I stumbled across Pearltrees a couple of months ago (I suspect it was David Mitchell that mentioned it in a tweet).
The app is free, and you can also run a desktop version.
Pearltrees allows you to curate all those web pages you bookmark in a visual way. I have been using Instapaper to save web pages up until now but have tended to add things to my list and not go back to them.
As an avid iPad fan the tactile way Pearltrees functions suits me down to the ground.
You can put pearled pages into your drop zone then drag them into the Pearltrees that you create. It is a form of mind mapping I suppose.
I ran an Apple Regional Training Centre session last term on iPads in Education and demonstrated Pearltrees as a useful app for teachers. In the classroom you can quickly and easily navigate to websites you use on a regular basis. You can share the pearls with others via Twitter, Facebook, or email (useful for pointing students in the direction of the right websites to use for homework) and curate pearls with colleagues. Vijay Krishnan has joined me in curating a Pearltree on iPads in education.
The one drawback at the moment is that Pearltrees is only available for the iPad so I am still using Instapaper to save sites that I come across on my iPhone, then adding them to Pearltrees when I have my iPad to hand. You can also view Pearltrees on a desktop but it lacks the kinesthetic beauty of the app.
As is my way I have contacted Pearltrees on Twitter to ask questions. They have been quick to reply, more than helpful, and yet again have proved that there are app developers out there who want to work with educators. I also had an interesting exchange with Oliver Starr of Pearltrees who travels between the States and France (where Pearltrees is based, in Paris) about language learning and professional cycling… The offer still stands to come and speak to my students Oliver!
An introduction to Pearltrees on YouTube is available here.


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