Shooglebox - why I'm a big fan 😊.
I'm usually fairly restrained when it comes to Apps. This is possibly because, like I suspect many historians, I occasionally harbour an inner Luddite. (For 'occasionally', read 'most of time'). I'm not always convinced that some of the latest technology is better than what it seeks to replace. Or maybe it's because, after having to adapt pretty quickly to a whole host of new technology in order to teach online/hybrid teach, and had my fair share of ed-tech disasters, I'm feeling rather 'apped' out and cynical.
However, along comes Shooglebox and I rather think I'm about to change my mind. In fact, I already have. This is a relatively new App and one that is really well-thought out and developed and, as a result, is very intuitive and user-friendly. It's not entirely dissimilar to Pinterest in that you can save images and links in categories but it offers a lot more adaptability both for work and leisure purposes. You create a 'box' to which you then add 'cards'. Then you can upload links, articles, pdfs, youtube videos etc to these cards, or just create your own notes/content. I found it really straightforward to share content found elsewhere to my Shooglebox account, with the Shooglebox icon being among the share options on my phone. I like being able to add images to the front of each card as well because this, for me, makes them really easy to organise. As well as this, and this is the genius bit, you can easily edit and annotate the cards and allocate different editing permissions for collaborative work. It's so easy both to sort out and to find what you have saved and so is ideal for storing research ideas, inspiration and general findings. I've already created several boxes of ideas, some for current projects and others that I want to come back to at a later date, information that I would usually just jot down somewhere randomly and potentially forget all about.
Whilst Shooglebox has many clear advantages for individual use and as a remote working tool for businesses, it also offers a wide range of possibilities for the educational sector, especially for teachers and students who are trying to go paper-free. I can see it being particularly useful for A Level and IB students when organising and categorising their research and notes for the coursework elements of their examinations. From a teacher's perspective, Shooglebox is not only great for collating your own work, lesson plans, resources etc but could also be used to store and share differentiated tasks and activities with differing editing permissions among a class. I also believe that its visual nature should help many students with their own organisation.
In short, Shooglebox is easy to use, visually appealing and neatly set out and the Shooglebox team are really helpful and happy to advise on how to get the most out of the App. So, I'm sitting here, on another lovely sunny day in Lancashire, looking at my substantial collection of folders, stuffed full of articles that I want to read, or have read and want to revisit at some point, and thinking also about the many 'saved' web pages that have caught my interest. Not only would Shooglebox be a better place to store such information (and not need dusting...) but it would be far simpler to arrange, re-arrange and to find and therefore would greatly assist the thought processes that go into research. I strongly suspect that I will be spending a lot of time 'shoogling' from now on! Anyone need an old filing cabinet...?
If you want to find out more, the web site is