Noodling The NoodleTools Blog

June 6th, 2016

NoodleTools is not “free,” and here’s why

The word “free” is such a tempting one. NoodleTools is not free – but it gives you freedom for a very reasonable price.

You and your students will never have to worry about:

  • Corporate motives that are at odds with educational best-practices
  • Relentless advertising banners and pop-ups
  • Being tracked and monetized as you search and click
  • Being sold as a commodity to brokers and marketers
  • Being hit with offers for add-ons and pricy products you don’t want
  • Surprise jumps in pricing or terms of service
Freedom to:
  • Focus on teaching in a respected professional environment
  • Develop modules and lessons knowing that they’re your intellectual property
  • Depend on rigorous protection of your students’ privacy
  • Deal transparently with educators who passionately believe that their company can make a fair profit and maintain high-quality education goals
  • Expect fair and reasonable pricing
Here at NoodleTools, we pledge the following:
  1. We serve education as our first priority.
  2. Our platform will be reliable, accurate, and well supported.
  3. Our prices will always remain reasonable.
  4. Your students will reach true educators through our “have a question” service.
  5. We will never expose you and your students to any advertising. Period.
  6. We will never claim to own, re-sell or re-use your students’ work.
  7. We will never allow your student to be tracked or traced for any reason other than to improve the user’s experience within our product.
  8. We will never expose your student to any paper-mill or answer-mill products or tutoring services that encourage cheating or non-original work.
Damon Abilock
President, NoodleTools

Posted in Authority, The Ethical Researcher | Permalink |

September 14th, 2015

Google Apps SSO for NoodleTools now available

We’re happy to announce that Google Apps for Education (GAFE) single-sign-on (SSO) is now available for NoodleTools through our new Google Marketplace NoodleTools App. Google Apps SSO allows users to log into NoodleTools, without the need for any username/password. And just as importantly, the integration eliminates the administrative headaches around helping students with lost passwords.

Who can use it?

This functionality is available to subscribing schools, districts and colleges that use Google Apps for Education (GAFE) across all students. Note that individual researchers, teacher licenses, free trial accounts and NHD-only accounts are not eligible for this feature (you can ignore this email if you fall under one of those categories).

How do I set it up?

This document outlines the steps required to set up Google Apps SSO for your school/college:

Be sure you have read and understand the full document before submitting your request. For example, keep in mind that once we activate Google Apps SSO authentication, your users will no longer be able to log in to NoodleTools through the regular login screen or through any links to NoodleTools you currently have. They will need to either click the NoodleTools app button from within their Google Apps account or use a new customized link as described in step 5. You will want to communicate this change to your users; we can enable SSO on a date/time of your choosing, to help with this transition.

When can we start?

Step 1 of the instructions contains a form to request access. Since we’ll be receiving thousands of requests over the next few weeks, please be patient — we will respond to requests in the order they are received.


Posted in Changes & Improvements | Permalink |

August 17th, 2015

NoodleTools Fall 2015 Updates

Come hear about changes that NoodleTools will be rolling out this fall! There will be two webinars this month:

Thursday, August 27, 6 PM EST, 3 PM PST
Friday, August 28, 12 PM EST, 9 AM PST

Register for either webinar at

Damon and Debbie will talk about SSO (single-sign-on) options, NoodleTools’ upcoming interface improvements, and much more. Don’t miss this exciting event!

If you are unable to attend the webinar, a recording will be posted on our website after the event at


Posted in Changes & Improvements, Webinars | Permalink |

April 3rd, 2015

Archive and Annotate bookmarklet: Checking yours is up-to-date

Hi Noodlers! Just a quick update about the “Archive This” bookmarklet (if you use the Archive and Annotate feature in NoodleTools). We’ll be removing support for the old “Cyte This” bookmarklet and some old versions of the “Archive This” bookmarklet. If you haven’t updated your “Archive This” bookmarklet this school year, it may not be up-to-date.  No problem if you aren’t sure, or if your bookmarklet stops working — simply delete the one you have now and re-add it from here:

Have a great Spring Break!

Posted in Changes & Improvements | Permalink |

January 20th, 2015

NoodleTools Companion updated. Now works with individual subscriptions

We have released an update (version 1.0.3) of NoodleTools Companion to the App Store and Google Play.

For those of you who haven’t tried it yet, the free app is used to scan a book’s ISBN or search by author/title to generate a perfectly-formatted citation. After adding an annotation (or notes), the citation can then be routed directly into the student’s NoodleTools project of choice.

The most significant change is that individual subscribers can now use the app. We’ve also made it easier for iPad users to find the app in the App Store (you no longer need to filter by “iPhone only”).

Important: Android users will need to first uninstall the app on their devices then re-install the new version from Google Play This is a one-time necessary step.

iOS app:
Android app:

Happy exploring!

Posted in Changes & Improvements | Permalink |

October 28th, 2014

Archiving feature moved in-house, SSL (HTTPS) option available soon

Archive and Annotate functionality moved in-house

Schools have benefited from our archiving feature that allows students to archive and annotate web pages and PDFs. We’ve now brought this technology in-house, allowing us to customize it to our specific needs over the coming years.

