One of my biggest problems with the Interwebs is that, well . . . there’s just too much stuff I want to read. Flipboard and Zite haven’t helped. Now that I can train those apps to find things I’m interested in, things went from bad to worse.
Some stuff I have time to read but there’s always so much more that I want to come back to later and it often seems that when I have time, I don’t have internet access. To help solve this problem, I recently started using Pocket. Back in the day, Pocket was called Read It Later. I tried it but Read It Later was so clunky, I chucked it.
But the Pocket re-do is very cool and practical and simple and easy to look at and you should be using it. Pocket is basically a short-term bookmarking app that syncs across all of your devices – giving you the chance to save online articles or videos for viewing later without the need for internet access.
Once you’ve signed up for a required Pocket account, saving items to your list is simple. If you’re in a laptop / computer browser, you can add a browser extension or bookmarklet to your Task bar and anytime you find something you want to read or watch later, clicking the bookmarklet adds the stuff to your Pocket list. If you’re in a browser on an iPad, you simply click the Share option in the app and quickly mail the link to Pocket. (You also can add a bookmarklet to an iPad browser by following these directions.)
Once items are saved, you can access them at any time from your list. They are automatically cached for offline access.
It’s also easy to sort your list by the type of content such as text, video, or image and to edit your list in bulk. if your list gets too big, the search bar makes it simple to find items by tag, title, or even URL. After reading or viewing, you can delete the item or check it. Checking an item automatically moves it to an archive, allowing you to access it later if you want.
By default, Pocket downloads a simple, stripped down Article View rather than a full Web View. This saves space, makes the article easier to read, and loads faster. But you can adjust this, along with numerous other options, in the settings.
I really like Pocket’s ability to share resources. The app gives you the ability to email links to friends without having to leave the app. The laptop browser version of Send to Friend email feature lives in the Share menu, and it lets you include a comment along with your link. You also get Facebook and Twitter options. The mobile version includes the same options but also adds a wider variety of choices including Evernote, Tumbler, LinkedIn, and others.
The so what?
Pocket gives you the ability, at personal and professional level, to collect, organize, and share a huge amount of information – both with and without internet access.
But it also gives your students the ability to the same thing. Let your mind wander a bit. Pocket encourages the 4 Cs – collect, collaborate, create, and communicate. The 4Cs that make up a great social studies instructional design. Have kids do research in groups and share the research easily. Have kids do research by themselves and use Pocket to store information for later use and for citation purposes.
It seems like there could be all sorts of ways to use it. Let me know what you come up with!