioned by us. Best of all, it’s the best in terms of content discovery. Pinterest is a legitimate social network where you can waste, err, spend hours just browsing your favorite categories. You’ve been warned.
Diigo is very popular with the world of education. That’s because it offers a few critical tools not found in most other tools. You can ‘highlight’ certain web snippets for easy access at a later date. In other words, you can pick and choose certain parts of web pages and not have to simply bookmark the entire page. That’s great for detailed lesson plans, research, citations, etc.
Sorta like Pinterest, you can create ‘bags’ instead of ‘boards.’ But one of the killer features for BTW (BagTheWeb, everyone’s using initialisms these days, right?) is the ability to embed multimedia in your bags. Can’t do that on Pinterest (yet)!
PearlTrees is an increasingly popular tool that has a killer feature: even better organization structure of your curated content. As the name suggests, you can organize your goodies into trees and snip off parts or the whole tree and share that with others. It’s similar to Pinterest ‘boards’ or BagTheWeb’s ‘bags’ but I just find the tree structure to be the most intuitive. And beyond the highly-visual structure, the best part can be the ability to curate content collaboratively. At anytime, you can invite others to curate your trees with you. You can see the attached screen for one example. Worth checking out.
Bundlr is not as well known as the other contenders above but it’s worth knowing about. Bundlr organizes your curated content into tidy pages that are highly visual like Pinterest. But you’re able to actually clip / curate content that is text-only. This is a big feature for anyone doing a pantload of research or text-heavy documentation. You can also share your curated web goodies ‘privately’ and mark certain things as private. Again, great for research!
Awesome site for younger classrooms. Storify lets you turn your tweets and online actions into highly visual stories. Better still, it’s sort of like a social network since there are many great organizations using Storify every day to share / promote their content. But it’s turned into a lot easier-to-digest visual formats rather than a never-ending flow of text on Twitter.
A well-known but not widely-understood service. You’ve probably seen the ‘Stumble It!’ bookmarks on websites like Edudemic but didn’t use them. StumbleUpon is another highly visual and engaging way to discover new content while also bookmarking and curating your own favorites. Like Pinterest, it’s a time-sucking good time!
You may be saying ‘Twitter isn’t a curation tool Jeff, you’re a dummy.’ But I wish to disagree! And thanks for the kind words. Twitter has a great feature that not everyone uses. It lets you ‘favorite’ tweets and add them to your ‘favorites’ page. It’s basically a quick way to bookmark great tweets, useful tweets, images you see in your stream, etc. So yea, who’s a dummy now? Zing!
There are truckloads of other options out there. If you’re not happy with any of the above options, check out Scoop.it (gaining popularity lately), Lynk.ly (good way to organize Facebook & Twitter feeds), Curated.by (not working right now but worth knowing about), Trunk.ly, paper.li, Delicious (used to be more popular), Flipboard, Posterous (acquired by Twitter FYI), Tumblr, KBucket, Amplify (an add-on for your browser but the main site has been down for awhile) or Qrait (currently in closed beta).
What Are Your Favorites?
Have some other curation tools you want the Edudemic community to know about? Mention them on our Facebook page so everyone can see and learn!