A Free Paperless Tool That Can Aid Student Research As It Saves Trees


Welcome to another mid week posting where I try to introduce a  free resource that will assist you in the 21st Century classroom. This week I will highlight a tool that I believe will assist students in online research, save money in the paper budget, and contribute to the needed green movement. It is a valuable resource that every school classroom and library should be aware of and take advantage of. Enjoy the post and you are invited to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), I will return the favor and we can learn from each other. As always, please feel free to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with the latest free resources geared toward 21st Century education! Have a great week – Mike

Update from author – Please note that I tested with with Chrome and Firefox. It has been reported by some that this web site is not totally compatible with Internet Explorer. Any feedback would be appreciated.

If you are like me you have visited a printer spewing out countless papers from a student requested internet page filled with pictures, ads, and text that was not needed for the required research topic. The result ends up being an inflated paper budget, unnecessary information that students must later sift through, and a few less trees in all of our futures. Introducing  The Awesome Highlighter, a free web resource that allows students to save only the text needed, keep it in a digital format, archive the resource it came from, and print only the information necessary!

The site is valuable because it allows use by both registered and unregistered users. An unregistered user is able to perform most tasks with the exception of saving in the Awesome Highlighter Archive. Upon entering the site, the user is asked to enter the desired web address to be highlighted. Once entered, the user is able to highlight up to 2000 characters at once. The highlighted text is then saved to a new web link and an option is given to highlight more text, copy unique URL for an online archive, post in a social network or blog, copy to clipboard, or email for later reading. Options also exist to post notes on the highlighted web page, and share the highlighted page and notes with others using its unique URL. Since it also saves the highlighted text  in an area that can be emailed, copied and pasted to a document or web page, shared via a blog or social network site, or accessed later (for registered users), the need for paper is immaterial. Best of all, students have started the process of filtering through necessary information rather than trying to sift through stacks of printed web pages and resources later. The archive also allows users to save web pics, and videos along with the desired texts. All archived items can be searched by date saved, media type, web domain accessed from, and tags that can be attached to media. The short link web pages with all highlights and notes can be revisited and shared at any time along with the original web link. This comes in handy for creating necessary reference citations.

Users of Firefox can add a bookmarklet to their browser. “A bookmarklet is an applet, a small computer application, stored as the URL of a bookmark in a  browser.” It looks like a normal bookmark. In the case  of Highlighter the bookmarklet allows the user to highlight any page on-the-fly without having to copy & paste the page URL to www.awesomehighlighter.com. The user simply clicks on the bookmark  and the highlighter toolbar appears. Whether is is used from the web site or the browser, Awesome Highlighter is a great tool facilitating student research while keeping down paper and printing costs, and even saving a few trees here and there! It is definitely a highlight you do not want to miss!

Thanks for joining me in the middle of the week! Be sure to return and even subscribe to the feed via RSS or email. you are invited to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), I will return the favor and we can learn from each other. As always, please feel free to visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki filled with the latest free resources geared toward 21st Century education! Have a great week – Mike

4 Comments

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4 responses to “A Free Paperless Tool That Can Aid Student Research As It Saves Trees

  1. found your site on delicious today and really liked it.. i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later

  2. Dino,

    Thanks for the kind words. I hope you continue to return and to share! Best wishes as you continue hard work in education! – Mike

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