Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pearltrees for teachers

Year 2012 last post is a guest post from Finnish teacher Tommi Viljakainen. He is a teacher in Elimäki lower and upper secondary school. He teaches English, French and P.E. He is also interested in social media, iPad and the future of education. 

You can find Tommi also in Twitter under name @tommivilja

A (Finnish) teacher's dive into social media - "I discovered pearls in Pearltrees!"

Tips for teachers

This time I thought I could write about Pearltrees from a teacher's perspective. I started to use the web curation tool Pearltrees during my autumn holiday (in 2012) and I'm still amazed by the possibilities it has to offer.

It was the head teacher of our upper secondary school Kari Rajala who first introduced me to social media. I started using Facebook and soon got friends from my fellow teachers. In a week, I was already in Twitter following all kinds of discussions and weaving my personal learning network. The next thing I did was to write a blog post about BrainPOP (an iPad app) with Blogger. I also embedded a Youtube video to our project blog Mobiluck. As I saw it, I had seen all but one of the "Big Five" of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blogger, what next?).

Inspired by Timo Ilomäki and other tweeters' prolific use of,  I decided next to explore the world of curation. A French tweet led me to a review of several curation tools (Delicious, Diigo,, Pinterest, etc). I noticed that one of the tools, Pearltrees, had a special feature 'collaborative' which lacked from the others. After using Pearltrees for a while I could clearly see its functionality and the possibilities it had to offer in "cultivating" learning.

So, how did Pearltrees win me over? First of all, I have to say that Pearltrees is very well designed and it looks elegant and stylish. But the best thing about Pearltrees is that it is simple and easy to use. When I move the 'pearls' around my iPad it feels very natural and intuitive (mind you, Pearltrees is also available for iPhone, Mac and PC). The pearls can contain URLsphotos or notes.

To sign up to Pearltrees all you need is an email address. You can also sign up with Facebook or Twitter accounts. As you make your pearltree grow, you'll find out that people are taking (= copying) your pearls. Are they interested in the same things as you? Next, it is your turn to explore their collections.

You can search for "similar pearltrees" anywhere in the program. As you push the button, a map of similar pearltrees starts to form around you. Browsing through the pearls is easy with the screenshot image and the text of the website immediately at hand. The "searchtool allows you to look for pearltrees that have a specific theme or a subject. In fact, you can search for pearltrees, people or even make an inside search in your own account. So, there is no need for tagging anymore!

In essence, Pearltrees allows the user to make a personal collection of the internet and structure it at one's own will (mind mapping). The contents are presented as little "pearls" and to position and organize them you need logic thinking and a continual analysis of meanings. This "semantic web" is powered by people (as opposed to web 3.0?).

Today there has been a lot of discussion about personal learning networks (PLNs) and that teachers, as professionals, should embrace the global society by using social media. With Pearltrees this is not a problem. Shared interests bring people to each others' pearltrees to pick up the best "pearls". It doesn't matter what nationality, religion, sex, age or looks you have, a shared interest is all you need to make a connection.

10 tips for teachers:

1. Make Pearltrees your own professional digital library. (on-line tools, everything at hand)

2. Pay attention to the people that take your pearls. It is likely that they are interested in the same things as you are (shared interests)

3. Create your own PLN by using social media: Pearltrees, Twitter, Facebook (Personal Learning Network)

4. Are you interested in peer learning? With Pearltrees, you are always learning from others. As a teacher, you get inspiration from others and new ideas to enhance learning.

5. Are you familiar with the constructivist learning theory? In Pearltrees, new knowledge is always built in connection with the old one. The reshaping of pearltrees arise new meanings in an ever-changing context. (mind mapping, tree structure)

6. Do you think that learning should be about the real world? With Pearltrees you can connect everything you want from the (digital) world to your pearltrees. (connecting school life to real life)

7. Is it important for you to know your sources? How about stopping plagiarism? You can connect everything to Pearltrees: from production / presentation to sources / resources (source criticism)

8. Would you like to work together with another professional and build a common pearltree? Team up! (collaborative approach)

9. Create a pearltree for a class or a group and make it grow together. All the materials are available at one address. This is also a great opportunity for the teacher to learn from the students. (pedagogical use of Pearltrees)

10. Try the paid version Pearltrees Premium to make your pearltrees secret and to control sharing and confidentiality. You might also want to link in your secret Youtube teaching videos there. (controlling privacy)

The new social media tools make it possible for us to take the learning to the next level. Let's seize the day! (social media, learning in the digital age)


The program:


Pearltrees app (iPad, iPhone)

Me and Pearltrees:

My blog writings (in Finnish)

My pearltree

Articles about Pearltrees:

Pearltrees makes Web curation a joy with its 'magical' new iPad app

Stylish Web curation service Pearltrees launches a premium offering for private content sharing

Pearltrees in Wikipedia:

Videos about Pearltrees:

Exclusive first look: Pearltrees iPad app enables new kind of content curation

What's The Role Of Curation In Search?

