Social bookmarking sites such as Delicious and Diigo allow you to share, organize, and store web bookmarks so that you can access them from anywhere, and to sort and view sites bookmarked by others. Social bookmarking can enable collaborative research and participation in virtual interest communities.
Instead of simply saving a bookmark on a single computer’s web browser, users of social bookmarking sites can tag and even annotate webpages through bookmarks which can accessed from anywhere. Users can keep these bookmarks private, share them with selected contacts, or make them public for anyone to find.
Social Bookmarking: Classroom Uses
There are a number of ways that social bookmarking sites can augment student research. Users searching for information can search for tags which have been added by other users. For example, here are lists of sites which Diigo users have tagged with particular tags:
You can sign up to receive notification when a particular tag is used. You can also join groups focused around specific topics. These types of research strategies can help students become active practitioners of their disciplines by keeping up with recent publications, following experts in the field, and participating in academic dialogue by tagging and sharing sites of their own.
Professors could use social bookmarking sites to share suggested readings with students, either by tagging links with a specific course tag (e.g. “English301”) or by sending them directly to students’ accounts based on individual research interests. Social bookmarks could be used to share resources within a research group or a group of students collaborating on a project.
Diigo allows users to annotate webpages, in addition to tagging and bookmarking them, allowing for more active reading and sharing of texts. For example, students could use the annotation feature to add definitions for unfamiliar vocabulary, or professors could highlight particular resources in an online bibliography. This overview help page for Diigo includes several how-to videos that explain specific features.
Diigo also encourages classroom use of Diigo by offering special accounts for educators, which make it easy for instructors to set up class accounts for themselves and their students. More information on Diigo educator accounts can be found here.
Check out the CNDLS Diigo page for some sites we’ve tagged as useful for our experiments with Web 2.0 tools in the classroom.