Product: SimplyBox

Product: SimplyBox

http://simplybox.comEducation price: $15/year/user; volume discounts available.

By MaryAnn Karre

SimplyBox allows customers to clip, capture, save, organize, and share information and Web sites simply by drawing a box with the computer mouse. These “bookmarks” are saved not only to the Web site but also to a software application that sits in the user’s system tray.

Quality and Effectiveness: New updates of SimplyBox permit easier collaboration via email and socialnetworking sites, such as Twitter. Users who share a box are notified of changes instantly. Users with the paid Education Version can capture and collaborate around documents or Web applications.

Ease of Use: SimplyBox Desktop installs easily and works seamlessly with the online site for users of Windows as well as Macs. Boxing is as easy as dragging and dropping, and step-by-step instructions guide users. The Web site offers video demonstrations as well as a list of new features and how they can be used effectively in personal, business, and educational settings. Support is quick, personal, and easily accessed.

Creative Use of Technology: SimplyBox’s collaborative nature, integration with social-networking tools, and use of graphics make it ideal for educational use.

Suitability for Use in a School Environment: SimplyBox makes sharing information with students safe, fun, and easy. The program’s visual nature enables it to be useful with even the youngest students. Especially helpful is the ability to embed a widget that displays the contents of a box on other Web sites. Anyone can collaborate and share, but comments can be moderated only by the SimplyBox owner. An Education Edition of the Web-based SimplyBox has customizable features for hosting, control, and other options.

Overall Rating: SimplyBox lets users capture, share, and organize content and save it online or on a desktop. Students can gather content from a variety of sources, so they get a well-rounded view of topics and teachers can integrate different types of materials into one lesson. The visual nature of the product makes it ideal for use with young students, and the simple, straightforward design means that less time is spent learning to use it and more time is spent sharing ideas.