Over the years I’ve written about a lot of social bookmarking services and mind-mapping services (I even co-authored a chapter of a bookon mind-mapping). Pearltrees is a service that combines social bookmarking with mind-mapping. Using Pearltrees you can bookmark websites and arrange your bookmarks into webs or mind-maps of related topics. For example, this Pearltree contains links to stories, images, and videos about news from Libya.
You can create as many Pearltrees as you like within your account. Adding content to your Pearltrees can be done through a browser bookmarklet, browser extension, or by manually copying and pasting links. With the bookmarklet or extension installed in your browser, simply click on the Pearltree icon anytime you find something you want to bookmark. Then with the Pearltree dialogue box open select the Pearltree you want to add to. Of course, as with any good social bookmarking services, you can share your Pearltrees with anyone you like.
The video below provides a short overview of Pearltrees.
Applications for Education
Pearltrees could be a great tool for students to use to organize their web research according to topics or units of study in your courses. I’m thinking that by using Pearltrees throughout a course students would be able to create webs of resources for each unit you teach then visually connect those webs as a summative exercise at the end of a quarter, semester, or year.