Exploratory Learning Objects with Pearltrees

Every year, around this time, I make a presentation to Level 3 Engineers and Sports Scientists as part of a series of briefings on their dissertation project. And every year, this presentation Research Techniques and Tools serves to highlight a new web-based presentation technology.

Back in 2008, I used a flash-based tool called Flowgram (sadly no longer with us) to stitch together some PowerPoint slides with some live web pages. Last year, it was the turn of Prezi. This year, I used a combination of Google docs Presentations and live websites put together with Pearltrees to create an open learning object that is concerned with library-based research techniques and online research tools.  In this case a picture really is worth a thousand words so I’ll let you explore the result for yourself.

EG-353 Research Techniques and Tools

The beauty of this technique is that Pearltree (the web-app) alows you to show the collection of web pages in slide-show mode while allowing later visitors to explore the whole collection in their own way. They can also take the entire pearl-tree and make a copy of it or link to the original. Pearl-trees can also be shared and commented on. The browser extension (only for Firefox I’m afraid) is very easy to use and makes the construction of pearl-trees as you browse a snap. And of course, as demonstrated here, the finished pearl-tree can be embedded in blogs or Blackboard, linked to, tweeted, emailed, and shared on Facebook.

Other related tools worth mentioning are Trailmeme from Xerox PARC a tool that allows you to create a map of web sites, Trailfire which is a more linear presentation, WebSlides (from Diigo) [see earlier post], and the commercial tool Curatr. Your choice depends on your starting point and what you want you or your students to achieve.

One thought on “Exploratory Learning Objects with Pearltrees

  1. Nice! I hadn't seen pearltree presented like a learning objects repository, but it's a great idea. Thanks!

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