Believe it or not, research to me is akin to going on a treasure hunt. Give me a topic and I get lost in another world. One of the best things we can teach our students is to access, evaluate and organize information that best answers predetermined questions. We not only want them to be independent learners and users of information but to be creative in their sharing and collaboration. When confidence replaces frustration particularly on a subject of interest they might even have as much fun as I do.
Heather Moorefield, education librarian at Virginia Tech and former chair of the American Association of School Librarians Best Websites for Teaching and Learning mentioned on Twitter an application that was launched in May 2012. This free site offers users (13 years or older) the ability to bookmark pages, highlight portions of those pages, add notes and share with others. Annotary bills themselves as: the best way to keep track of what you read.
You can sign up using your Facebook account or by entering in a first and last name, email address, user name (which becomes your unique URL) and a password. As soon as this is completed a welcome email is sent and you are requested to add the Annotary toolbar browser extension to either Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari. When the extension has been added your dashboard, homepage, opens.
While I used this tool to simply gather websites about snow, snowflakes, Wilson "Snowflake" Bentley and the making of virtual snowflakes, I can see using it to not only collect resources for more specific projects (author or genre studies) but also to create an online scavenger hunt writing questions in the notes which can be answered using the highlighted text. Here is the link to my collection titled Snow.
This web 2.0 application has all the features which make it advantageous for use; simplicity, ability to group similar pages in collections, highlighting of pertinent portions, the addition of notes and sharing are all pluses. I recommend Annotary for use in gathering resources about any topic of interest for individual or group use. Creating groups within your account allows for easy collaboration.