Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Gathering Nuts?

It's hard to break habits, especially when you have had them for years.  There are so many good online services to store and arrange website bookmarks that it doesn't make sense to not take advantage of what they provide.  But still, when I am in a hurry, I might quickly click on the Favorites icon just so I can come back to that place time permitting. 

When looking over my long list of apps to explore, I spotted one posted by Richard Byrne at Free Technology for Teachers more than a year ago, Sqworl.  As stated on their home page:

Sqworl is a web application that provides a clean and simple way to visually bookmark multiple URLs.

To register enter in a username, your name, email address, password and answer the quirky "Are you human?" question by trying to decipher a blurred nearly incoherent set of letters.  Thankfully, there are no terms of service to read. 

Upon registering you are taken to a page which allows groups to be created, follow other groups by clicking on their heart icon, installing a bookmarklet to your browser toolbar, adding a Sqworl API or using a Sqworl application designed for iPhone or iPod Touch.  I elected to try  creating a group first.  The next page asks you to name your group and give a brief description. 

A unique URL generated for your new group appears in the center of the following page.  There is a blank for entering in the URL (web address) of the first site in your group followed by a blank for a short annotation.  Within minutes I had a group created.  Here is the link for my group, Online Apps for March.

In the lower right hand corner of each website thumbnail is a small red "-" which allows for easy deletion of a link.  To move from a group page on which you are working to create another, click on your username in the upper right hand corner of the page to toggle back to the beginning.

I decided to add a bookmarklet to my web browser to make adding to groups even easier.  Adding a bookmarklet allows you to add a website to a group without leaving its page.  You can even create a new group without going into Sqworl.  IE users need to add it to Favorites, others can simply drag it to their browser toolbar.

For my students creating groups in Sqworl, then placing them in the Shared Students' Space is much more appealing.  It's the visual aspect of the website thumbnails they will find easier, more than a simple title linked to a website.  To be able to see where they are going prior to making a selection will make all the difference for them.  This is one nut this squirrel is storing away.

No comments:

Post a Comment