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PageFlakes as Current Events Pathfinders

In July, I began playing around with gadget/widget-based information portals as alternatives to textbooks. 

I absolutely love iGoogle and plan to continue to work with our classes as students set up individual information portals, but sometimes a librarian just has to broadcast to the universe and there’s no time to enter the email of every potential user.

So I started to experiment with PageFlakes’ PageCasts.  The variety of gadgets is not nearly up to iGoogle’s standards, but the ability to broadcast makes the trade-off worth it.

Turns out, after just two weeks of school, the idea is looking very sticky.   Global Studies teachers were thrilled "This is our whole curriculum!"  A new science teacher asked for one with a physics focus.  A Spanish teacher asked for one focusing on news from Spanish-speaking countries. A French teacher made an appointment to have me help her set up her own.

Our Social Studies department chair asked for one with a general currents event theme, heavy on national news, convinced that the Eagles’ opener is not the only story out there.

On each of our PageCasts, I added a bookmark widget to link students back to the Virtual Library and other relevant pathfinders and resources.  I added the PageFlakes to our Pathfinder menu. 

I will probably continue to refine, but take a look at our baby PageCasts:


Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza



    I have an advisory group (i know i know, but its a middle school thing) and I am planning to have all the kids create an account and create an igoogle page. Im hoping lights will turn on and they will see how this portal can be or more than just pleasure reading, that it can be a powerful researcgh info organizer too.

  2. joycevalenza says:

    Cathy! They’re going to love it. We spent much of the day setting up pages with our seniors. They fell in love. Of course, I made them add Google Bookmarks and add the library and their teacher’s wiki.

  3. Joyce,
    I use Pageflakes and Delicious for personal use, and I have looked at using them to create pathfinders for my students. My concern is the capability to view a “random pagecast” or tag that would not be appropriate for middle school students. I know I have come across some really graphic ones in the past. What are your thoughts on this?
    Jackie Galante

  4. Joyce, your PageFlakes look great, so tell us how to do it. Did you already have all the sites you added to the page? Can you tell us how you PageCast? If it’s not good to answer these questions here, where can I go for the how-to information? Thanks for bringing us another useful tool.

  5. While I love the idea of using Pageflakes with students, it has been so unreliable in the past few months that I am in search of another choice. Have you found an alternative to Pageflakes that is less flaky?

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