While your existing bookmarklet will redirect to a new URL and continue to work for now, please update it as time permits. The instructions to update are posted at:


HTTPS / SSL security changes (postponed)

NoodleTools will soon offer schools the option to operate under SSL (the secure HTTPS protocol). Updated instructions for EZproxy configuration will be at Note that if you are interested in running NoodleTools under HTTPS through EZproxy, then EZproxy itself also needs to run under HTTPS. If that isn’t possible for some reason, you can continue running under the HTTP NoodleTools/EZproxy configuration.

Please do not make any changes to your ezProxy configuration or login URLs at this point. Your existing config/links will continue to work even after this update is completely done, so there is no need to try to time changes in that manner.


Posted in Changes & Improvements, Scheduled Maintenance | Permalink |

September 24th, 2014

Debbie Abilock presenting at ECIS in Belgium

NoodleTools Co-Founder Debbie Abilock is leading a pre-conference workshop together with John Royce in Brussels, Belgium, this Thursday, September 25, 2014. The topic is “Friction: Teaching Slow Thinking and Intentionality in Research” and the venue is the European Council of International Schools (ECIS) Librarians’ Conference. Follow the conference on Twitter using the hashtag #ecislib2014.

Posted in Conferences | Permalink |

August 22nd, 2014

NoodleTools Webinar, IE8 Heads Up, and Exciting Rollouts To Come

Welcome back! We know the start of a school year is a busy time for everyone. As you prepare to use NoodleTools with your students, here are tips to jumpstart your semester.

NoodleTools looks just the same as you left it, so no scramble up a learning curve for many of you. If you’re new or need a refresher, hop on the next webinar (September 10th) with our founders, Damon and Debbie Abilock.

For those schools currently using Internet Explorer 8, please have your technology administrator update to the current version of IE (or a different browser) if possible. This will ensure that your school can take advantage of new developments as they are introduced.

Stay tuned in the coming months for deep enrichment features that directly support the research process and the Common Core! On the technology side, we’ll be introducing a beautiful new, adaptive interface, enhanced user management options, improved site performance, database integration, and much more. We’ll be in touch with you as each of these rollouts requires.

To the millions of teachers and students using NoodleTools across the nation and abroad, happy sailing into a new academic year!

Posted in Changes & Improvements | Permalink |

May 8th, 2014

NoodleTools Companion – a free app for subscribers!

We invite you and your students to download NoodleTools Companion, our latest addition to the NoodleTools mobile platform! The iOS and Android apps are FREE for all NoodleTools subscribers.

Download the NoodleTools Companion Download the NoodleTools Companion for Android

Students working in the library can efficiently scan a book’s ISBN or search by author/title to generate a perfectly-formatted citation. After adding an annotation (or notes), the citation can then be routed directly into the student’s NoodleTools project of choice.

This app is optimized for phone screens, but can be used on an iPad or other tablet. Open in a browser like Safari or Chrome to access the full functionality of NoodleTools via our mobile site.

Stay tuned for our growing mobile platform to meet today’s student needs. Here at NoodleTools, we strive for mobile support that is educationally sound. You can count on us to develop tools and content that power student efficiency for high-quality work. We grow plants, not zombies!

Posted in Changes & Improvements, NoodleTools in the News | Permalink |

February 6th, 2014

Award-Winning Teachers Support Quality Research with NoodleTools

Sara Oremland, nationally acclaimed teaching librarian, uses NoodleTools to mentor students collaboratively with classroom teachers across various disciplines. Oremland’s role of providing formative feedback through the NoodleTools platform is essential to inspiring quality research and writing:

“As students located information sources, they cited them in the NoodleTools Works Cited module. I provided feedback on the quality of the sources as well as the format of the citations. Monitoring students’ citations during the research process is a critical means for ensuring that students are using credible and relevant sources. Students also used NoodleTools’ digital notecard feature to record, paraphrase, and analyze information they found as they researched. Berletti [history teacher] monitored the notecards for relevancy and for student understanding of how the information related to the essential question. This technology is invaluable for keeping students accountable and on track with their research” (Oremland, 2013, pg. 65-65).

Oremland reesearch process. Credit: Leann Skallenud
Photo credit: ©Sara Oremland, 2013. Art credit: ©Senior Leann Skallerud, 2013.
Oremland and colleagues in Environmental Design, Society, English and Technology (EDSET) teach students throughout the research process. (Click image to view a larger version.)

Oremland and her classroom teacher colleagues’ research projects at Albany High School (CA) received the AASL Collaborative School Library Award. She observed, “Our experience working together on EDSET projects has influenced how we use technology and how we collaborate on other projects….[by providing] our teaching team with an opportunity to grow as professionals as we experimented with collaboration and technology” (Oremland, 2013, p. 68).

At CSLA 2014, Ormeland will present on “Collaboration and Technology for Authentic Research Projects: From Essential Question to Presentation.”
Oremland, S. (2013). Collaboration and technology for authentic research projects. Knowledge Quest, 41(4), 60-68.

Posted in Conferences, Teaching Resources, The Ethical Researcher | Permalink |