Quote of the Month

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

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Working Together To Make It Better

On March 2, 2012 Larry Ferlazzo posted at his site, Larry Ferlazzo's Websites Of The Day..., about a new type of curation tool, a tool for gathering when something new is to be learned.  This service, Mentor Mob, gives users the opportunity to browse playlists previously made by other users or to create one of their own.  Users of this free application need to be over the age of thirteen (13).  If under the age of 18 they need to have parental or guardian consent.

To get a feel for the type of playlists being generated I first selected to browse Mentor Mob.  When you click the button for browsing the next screen offers users recreational or academic categories.  For each of those divisions browsing can be done by Top Playlists or Top Tags.

Under academic the playlist headings are:  math, science, technology, social studies, for teachers, business studies, art, English/reading, language, music, universities and health.  The top tags are shown beneath each of the playlist categories.  Academia & school, arts & crafts/hobbies, business, money & finance, computers & tech, cooking & baking, family & relationships, health & fitness, home, pets & garden, how-to & DIY, sports, games & outdooors, volunteerism, non-profit & activism and news & entertainment are the groupings under recreational.

To create a playlist you are taken to a screen where you can try a test playlist first.  When mousing over each step you are asked if you wish to edit or move the step.  Beneath the test click the create a playlist button. 

At this point you either log in or sign up.  You can sign in using Google, Facebook or by registering at Mentor Mob.  Registration requires you to enter in your first and last name, email address, a password, birth date and gender.  A photograph can be added too.  A verification email is sent with a link.

Upon logging in you are taken to your profile page.  Across the top you can browse playlists, create a playlist, search Mentor Mob, go to the home page, check for messages, view the Community page where updates by contributors are posted, go to the page where you currently are, logout or invite friends to use Mentor Mob.  You can go to saved playlists, recently viewed playlists or view those you have created.  Stats are kept regarding saved playlists, completed steps, completed playlists and created playlists. 

When selecting the Create a Playlist button you are first taken to a screen that reminds you not to create a test playlist.  You are asked to enter in a title, short description, type (recreational or academic), choose a category and tags (keywords).  Click continue when you are satisfied with the preview at the right.

You are then asked who can view your playlist, anyone on Mentor Mob or only those with a link.  You are also requested to choose who can edit your playlist, anyone on Mentor Mob or only you.  Then click Save and Add Content.

You can view your playlist while under construction in Playlist or Outline view.  Click on the create the first step button (+ sign) in the center of the playlist screen.  The small pop-up asks you to make the step from a link, from an upload or add a pop quiz.

When a link is added another pop-up lists the title, a short description, whether it is an article or video, and you can choose a skill level (beginner, intermediate or advanced).  Once a step is added it can be edited, moved or previewed.  Steps can be added behind or in front of a previously added step. 

Prior to clicking the Done Editing tab I clicked buttons for share, editing info & title and privacy settings.  Selecting the share button brings up a link and an embed code as well as one click sharing on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, via email, with other networks (huge list) or publicly recommend the playlist on Google.  Viewers of playlists are allowed to comment.

Here is my playlist titled Caldecott Captive.

Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!

I can think of any number of possibilities for using this in the classroom.  Those already created on site are pretty good.  Mentor Mob has my recommendation for being a perfect web 3.0 application for professional and personal use.

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