Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bag the Web

I think that I'm a bit late with this #TechieTuesday find, but it is too good not to share and maybe, just maybe, Bag the Web is new to you too:) I kind of stumbled upon this one as I was watching a webinar on Humanizing Your Online Class by Michelle Pancasky-Brock while doing research for my summer course. Michelle started the video off by telling the listeners that she had a virtual goody bag for all of us to enjoy.  Immediately my ears perked up.

Like most, I love a good take-away...especially one described as a "goody bag". So, what was in this promised bag? Michelle had curated all of the resources from the webinar into a self contained "bag" using Bag the Web.

Bag the Web, is a free web-based tool that enables users to bag anything from unit notes and videos to technology integration ideas. My first bag was a recipe...of sorts.  Let me explain, my techie friend, Lisa, and I have been talking about podcasting for awhile. The more we talked the more I realized that I didn't know and needed to research further. So, I started a bag just for my podcasting resources.  Now, I could have made a new note in Evernote or made a new doc in Google, but I wanted to give Bag the Web a try.

So, I put blog posts, videos, and product links in my bag. I chunked like resources in categories like "how-to", "tools", and "publishing" and I was able to separate each resource with a narrative and images to make the resources easily identifiable.  It was a very linear way of arranging links (something that this math teacher fully appreciates). My bag started with the basics like which software to use to record a podcast and worked up to tutorials on publishing a podcast in iTunes and Stitcher.  It is stil a work in progress, but I hope to have all of the details (links curated from around the web) for creating a podcast of my own.  To me it will read like a recipe, but instead of a cake, it will tell me how-to make a podcast.

I can see many applications for Bag the Web in the classroom. Teachers can add unit resources into a bag to not only help with planning, but also to share with students so that they can access relevant content.  Students can link research articles or project resources into a bag in the order they might appear in a paper or project.  Goody bags can be shared with parents at Back to School night and could contain links to games designed to reinforce content, supplementary websites, the teacher's webpage, and ideas to help students at home.  Really the possibilities are endless.

I've used many tools for curating, but to me Bag the Web is different.  Maybe it is just me, but I see Bag the Web as a platform for chunking related resources almost in bite size bits.  I don't know why, but I keep thinking of the saying, "How do your eat an elephant?  One bite at a time."  Bag the Web is kind of like taking one bite at a time.  Here I am not putting everything that I need for planning for an entire school year; I am tackling the planning by focusing on just one unit at a time. 

Interested?  Here is how it works:

1) Sign up for an account and select "create" to start your own bag.

2) Add details about your new bag.

3)  Add an image to your bag.  This is important, if you want to eventually make your bag "public".

4)   Start adding content to your bag. Click on the type of resource you want to include and fill in the details.

5)  Here is an example of a divider and link that have been added to the bag.

6)  Rearrange the items in your bag by selecting the gear image in the upper right corner.

7)  Keep curating until you have a bag full of goodies!

Wonderful, right?  Here is a handout of the directions and images for you to share with others.

I can't wait to see what you curate!

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