Monday, May 29, 2017

Wanted a Good Visual Bookmarking Site: Goodbye, Pinterest.

Wanted:  A Good Visual Bookmarking Site 

Here's why....

As someone who loves to read and learn online, I began using bookmarking sites early in my transition to digital material.  My first go-to site was Diigo.  I loved that you could annotate and tag the links saved.  Then along came Pinterest.  I'll be the first to admit that Pinterest creates a lot of dangerous educational possibilities.  There are a million worksheets and pins that don't necessarily lead to best practice.  Of course, one of the things I've learned over the years is that it isn't the tool that is the problem, it is often the way we use it.

The Way It Used to Be
I didn't like Pinterest for its "make and take it" possibilities, but instead for the ability to save the links I had found and bookmark them.  Through Pinterest, I was able to collect articles, links, books, and resources.  Making boards around topics proved a helpful way of organizing for me as I built boards that included Literacy 3.0, Many Faces of Children's Literature, Rethinking Learning Spaces, and many others I repeatedly return to for reference.

I didn't just love Pinterest for its ease and visual appeal in bookmarking, but I loved it for its social bookmarking capabilities.  I started following friends I knew would curate smart links.  I knew I could count on friends like Jill Fisch for great book titles, Franki Sibberson for smart literacy links, and Michelle Nero for tips on best practice in reading.  I knew I could count on these connections, and many more, to bring strong content to my attention.  In addition to being able to take advantage of the curation of peers, I was also able to collaboratively bring information together.  For example, through #cyberPD we formed groups that shared bookmarking abilities that matched our topic of study.

Goodbye, Pinterest
Across the years, Pinterest has slowly tried to bring more promotional material into the feed and "personalize" links that come to my attention.  Instead of seeing the links friends are curating, I now see promotional links and links Pinterest thinks I want to see.  Dear Pinterest, I don't need worksheets for guided reading (because that isn't guided reading anyway).  I don't need cut out icons for "interactive notebooks" (because I haven't figured out what is "interactive" about that).  What I need is to be able to see the educational material my friends share, but I no longer easily see the links they are collecting.  I know I can count on these people for good content, but I can no longer find their links among the promoted and selected links.

So....goodbye, Pinterest.

For these reasons, I'm planning to begin to move my bookmarking to a new site.  I'm looking for something that is visual, tag-able, organizable, and can be social.  Any suggestions???

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Let's Get This Started #cyberPD: Share Your Stack

As the calendar nears summer, I'm starting to think about my professional learning plan.  Summer is the perfect time to catch up on reading, collaborate with others, and change course for the upcoming school year.  Of course, summer also means #cyberPD.  This event is always at the top of my summer learning list.  This year will be our seventh year of learning together as a community.

Each summer the #cyberPD community chooses a professional book to read and discuss in the month of July.  The event has certainly grown since its first year which began with less than fifteen people, but the community has remained collaborative.  You can join the conversation and see past years' discussions in our #cyberPD Google Community.  Here are the books selected since 2011: 
Share Your Stack
The first thing we need to do is choose our book.  

To help do this, we are asking the #cyberPD to share their book stacks.  Before May ends, please share the professional books you hope to read this summer.  Participants can share their stacks using the Twitter hashtag #cyberPD and post in our #cyberPD community under the "share your book stack" tab.  Michelle and I will then take a look at the stacks and choose one title to be discussed by the community in July.  The selection announcement will be made June 3rd!

Let's get this started!!

Here's my stack of professional reading....