Last week, we were in Nashville for EdSurge’s Tennessee Tech for Schools Summit. For those who don’t know, EdSurge is an awesome news organization that covers education technology. They’re on the bleeding edge of what’s new and interesting in education, startups and technology and they’re a great one stop shop for anyone interested in ed tech startups and investing. They’ve been organizing and hosting Tech for Schools Summits around the country that bring together local K12 educators with some of the best ed tech startups from across the country. The latest was in Nashville. It drew teachers, librarians, IT decision makers, etc. from across Tennessee. Competition among startups hoping to participate was fierce. Many applied and only ~30 were invited. Local education experts judged the applicants to decide who made the cut. So, we were honored and excited to be invited! The scrible Team at the Summit consisted of Victor Karkar (our CEO), Andrew Biros and Cavan Klinsky. Andrew is Head of Instructional Technology, Lead Educator, Curriculum Designer and Program Manager at Kensington Creative & Performing Arts High School in Philly. Cavan is a sharp, driven and impressive Rails developer, debater, tech entrepreneur and junior at the Horace Mann School in New York City. Andrew and Cavan are fans of scrible and volunteered their time to come tell Volunteer State teachers all about scrible.
(Photo credit: Tina Osborne)
We demo’d scrible and spoke with 74+ educators from 56+ schools across Tennessee. It was amazing. Teachers loved us. Their feedback validated our value to them and their schools. When asked, Would you use this product?, 84% said Yes.
- This product would be really easy for me to set up: 4.0
- This product is visually appealing: 4.1
- This product saves me tons of time: 4.0
- Overall impression of the product: 4.2
- If administrators were looking to purchase this product for their school, how strongly would you advocate for this product?: 4.0
- Overall impression of the product: 4.2
- “Annotation and highlight. Great product for common core. Great to prepare students for college writing.”
- “Kids would be excited to use it.”
- “This tool would be usable in our middle school as a research tool. I see it as usable in cross-curricular and Project Based Learning assignments. It seems to give students all the components to complete a research project in one place.I will be sharing this with my peers.“
- “It is a great tool for teaching research to students. They will learn to read, scan, take notes, summarize, create citation pages. Wow, it’s great!“
- “Great annotating tool, great for close reading and research. Simple and powerful.”
- “This would be helpful in organization, research, and collaborative projects. It also provides a tool for feedback from the teacher.”
- “I would recommend it for ease of use and completeness in giving students all the tools they need in one place.”
- “This is an amazing tool for students to be responsible online researchers! Students, young and old, can investigate, highlight, save and appropriately annotate work they have done with research. Students can also use this tool to take notes on required topics or learn about new topics of their own interest. In today’s tech world, students need to be able to use tools like this as they investigate. New state-wide assessments will require students to do online writing and research, so this tool will help them prepare.“
- “I would definitely see this beneficial for all of my classes. Citations are so crucial for our students and with our state tests.”
- “I would recommend it to the ELA, science and social studies teachers who are giving research assignments.”
This feedback has been incredibly valuable! We’ve shared it with a variety of partners and it’s made a great impression… Showing how valuable scrible is for students and teachers. We want to thank EdSurge not only for drawing a great, engaged group of educators for us to speak with, but also for having fantastic, structured mechanisms and incentives to have those educators provide meaningful feedback. So often, startups spend lots of time, money and effort to attend conferences and trade shows and they may even have good conversations with attendees, but it’s rare to walk away with detailed, actionable feedback. Thank you EdSurge!
Since it has been in the news so much, we wanted to assure our users that our services were not vulnerable to the Heartbleed bug announced earlier this week. After a review, we found that our services were not running the affected versions of OpenSSL. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact us via our Feedback Form.
In late June, we released a Clipboard.com importer. For those former Clipboard.com users who exported their web clips, you can now use scrible as your new home for these and to continue to curate those clippings. We import them as scrible pages, including all the tags, and full text index the clips just like we do for all your other saved pages.
We think our new shareable, collaborative libraries, a feature available in our Student Edition of scrible, are important enough to get a blog post of their own, so here we are! Previously, users were limited to a single, personal library. We are now enabling the ability to maintain multiple, separate libraries and also making them more friendly for sharing.
The new libraries allow you to interact with scrible in a more meaningful way than ever before. You can now keep topics of interest separated in a more concrete fashion, with each library keeping separate saved pages and tags. For instance, all of the pages saved for a research project can all be kept in their own library, separate from the pages saved for personal use. Tags you create in reference to 16th century literature won’t get mixed in with tags for great recipes and interesting reads.
We’ve also added the ability to share entire libraries instead of only individual pages. A teacher can now collect material on a topic, and share the entire library with students through one action instead of sharing multiple links. The library is also a living entity, so as pages are added or changed, anyone with access to that library will see the updates in real time.
Once you have the feature enabled, you’ll have an “Other Libraries” tab added to the top right of the main library interface. Clicking that tab will bring you to the library selection page, pictured above. Here is where you can select and manage your various libraries. The “Create New Library” will open the dialog to start a new library. The process is straight forward, just name and describe the new library and you’re all set to go. Once you’ve created the library, or click the “Manage” link, you’ll be brought to the “Manage Library” interface. There are three tabs, the first is the general tab. From here, you can edit the name and description of the library, just hover over either field and you can edit it right on the spot. This is also where to go in order to delete a library you no longer need.
