For more than a year I have been wanting to try a curation tool I saw mentioned by Larry Ferlazzo on his blog, Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... Previously I have posted about other similar tools, Scoop.it!, Storify, Pearltrees, Mentormob and Learnist. With the flood of information from ever-increasing venues, it continues to be important to instruct our students in honing their curation skills. The American Association of School Librarians' Standards for the 21st Century Learners draws attention to this need in several sections of Standard 1: Inquire, think critically and gain knowledge.
In the upper right-hand corner of the home page buttons provide you with the ability to create classrooms for implementing the service (Classrooms Beta), Browse other developed magazines, drag a bookmarklet to your browser toolbar to easily place items in a Themeefy mag (Tools), Sign Up and Login. In the center of the home page you can immediately begin to create a Themeefy magazine by choosing the general Create option or the Teach start-a-class choice. For educators the Teach screen looks like the image below. For purposes of this post, trying the application, I choose the Create option.
With a few clicks on the keyboard I had a theme name typed in and selected the Create Theme button. At this point I have not signed up yet. The next screen, the workbench, provides a short text box type tour of many of the icons by clicking the forward and backward arrows. This is very helpful for a new user.
Your work in progress, magazine, appears on the right. The title of your Themeefy can be altered with the click of a mouse. By clicking on the pencil icon to the left of your title box, you are taken to the upload options. (2)
After you click the plus sign for an item on the left, a copy shifts to the right with icons on the right for uploading, previewing and deleting. Each time an item is added to your magazine the default image for Themeefy is shown. When you upload an image, it replaces it. You can also mouse over any text which originated with the item, change or add to it.
At any time during the adding of items to your magazine you can click the preview button above your column on the right. The first page is your title. You can move forward and backward by using the arrows. As noted the icon on the left opens up the upload choices.
The next page is your table of contents. By clicking and dragging you can rearrange their order. If you click on the title of the item it will take you to it immediately (except for some reason this would not work for the listed tweet pages). Videos can be viewed within a page.
The page for each item in your magazine has three icons on the left. The top is for opening the three upload selections (1). The middle icon takes you directly to the media listed (2). If you want to head back to the table of contents, click the bottom icon (3)
For me getting images of maps in Bing worked better than Google maps. They would open very well on the left in preview mode. But they would not shift over to the right side correctly.
Click on the bottom icon on the left side of your created magazine. This will publish your work. You can share via a URL, on Facebook or Twitter, add a password so only certain people can view your work or unpublish the magazine. Here is the link to my created magazine, Caldecott Medal 75 Years.
If you get stuck during this process the FAQ section will help. I did send an email with a question and I received a reply within minutes. I inquired about having an HTML embed code for blogs and websites. It is coming very soon.
The huge advantage of Themeefy is the educator piece, especially for students under the age of 13. To be able to have a free account, adding students from classes, monitoring their work in a secure environment, is great. The ability for students to collaborate on magazines is an excellent feature.
It really couldn't easier to use. I was able to navigate between each of the ways to add items with absolutely no problems. If you make a mistake there is always a window of opportunity to make corrections.
Themeefy is a must add to your virtual toolbox.