Web curation / content curation:

Building Thought Leadership through Content Curation

Content Curation for Teachers

Science and Curation: the New Practice of Web 2.0

Why Curation Will Transform Education and Learning: 10 Key Reasons

Comparatif de 12 solutions de curation

Semantic web, Web 3.0:

Content Curation by people not Ai

Curation - The Third Web Frontier

Learning 3.0 and the Smart eXtended Web


  1. The teachers from the ancient times are mean to deliver the knowledge, so the modern ways are little different and they can now use many tools to efficiently convey the information and means of educating them, Mobile application development has more refine the methods of teaching as the apps can be specially build for the students and teachers to make effective communication.

    1. More and more information about home purchasing are mentioned in this blog. Please read them and keep in mind. --- Thanks
      Massage Therapy Orangeville

  2. Teachers are the best person who can change the life and thinking,the above tips for the teacher are so beneficial for improving their skill. thanks for such nice tips.

  3. free pc games Free games for PC Download by Electronic Art the leader in interactive entertainment.

  4. Join us in our quest to raise money & provide activies to our patients
    free pc games

    Work from home theory is fast gaining popularity because of the freedom and flexibility that comes with it. Since one is not bound by fixed working hours, they can schedule their work at the time when they feel most productive and convenient to them. Women & Men benefit a lot from this concept of work since they can balance their home and work perfectly. People mostly find that in this situation, their productivity is higher and stress levels lower. Those who like isolation and a tranquil work environment also tend to prefer this way of working. Today, with the kind of communication networks available, millions of people worldwide are considering this option.

    Women & Men who want to be independent but cannot afford to leave their responsibilities at home aside will benefit a lot from this concept of work. It makes it easier to maintain a healthy balance between home and work. The family doesn't get neglected and you can get your work done too. You can thus effectively juggle home responsibilities with your career. Working from home is definitely a viable option but it also needs a lot of hard work and discipline. You have to make a time schedule for yourself and stick to it. There will be a time frame of course for any job you take up and you have to fulfill that project within that time frame.

    There are many things that can be done working from home. A few of them is listed below that will give you a general idea about the benefits of this concept.

    This is the most common and highly preferred job that Women & Men like doing. Since in today's competitive world both the parents have to work they need a secure place to leave behind their children who will take care of them and parents can also relax without being worried all the time. In this job you don't require any degree or qualifications. You only have to know how to take care of children. Parents are happy to pay handsome salary and you can also earn a lot without putting too much of an effort.

    For those who have a garden or an open space at your disposal and are also interested in gardening can go for this method of earning money. If given proper time and efforts nursery business can flourish very well and you will earn handsomely. But just as all jobs establishing it will be a bit difficult but the end results are outstanding.

    Freelance can be in different wings. Either you can be a freelance reporter or a freelance photographer. You can also do designing or be in the advertising field doing project on your own. Being independent and working independently will depend on your field of work and the availability of its worth in the market. If you like doing jewellery designing you can do that at home totally independently. You can also work on freelancing as a marketing executive working from home. Wanna know more, email us on and we will send you information on how you can actually work as a marketing freelancer.

    Internet related work
    This is a very vast field and here sky is the limit. All you need is a computer and Internet facility. Whatever field you are into work at home is perfect match in the software field. You can match your time according to your convenience and complete whatever projects you get. To learn more about how to work from home, contact us today on workfromhome.otr214428@gmail.comand our team will get you started on some excellent work from home projects.

    Diet food
    Since now a days Women & Men are more conscious of the food that they eat hence they prefer to have homemade low cal food and if you can start supplying low cal food to various offices then it will be a very good source of income and not too much of efforts. You can hire a few ladies who will help you out and this can be a good business.

    Thus think over this concept and go ahead.

  6. Your music is amazing. You have some very talented artists. I wish you the best of success.

  7. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly that love and read more on this topic. If possible, such as gain knowledge, would you mind updating your blog with additional information? It is very useful for me.
    Technology news

  8. I appreciate you and I would like to read your next post.
    Thanks for sharing this useful information.
    We know your time is very important.
    So, We will help you for finding many important website link that you need for every work.
    Just Bookmarks one website and get more website link .
    all important website link
    SEO Tools

  9. I read your blog frequently and I just thought I’d say keep up the amazing work! Bright Future Learning Center

  10. Bluehost is definitely the best website hosting company for any hosting plans you might require.