The second tab is used to invite others to the library. You can enter a list of email addresses, separated by commas, and give them all access to your library in one fell swoop. Once you’ve done this the invited users will show up on the next tab, “Access & Permissions.”
This tab will show you all the users that have been invited and their permissions for the library. By default, invited users are set to only have “read” access. They can see the contents of the library, but cannot change, add, or delete content. The check boxes next to each name allow permissions to be set for each individual quickly and intuitively. You can also remove users entirely from the library by clicking the red “X” next to their name.
We’re excited to announce the launch of the free Student Edition of scrible! We’re rolling out brand new features that we’ve custom tailored to the student experience. In addition to an increase in storage space, the Student Edition makes 5 powerful new features available (detailed below).
Free Upgrade for Students
If you already use scrible and registered with a “.edu” email address, you can upgrade to the Student Edition for free from the Settings Page in your account. If you’re a new student signing up with a .edu, k12.[state].us or other recognized academic email address, you’ll be shown an option to upgrade for free during the sign up process. If you have a .edu email address but didn’t originally sign up with it, you can add it as a secondary email address via your Settings Page. This will then allow you to make the upgrade. If you’re a student without a .edu email address or your schools domain was not recognised, let us know here or hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll hook you up. If you’re interested in the advanced features in the Student Edition (described below), but you’re not a student, let us know here and we’ll try to help you out. Does your school use Google Apps for Education? If so you can just click the icon and avoid creating another username/password you have to remember.
5 Powerful New Features
The 5 powerful new Student Edition features enable you to create sophisticated reports from you researched articles, easily capture citations while you’re reading online, generate bibliographies with one click, distill all of your highlights and notes into simple summaries and collaborate with others via group, topic or project specific Shareable Libraries. Nearly all of these features (except for citation capture) are accessible from within your Library (as shown here) once you’ve upgraded to the Student Edition.
The first new feature is a robust report interface. We’ve added the ability to bring the annotations from your saved articles into a rich text editor. Once you’ve selected the articles you want to work with and clicked the Add to Report Button in your Library, we take you to the report interface, which is a split pane view with the articles shown in a Source List on the left and the text editor on the right. You can selectively click on annotations in the Source List to add them to the report on the right. This allows you to easily bring your annotations into the editor and integrate them into your reports using the fully featured editor. Once you’ve finished writing, you can share the report using all the methods you’re used to, such as social media, permalink and email.
Citations & Bibliographies
To go along with report writing, we’ve tried to ease a major pain point: proper citations and bibliography creation. We’ve added a citation manager to our Toolbar so that you can create citations right on the webpage or article as you’re working. When you click on the Citation Button in the Toolbar (shown here with the green box around it), you’ll be shown the Citation Generator Window. We autofill some of the citation info and you can easily fill in the rest. Once you’re done, you can automatically create citations with a single click in all the major academic formats, such as MLA, APA and Chicago. This citation info is saved with your article for future use so that once you’ve filled it out, you’ll never need to touch it again.
Once you have your citations saved, you can pull them into our dedicated bibliography interface, seen in the screenshot here, or directly into the report interface described earlier.
If that all sounds too heavy, we also added a summary view of your annotations along with some meta information about the article. So, you can distill down and extract out just the important highlights and notes. By showing you just the good parts, you’ll have a clean view of what matters most. Shown here is the summary for just one article, but you can pull in as many saved webpages as you like at once.
Lastly, we’ve added the ability to collaborate via multiple, Shareable Libraries. You can now create separate libraries for various groups, topics and projects to keep your saved and annotated articles organized in an orderly fashion. You can also invite other folks to your Shareable Libraries so that you can work together to collect, save and comment on articles and Web content. If you’d like to learn more about Shareable Libraries, check out this blog post.
That’s it for the overview of scrible Student Edition. As always, we love any and all feedback. So, feel free to leave a comment below, drop us an email or – and this is the best – send us feedback here with your thoughts!
If you’ve signed in recently, you might’ve noticed even more additions to our sign in options. We have rolled out support for the OpenID standard, which means you can now use your existing Google or Yahoo account, or any OpenID provider of your choosing. This includes all of Google’s offerings, such as Google+, Gmail, Google Apps, and Google Education accounts. Using any of these services to sign in to scrible means you no longer have to juggle yet another set of account credentials. The same goes for using a Yahoo account, or any generic OpenID provider. To start the process, just click the button of your favorite service and you’ll be taken to that site to sign and and authorize scrible.
The scrible service requires an email, first name, and last name. If we can’t get these from the service you’re signing in through, you’ll have to fill them in.
If you’ve already created a scrible account using your Google or Yahoo email, you can still use the new sign in feature. When you choose what other service to sign in with, if we already have an account registered to that email, we will ask you once to verify that you are the owner of that account.
You will have to enter your scrible password for the account as a one time (and last time) authentication step. After that, all you’ll have to do is click on the service of your choice and you’ll be signed in to scrible automatically (as long as you’re already signed in on that service, anyway).