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Archive for 'Changes & Improvements'

Google Apps SSO for NoodleTools now available

Monday, September 14th, 2015

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.


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NoodleTools Fall 2015 Updates

Monday, August 17th, 2015

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


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

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

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!

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NoodleTools Companion updated. Now works with individual subscriptions

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

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!

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

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

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.


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

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

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!

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NoodleTools Companion – a free app for subscribers!

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

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!

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Peer Review Mode enables an authentic process of constructive feedback and revision

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

This week, we’ve expanded the NoodleTools collaborative environment to include Peer Review Mode for students.

In Peer Review Mode, a student can view a partner’s work and provide constructive feedback on citations or notecards. When students receive authentic feedback, it helps them revise and improve their work. Both the peer reviewer and the researcher benefit. We know that some NoodleTools teachers already successfully incorporate a peer review process into writing drafts. Peer Review Mode allows teachers to start or extend the peer review process into the stages of research.

Peer reviewing can improve writing and communication skills but novice peer-reviewers need support to begin. Here are some tips on starting a successful peer-reviewing loop:

Begin with a specific compliment

Students can learn from successful strategies that others are using. Always ask students to write comments about the strengths they see in a student’s work or state what they genuinely like about their peer’s research process so far.

Focus on one component

Don’t expect a student to examine a peer’s entire research project to date. Students will internalize and understand how to improve if they are asked to focus more deeply on a single component, then model and practice giving specific, positive feedback for a particular aspect such as:

  • Revising word choice in the “Summary / Paraphrase”
  • Adding tags to a notecard
  • Brainstorming additional questions for “My Ideas”
  • Wondering in order to identify a gap in a student’s information
  • Suggesting a type of source that might provide a different perspective or new information
  • Evaluating a specific aspect of credibility in a peer’s source list. For example, students might focus on currency, if relevant for the topic, assess an author’s expertise about this subject, or question the publisher’s purpose for providing information.
  • Identifying why evidence for a claim in a notecard is weak and suggesting what might make it stronger

Provide structure and language

Provide sentence starters like:

  • “This notecard made me wonder (about your topic)…”
  • “When I looked at your List Analysis, I noticed…”
  • “I see some of the author’s words in your summary. I suggest that you either put quotes around…or change it to say…”
  • “I don’t understand (referring to a specific phrase or idea)…”

If you are using a rubric to assess student work already, focus peer review on one of the rubric criteria.

To get started, a student will select the link on their project dashboard to add a collaborator, then select the “Peer-reviewer” radio button as shown here:

Adding a student as a peer-reviewer

We look forward to observing how NoodleTools facilitates your work with students — please let us know how you’re using Peer Review Mode!

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Review projects efficiently with the new Drop Box Navigator

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Thousands of subscribed schools are currently using NoodleTools’ class project management system. Drop boxes allow teachers (or groups of teachers doing a cross-disciplinary project) to:

  • monitor student work in real time
  • provide feedback directly on the students’ citations and notecards
  • see how citations were created field by field, to better assess students’ understanding of their sources
  • review the status of students’ to-do list items
  • look at detailed 30-day activity logs

One of our goals this year is to give teachers the tools they need to make the process of reviewing students’ projects even more efficient. We’ve been listening to all of your suggestions! A few weeks ago, we added the ability to sort the “Projects Shared With Me” lists by other columns, like the date the project was last reviewed or the student’s username. This week, we introduced the Drop Box Navigator, which you’ll see at the top of the screen when you are reviewing a student’s shared project (on the Dashboard, Bibliography, and Notecards screens):

Drop Box Navigator (Closed)

Clicking the “Drop Box Navigator” tab pulls down an overlay window that allows you to navigate easily between the projects that are shared with the drop box you have open.

Drop Box Navigator (Open)

The Navigator eliminates the need to click back to the Projects screen, find the next project you want to review, and then navigate back to the Bibliography or Notecards screen. You now have one-click access to go from the Bibliography of Student 1 to the Bibliography of Student 2. Since you can sort by the date the projects were last reviewed, you can easily determine which projects you still need to review.

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Specifying separate Google Apps domains for staff and students

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Schools and districts have been using Google Apps for Education accounts with NoodleTools successfully for many years. However, we’ve recently added a new administrative option that allows for the scenario where the Google domain for students is different from the domain used by staff. For example, a school might use “” for students and “” for staff.

If your school or district has that type of configuration, log in to the NoodleTools administration area for your subscription, click “NoodleTools Customization,” and look for the new option, as shown here:

Google Apps for Education configuration

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