Pearltree is to the internet as a Disneyland Visa is to credit cards

Question of the week: How can I use Pearltrees to differentiate content in the classroom?

I have spent the last day and part of my dreams wracking my brain as to how Pearltree can help me in the classroom. I have come up blank. It’s not because I don’t understand how it operates, haven’t consulted my PLN, or am just being stubborn because I am not happy about having to sign up for one more site.* I truly cannot find any reason to use it in my classroom.

I suppose an educator could have students get on a computer and add their own pearls on a given topic. I teach first graders. Enough said. I suppose I could form a pearl so that the other five first grade teachers at my school and I could add ideas to it. However, we already have a spot for that when brilliance is in the air. I suppose a teacher could sit in front of a computer and search pearls in order to find ideas. However, I do not go home, after working 9-10 hours at school, and turn on the computer to view teaching websites. I would rather walk, play the violin, sew, shoot arrows, check on my tomato plants, write letters, read real books about bees and chickens, or anything else that does to have to do with technology and teaching. It is important that I have my free time to do what interests me and to get a break from school. It’s called balance and I need it.

You are probably wondering what in the world I mean with my title. I will do my best to clarify. I know that having to sign into internet sites is not going to go away. However, just because that is a reality, that doesn’t mean that it has to be my reality. The best analogy I could think of was credit cards. There are many types of credit cards that a person could choose to sign up for. However, that doesn’t mean that we have to sign up for every one (although they all would want us to). If we choose to sign up, we need to pick the one that works the best for us and won’t lead us to the debt collectors. Just because one card is the best for me, doesn’t mean that everyone else HAS to sign up for it. They need to be free to pick and choose what works best for them. Pearltree is like a credit card. Some people sign up for it and get lots of “shopping points” out of it. In fact they may even sign up for a bunch more depending on what they want to (l)earn. Others find no use for a plethora of cards or sites. I am among the latter. I do not wish to be inundated. I only need a couple and will use them until I find another need, which may be never, for something else. Therefore, Pearltree and Disneyland have no place in my life at this time. Hats off to the people who can use them and thank you for allowing me to choose. Happy typing and swiping.

*Do not be ashamed if a sudden image of Sharon with her ears back, heels digging in, and braying loudly in front of the word “technology” comes to mind because that is mostly the truth.

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