Monday, January 6, 2014

Organize Your Pantry of Online Teaching Tools

Yesterday, it was my mission to clean and reorganize my kitchen pantry.  I felt as if I had entered Dante's Purgatory...and I had a decision to make.  Either buckle down and conquer that sucker and enter Paradise or succumb to defeat and head the other direction.  Well, today, the angels are a singin' and that beast is finished!

It took me hours upon hours to get it just the way I wanted it. In part because my three cherubs did a number on it with half eaten bags of stale chips and snack crackers.  In part because I am so type-A it is ridiculous.  I wanted it organized.  My way.

Being a Technology Integrationist has me signing up for, testing out, and implementing hundreds of sites and apps in any given month.  Many of them end up being resources I'd like to hang onto for myself or to pass along to another teacher. This is where you must have a system for staying organized. You either sink or swim in this capacity, and it doesn't take long to be weighted down by the plethora of tools you want to keep.

There are an overwhelming number of bookmarking tools out there (almost enough to have to "organize the organizers").  I suggest finding ONE you love and stick with it.  I have tested many, and I do realize that everyone has certain features that suit them best.  Mine is Draggo.

Draggo.com is a terrific tool for organizing your sites into categories and tabs.  I am a very visual person. I also have a visual memory.  For me this means having a social bookmarking site where I can picture where on the page it is and find it easily.  It also has a great search option to type in keywords to locate what you're looking for.  Now let me back up and explain that social bookmarking is creating a set of bookmarks like you would on any one machine, except that you can access them from any device with internet access just by signing into your account and share those bookmarks with others.  No longer are you going to fall victim to a crashed computer that kills your bookmarks along with it.


Another thing I love about Draggo is the ability to easily create categories and tabs to further keep your bookmarks in line.  Here is a snapshot of part of one of my pages.  You can see the various tabs across the top as well as a few of the categories on that page.  Notice, at the side, an "Inbox".  If you aren't quite sure what category you want your bookmark in or don't have time to create a new category when you find a site worth keeping, you can select to put it in the inbox.  This saves them for later.  You can then drag and drop them from the inbox to whatever category you wish or create that new category then and continue with dragging and dropping.

To make things easier, Draggo creators have created a bookmarklet, a button you drag to your bookmarks bar.  With one click, any site you're on can be bookmarked to Draggo and placed in a category or your inbox for safe-keeping.



So, it's time to organize your webtool pantry (and maybe your kitchen pantry, too).  Whether it's Draggo or another tool, find one you like and you're on your way to organizational paradise too! 



1 comment:

  1. ooooh another organizer ... I have not heard of this one but look forward to exploring! Thanks! I just left a group of 4th grade teachers that were really excited about the possibilities they saw using livebinders and symbaloo! We love to organize ... I like how you mention having to "organize the organizers" :)

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