Social Bookmarking Plan: Using Social Bookmarking to Collaborate with Professional Colleagues and Students
I’ve just been introduced to Diigo, a social bookmarking site with some really powerful uses.
In this post, I’m taking a look at and making an outline for ways to use social bookmarking like Diigo to collaborate with my professional colleagues within my building, district, and beyond.
What does it do?
- Bookmarks the web: You may access the sites from any device as a web page.
- Tags: You are able to add tags to bookmarks you make to help you sort and search your bookmarked sites.
- Shares: This can save boatloads of time by sharing your bookmarks and all the relevant sites with others and they can share with you.
- Makes notes on the web: You can mark up a website in the way you might have done with a highlighter and a pen in the margins of a printed page. This saves paper, and allows you to digitally share this “mark-up” online.
- Read later: This give you the opportunity to save something you’d like to read for a more convenient time but not have to sort through your browser history to get to ti!
- The Diigo App: This is an iOS app that allows to you to search, annotate, and save sites but on your iOS device instead of a PC.
- Chrome Connection: There is a built-in browser extension that allows you to use Chrome, and instead of bookmark favorites, use the Diigo extension to organize and curate your saved websites.
- Twitter Sharing Capability: For those tapped in to the Twitter-sphere, it has options for sharing out information directly through twitter.
Here is a great place to begin to explore what Diigo can do as a tool for educators.
As a first impression of Diigo, having only used this tool for a short time, here is how I think it might work:
At my School
To collaborate at my school with my colleagues is often very difficult because our planning time almost never coincides. There are times though that we do like to coordinate certain experiences for our students between classroom and music/arts teachers. A lot of times the experiences or materials from which we are all working are shared through websites, blogs, etc. Using social bookmarking, we could share a group of websites with information that is highlighted, and referenced with sticky-notes to help focus the instruction that we all would like to do. It will also provide a way to decrease the amount of e-mailing that we’d have to do on the subject which can become overwhelming in a short amount of time.
In My District
I work in nearly complete isolation being that I am the only classroom music teacher in my building. There are others in the district who teach the same subjects and grade levels that I teach, however, we may have the occasion to be in the same room at most only 4 times a year when we are all called to a department meeting. The meeting is never for the purpose of collaboration on a professional level regarding instruction.
The implications of social bookmarking in this situation would be to provide an opportunity for us to create a collaborative group and when we found interesting or meaningful information that was applicable to our classes, to actively share that out and make the information available to the other classroom teachers in our district as well. I could see this being an opportunity to spur conversation and inspire new ideas and help to diminish some of the isolation that the teachers who are the only ones of their kind in their buildings.
With Online Students
In the online courses that I teach, I would use social bookmarking as a way to create groups and share a collection of websites to those groups that provide resource information, videos, blogs, and imagery for exploration surrounding a topic, idea or skill I am hoping to help online students develop. The idea would be that there would be a bundle of information that I can share out with highlights and sticky notes attached, and the students could add to these annotations on their own, highlight for themselves what they thought was important and they could then add more sites that they find on subjects, or ideas and share those as well. The nice thing is that it creates a collaborative space on the website itself so that we aren’t creating our own new secondary, and less authentic collaborative spaces.
In Professional Organizations
I am a member of several professional organizations, and we are always trying to create and inspire new energy and direction from and within our groups. Having a shareable collection of web content that supports and edifies the work of the professional organization is an excellent resource that we could be offering through social bookmarking. The best part of this is that it takes the onus away from a web master whose job it would be to collect and curate the links and post them to a web page. Now that activity would happen naturally as the many members of the group would be continuously adding to the group’s collection.
While Doing Graduate Adjunct Teaching
During the summers, I travel to a few different places in the country to teach two-week long summer courses. These are intensive 10-day courses where the students are there for 8 hours each day and voluminous amounts of information are poured onto them every hour. Having a way to create a social bookmarking interaction with them would be excellent to help reduce the amount of sorting and link chasing that might go on if things are sent out by e-mail.
I’m thinking of the slide-show option that Diigo offers when you can share certain websites as a collection through an embedded code in a website or a blog. The fact that the website is actually live within that slide-show is even more appealing. I love that is bundles up all of those various websites into one neat, little place and gives you the tools to bring it to a student in a no muss, no fuss way. It reminds me of fiber optic cable which transmit enormous amounts of information from a focused little node at the end of a wire!
A second positive of this possibility is to create an opportunity for the participants who spend two weeks together to continue to collaborate and share information they find relevant to the course in a professional continued collaborative way once the course is over.
For Summer Camp and Planning Teaching
Because I travel a lot in the summers, I am often not around to help plan the summer camp which I help to teach at a local community organization in my home town. This can be frustrating to my colleagues who help to teach the camp with me, but I can see the use of social bookmarking as an option for us to explore sharing ideas, and keeping and cataloging the ones we share along with our notes for quick reference. The thing I’m noticing about summer camp planning is that we end up throwing a whole lot of great ideas onto a table, and then selecting a few. The other really good ideas tend to float away and become distant memories. I’d like to have a place like this social bookmarking where we could begin when we plan as a repository for ideas, like a book shelf. Take the ideas we’d like off the shelf and use them, but save those others for next time with all of our notes “still in the margins.”
- Organizes and easily shares web pages with colleagues
- Can be marked up, highlighted and sticky noted.
- Can be organized into a group to which others can add new web pages
- Reduces the need for e-mailing links.
- Uses tags that can be organized, searched and sorted.
- Saves time not having to re-Google and sort through search results.
- Adaptable to the uses that work best for you.