# One Prep A Week Part One- Use PearlTrees To Link Them All

As teachers, we often struggle to help students make use of brainstorming techniques that help generate ideas for an assignment, project workflow, or get the big picture on complex subjects. We encourage students to make graphical representations of related information with flow charts, venn diagrams, or other infographics. Grouping students together at a table can result in some useful output, but getting kids to stay focused on abstractions is difficult. This is all the more challenging when the participants lack any meaningful background information that allows them to produce *original* thoughts. Using the web as a resource for background information can be useful, but as discussed here, letting students go to town with Google results in unreliable data and an unclear understanding of what they have read. A large part of the problem is that simply assigning students to do research online or out of a book doesn’t give them something to bring to the table, so to speak.

Pearltrees on The Internet map The map of the Internet Like any other map, The Internet map is a scheme displaying objects’ relative position; but unlike real maps (e.g. the map of the Earth) or virtual maps (e.g. the map of Mordor), the objects shown on it are not aligned on a surface. Mathematically speaking, The Internet map is a bi-dimensional presentation of links between websites on the Internet. Every site is a circle on the map, and its size is determined by website traffic, the larger the amount of traffic, the bigger the circle. Charges and springs To draw an analogy from classical physics, one may say that websites are electrically charged bodies, while links between them are springs. Also, an analogy can be drawn from quantum physics. Anyway, the real algorithm of plotting The Internet map is quite far from the analogies given above. Semantic web The map of the Internet is a photo shot of the global network as of end of 2011 (however, baloons show actual statistics from Alexa). The Internet Phenomenon

How to use Pearltrees? Many people search the web, read content every day and share that content. While advances in search technology has made finding information easier and easier, saving and organizing information in a way that captures a story or conversation can still be very challenging. I just posted on Techmamas.com about my first experience with Pearltrees.com; I was on a Traveling Geeks trip to LeWeb and Pearltrees was one of the French companies we met. Being a visual person, the Pearltrees online application offered me the tools to capture and organize online information in a visual format that also reflected the storyline behind the issue being discussed. I decided that my next step was to use it and see what happens. I easily created Pearltrees for conversations, issues and topic areas I am researching. Months later, when I took on a project as adviser to Pearltrees, I had the opportunity to learn even more about the site and share the information I learned. A Pearltree is made up of Pearls. 1.

Say Goodbye to Pinterest and Hello to Pearltrees A few weeks ago, I began to use a new service called Pearltrees, and its accompanying iPad app. Since that time, I have explored the service, shared and gathered pearls, and raved about it to every person I can think of. Now its time in the spotlight on iSource is well-deserved. With all the hubbub of syncing bookmarks and how “everybody is doing it” (Safari with iCloud, Chrome, etc.), Pearltrees quietly stands to the side as a more powerful, intuitive, and beautiful way to organize what you uncover on the web – as a Pearl. Drop a web link into the “Pearler” and connect that site (err, Pearl) with whatever you think it best fits with. It’s “Pinterest” meets “bookmark syncing” meets your personal “mind map.” Recently Pinterest has exploded onto the social networking scene. Want to find other “pearls” put there? I expect Pearltrees to explode in use too. Pearltrees is available online and the universal app is in the App Store for free. Continue reading: