What’s so Social about Bookmarking?

Everyone gets them.  Copious emails asking us to check out this site, tool, video coagulate in our inboxes.  It is awesome to get a new idea, but no one has time to wade through 500+ emails a day. Often these emails get pushed to the side, deleted, or the site gets a cursory examination, then forgotten in the everyday fray of things.  The solution to this is social bookmarking.  One place to store URLs for everyone to peruse, share, and collect.  Adding to the beauty of this concept is the users ability to tag their URLS, and it makes finding what you are looking for a cinch!

For educators, and students alike, social bookmarking offers a wealth of resources and tools available in one location 24-7.  Social bookmarking sites enable users to collaboratively underline, highlight, and annotate text.  This could make research a one-stop shop for your students or a whole team of students!

Here are some great ideas for integrating social bookmarking into your classroom or professional usage:

  1. Create a schoolwide account/group and ask all colleagues to post their favorite sites with tags that will enable teachers to go to one place to access sites and locate what they need more readily by searching.
  2. Share sites on a particular topic with your class, and ask them to post sticky notes on a required number of sites sharing their connections, thoughts, feelings, or relevance to the unit of instruction.
  3. Have your students bookmark sites they are using for a research project so the class can examine their highlighting and comment on it with sticky notes.
  4. Have students bookmark websites that support the content you are teaching.  This will enable your students to supplement their classroom text and instruction with their own resources.

If you need more validation, or ideas for integrating social bookmarking into your classroom look no further than Bill Ferriter’s Digitally Speaking Wiki.  Ferriter supplies his readers with rubrics, roles and a rectory of directions for all things Diigo.

So where should one begin if one were interested in social bookmarking?  The answer is as simple as it is for all web tools, it depends.  What is your end goal?  What do you want your students to be able to do within the tool?  Do you just want to collect websites?  The answers to these questions must be obvious before you go exploring the plethora of social bookmarking sites available.

Not sure which social bookmarking tool is the one for you?  Why not test drive a social bookmarking site today?  Here are some teacher-recommended bookmarking tools to explore:

Wouldn’t it be great to model notetaking for your students on a website?  Highlighting key words, adding sticky notes, and then sharing this resource with your students is an amazing way to teach research skills to your class.  Diigo offers all of this and the ability to create groups and decide which resources you share with each of those groups. If you choose diigo, be sure to join the educator’s group!

While still in beta, I am intrigued by the offerings of 19Pencils as well.  Sharing URLs with your students on a classpage, searching other educators bookmarks, and the premium account allows you to create and assign quizzes.

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About bulldogtechteach

I am a technology integrator serving in a k-1 and a 2-5 elementary building. I firmly believe in the power of technology to engage students and allow them to create and master their learning.
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