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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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A Primer on Compiling Digital Resources

Mary Beth Hertz

K-8 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

If you're like most teachers, you look forward to the summer when you can reflect on the past year and begin compiling ideas and resources for next year. One question to ask yourself is how will you compile all of the links, articles and ideas so that they are easily accessible to both you and your students.

Here are some some suggested free tools for compiling resources. Remember, tools come and go, so think about what you are using the tool for and why it is useful so that you'll be able to replace it should it disappear. It's all about what it does, not what it's called!

Evernote (www.evernote.com): Take webclips, notes, photos and more that you find on your computer, at dinner, in a meeting or on vacation and save them easily to your Evernote account using the web-based version, mobile app or even by emailing them to your Evernote account. It also has a bookmarklet to allow for easy saving.

Diigo (www.diigo.com): Social bookmarking at its finest, Diigo allows you to build a network of colleagues, create groups and even has Teacher accounts you can use to create student accounts -- no email required) Use Diigo to bookmark your favorite sites, take notes by highlighting text on the website, add your own notes by using virtual sticky notes. Email or tweet the article link/web annotation or share it with your Diigo network. The Diigo bookmarklet is available for most browsers and is pretty robust.

Symbaloo (http://www.symbaloo.com): This tool allows you to create your own personal homepage with all of the sites you either use the most or the sites you want your students to use while also allowing you to organize them in any way you would like. These sites appear as icons, which makes them easy use for even the youngest students. It also easy to add and take away sitesmasmprojects come to an end or as a new one begins.

LiveBinders (www.livebinders.com): Create a virtual binder to separate resources out by subject or any way you want. Each 'section' has a tab which you can use to share links, embed websites, videos and images. Great for compiling resources on many different topics or for classroom units.

Delicious: (http://www.delicious.com): Another social bookmarking tool that allows you to bookmark your favorite sites, tag them and organize them into bundles. You can follow other members' libraries and share your whole library or your bundles. Less robust than Diigo but a great way to share links on a particular topic. There is also a Delcious bookmarklet so you can easily add links to your library.

PortaPortal (www.portaportal.com): Organize links by topic or by any rhyme or reason all on one page. Users can access your page like any website and use the menus to access links for each topic. Icons can be added next to links of particular interest.

Please share any other resources you would suggest -- and any tips you have for using them -- in the comments!

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