There are over 100 million Web sites on the Internet with 3 to 4 million added each month (Teaching Today). With so much information available to teachers and students, how can they possibly organize everything they find that has relevance?
You could add bookmarks straight to your computer, but eventually your Bookmarks Folder will become too long and it will be difficult to find things when you are looking for something specific. Need to share your bookmarks with students or coworkers? Not exactly convenient to do with your browser’s bookmarks folder. What about when you are at home and need to access a site that is bookmarked on your computer at school? When you bookmark sites with your browser’s bookmarking feature there is no way to access your bookmarks on other computers or mobile phone.
When you take the features of bookmarking and add a social aspect to it you get social bookmarking. With social bookmarking you have the ability to save Web sites that you have found all in one place and share them with students or co-workers. As we continue throughout this presentation, however, you will see that social bookmarking goes beyond just saving your favorite sites and sharing them.
There is no shortage of social bookmarking site choices on the Internet, it’s only a matter of finding what works best for you and your students. Delicious is the most popular bookmarking site, giving the user greater access to other’s bookmarks. However, Diigo offers features that are unavailable on Delicious that are better suited for researching such as highlighting and sticky notes. Other social bookmarking sites include Stumbleupon, Citeulike, Connotea, Furl, and Simpy (Wikipedia).
Once you’ve selected the social bookmarking site that best suits you-it’s time to start bookmarking. When you save information using a social bookmarking site it will be saved to the cloud, or the social bookmarking site’s server. Your bookmarks will be available to you on any computer including your smart phone. So when you’re at home and can’t remember the URL to that great Shakespeare Web site you just found, you can easily access it using your social bookmarking site and develop your lesson from home.
As you and your students come across Web sites for lesson plans or research, using a social bookmarking site will help you easily collect interesting or relevant sites that you come across. By installing a link on your toolbar to your social bookmarking site, saving all of your information together is as easy as clicking a button.
Once you’ve started collecting your bookmarks you will have the opportunity to tag them. When you tag something you assign a group of keywords that pertain to what you have bookmarked that will classify or sort the information and help for later retrieval (Professional Learning Board). For example, you might tag that great Shakespeare site you found “Shakepeare,” “plays,” and “literature.” It’s your bookmark so you can create and assign as many tags for something as you’d like. Some social bookmarking sites, such as Diigo, even recommend tag words for your information that have been used by others for similar topics (Professional Learning Board). Tags also help lead you to information that others have already found. If you want to find more great Web sites about Shakespeare, simply search the tag words that have been created by others.
Some social bookmarking sites, such as Diigo, also allow you to highlight portions of what you’ve saved. If there is a portion or paragraph within an article that you find particularly interesting, you can use the highlighting tool on your Diigo toolbar to highlight that portion. You can also add sticky notes if you want to make comments or notes about the information. Sticky notes can be made private for your personal use, or public so that your friends, coworkers, or students can see them.
So now at this point you’ve collected, tagged, and highlighted your bookmarks. How do you go back to find them? The great thing about social bookmarking is that they are already organized for you. If there is something in particular you want to go back and look at simply use the tag words to find what you need. You can also group your information by who sees it. You may have bookmarks that are for your own personal use, but also have ones that you want to share with students and co-workers. When you create groups and invite students or co-workers to join, you can share the information you’ve found with everyone in the group. So your private bookmarks stay private!
This brings us to sharing. This is one of the most important features of social bookmarking. Sharing your bookmarks along with other users sharing theirs, allows you to expand the amount of information available to you without all of the work that goes along with finding it-saving YOU time!
Now that we’ve started sharing, we can easily use social bookmarking to move into collaborating. Remember those groups we talked about? Well you can use those groups to collaborate. Use social bookmarking to expand your Personal Learning Network by connecting with other educators in your field; work with other teachers on a project and use social bookmarking to keep each other informed with the information you find; or use it to share relevant information with the students in your classroom.
How frustrating is it to save a link, only to go back months later and find a dead link. Diigo allows you to archive the site by essentially taking a screenshot of the information ensuring that it will always be available to you (diigo.com).
The following video sums up everything we’ve just talked about and explains how you can use social bookmarking to manage your researching time more efficiently. The video uses Delicious as their example.
Now that we’ve talked about what social bookmarking is and how to use it, next we’re going to focus on how to use this tool in your classroom to make your lessons and student research more efficient.
As I’ve stated before, as a teacher you can use social bookmarking to keep relevant information you find for your lessons organized as well help use it to help find information found by other educators. The less time you spend digging around on your computer trying to find new information or old bookmarks, the more time you have to spend with your students.
Social bookmarking can help you and your students easily find links to current or historical events by subscribing to a news feed on a particular topic and it keeps it all in one place (Teaching Today).
Social bookmarking groups are not just for the adults. Use social bookmarking to form groups with your students so you can easily and instantly share relevant information with them. They can comment on what you’ve found and form a virtual class discussion on the topic. They can also form social bookmarking groups to work together on group research projects and comment on each other’s finds. They will still have access to their classmates bookmarks at home or on their smart phone. Become a member to see who is finding what and who is not pulling their weight.
Unfortunately Google seems to be the “go to” research tool for students. Encouraging your students to use social bookmarking can help students lessen their dependence on the search engine. By using social bookmarking as a search tool they can find sites that have been found by others that may not be the most popular, but are much more valuable (Teaching Today).
Encourage your students to use sites like Library Thing or Shelfari to bookmark and tag their favorite books. Create a group with your class and you can “view their comments, see the other books in their "library," and get all sorts of ideas for what to read next,” as well as have virtual class discussions about what they are reading (Richardson 51).
We’ve talked about how you can use social bookmarking with your students, but you may still be asking why. Aside from making the way we use our time more efficient, why is thisrelevant in the development of their education?
According to Anrdew Churches, social bookmarking is found on the levels of remembering and understanding (Edorigami Wiki). Remembering is defined by Anderson and Krathwohl in Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy as “retrieving, recalling, or recognizing knowledge from memory” (qtd. in Edorigami Wiki). Social bookmarking is a way to guide students to relevant material and provides a way for effortless retrieval. Understanding is defined as “constructing meaning from different types of function be they written or graphic” (qtd. in Edorigami Wiki). Students must be able to understand information before tagging it when using social bookmarking (Edorigami Wiki).
According to Silvia Tolisano “social bookmarking allows students and teachers to practice essential skills, such as communicating, collaborating, connecting, and thinking critically” (Langwitches).
With so much information available on the Internet encourage your students to use tools like social bookmarking that will help them navigate their way through the Web to find useful and meaningful information that they can share and evaluate with others.
Use social bookmarking to empower your students to become better researchers and make them “meaningful contributors to their own learning” (Tolisano).
Social Bookmarking<br />Using Social Bookmarking to Make Classroom Lessons and Student Research More Efficient<br />CC Image courtesy of net_efekt on Flickr<br />
CC Image Courtesy of Will Lion on Flickr<br />
EMPOWER<br />CC Image Courtesy of Jason Hickey on Flickr<br />
AASL Standards<br />Inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge: 1.1.1, 1.1.4, 1.1.5, 1.1.6, 1.1.8, 1.1.9, 1.2.2, 1.2.7, 1.3.1, 1.3.2, 1.3.4, 1.3.5, 1.4.1, 1.4.2, 1.4.3<br />Draw conclusions, make informed decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge: 2.1.1, 2.1.2, 2.1.4, 2.1.5, 2.1.6, 2.2.1, 2.2.4, 2.3.1, 2.3.2, 2.3.3, 2.4.1, 2.4.3<br />Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our democratic society: 3.1.2, 3.1.3, 3.1.4, 3.1.6, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.3.1, 3.3.2, 3.3.3, 3.3.5, 3.4.2, 3.4.3<br />Pursue personal and aesthetic growth: 4.1.1, 4.1.3, 4.1.4, 4.1.5, 4.1.6, 4.1.7, 4.2.2, 4.2.3, 4.3.1, 4.3.2, 4.3.3, 4.3.4, 4.4.2, 4.4.3, 4.4.4, 4.4.6<br />
Works Cited<br />Churches, Andrew. "Educational Origami Wiki." Wikispaces. N.p., 2011. Web. 1 May 2011.<br />"Collect and Highlight, Then Remember." Diigo. Web. 30 April 2011.<br />Richardson, Will. "Taming the Beast." School Library Journal 53.3 Mar 2007. 50-1. Library Literature and Information Science Full Text. Web. 2 May 2011.<br />"Social Bookmarking." Teaching Today. The McGraw Hill Companies, n.d. Web. 27 April 2011.<br />"Social Bookmarking ." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 28 April 2011. Web. 2 May 2011<br />"Social Bookmarking in Education." Professional Learning Board. Professional Learning Board, 07 April 2011. Web. 27 April 2011.<br />"Social Bookmarking in Plain English, For the Rest of Us." You Tube. Web. 27 April 2011.<br />Tolisano, Silvia. "Using Social Bookmarking in Schools and With Your Students." Langwitches Blog. Silvia Tolisano, 23 Dec 2010. Web. 2 May 2011.<br />