Using social-bookmarking in Education

Readers of this blog know that I hold Educause Quarterly (supporting the North American .edu community)  in high-regard. There is usually one article that is relevant to Secondary (High) school.

The latest edition has such a piece entitled, Classroom Collaboration Using Social Bookmarking Service Diigo (here) written by Michael F. Ruffini.

Bookmarking may be very simply defined as saving web-links for further use.

Ruffini traces the short history of bookmarking, social-bookmarking and folksonomies and analyses the differences between using browser-based bookmarking and bookmarking using Diigo and Delicious.

On the evidence Diigo is the most functional particularly with its (free) educational account.

I have recently used Diigo’s teachers console to set up about forty student accounts and it worked seamlessly. I also appreciated that this could be done off one email address rather than uploading forty different ones.

Ruffini sees Diigo’s strengths in collaborative learning and professional development. He concludes

Browsers provide fewer bookmarking features than found on social bookmarking sites. Although many social bookmarking services are good, Diigo can foster research-sharing and collaboration in new ways. Not only can students bookmark, organize, and collaborate on various projects and research, but this service gives them — and teachers — the opportunity to organize and manage web resources and documents. Diigo has useful educational applications, as well, such as organizing bookmarks for resources and research, collaborative learning, and professional development. Based on my experience so far, I encourage educators to explore Diigo for classroom use.

My experience of using Diigo in the classroom extends (here) over the past four weeks only. I now believe it needs a very strong context for its use – students need to see the point of using the application. We will be using it to collect links so as to write essays using the micro-blogging service Twitter. Early days still!

Something I didn’t know: Diigo stands for Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff – now that could have put me off it!



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  3. Donal O' Mahony

    Hi Mags – thats a really great idea from Nigel Lane – well done! I am working on the more traditional side of history so far and ironing out Twitter issues in school. Twitters domain shortening service (.co) resulted in Fortiguard blocking these links – dont worry there will be a post when the students have completed an “essay”.


  4. Mags Amond

    I didn’t know what DIIGO sttod for either. Glad I took Nigel’s challenge and stopped by now! I am curious to know how the bookmarking for essay writing goes for the students.