Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Filamentality - the educators' online friend

G'day all,

'Though old news to some, a site that's helpful to teachers is Filamentality. The goofy name is a made up word that combines the "filaments" of the Web with the "mentality" of thinking, thus a tool for making thinking applications from the Web. The reason I mention it is that when you want to find useful Internet links, the first place Filamentalityto go isn't always Google (although I always end up going there eventually). If you're looking for links on a subject that another educator might have already thought of, chances are you'll find something quickly at Filamentality. Let's try some examples:

How about some links on Global Warming? or World War I? or even Web 2.0?

Each of the above lists was found in less than one minute. Are they the best links known to the universe on their topics? Are they totally free from Link Rot? Are they absolutely "spot-on" for your students' reading level? Of course not, not, not. But as one busy educator to another, wouldn't you rather get a hand from a mate than start from scratch?

Go ahead, try it yourself, use the text field below to type in a search term, then hit enter/return. (hint: the more basic, less boolean the keywords, the better).

How did you go? To best succeed, look for files larger than 4 KB and with a fairly recent timestamp. Hotlists are lists of links whereas WebQuests and Samplers are Web-based learning activities.

My experience is that Filamentality is a good first place to go to quickly find links because another educator has already put in time compiling them. If I'm gathering links for a WebQuest, then I'll spend more time to get really great sites - ones that have that "only on the Web" quality. But in the day-to-day of classroom / library learning, sometimes just getting students pointed in the right direction is a help. See what you think.

Cheers, Tom --