I posted several bookmarks via Diigo on Wednesday. Although I had planned to use delicious, I find the interface to be really kludgy, so I set about looking for another social bookmarking site. Although plenty of teachers in my district post lists of links on their blogs or websites, none have actually used "social bookmarking." Like most teachers, they have been slow to look at social media for education.
Social bookmarking allows people (not surprisingly) to share bookmarks with the public and more interactively with defined friends. Sites like delicious and Diigo allow users to define networks of other users, view their bookmarks, and share sites based on "tags". The application to education starts getting very clear as we try to find ways to provide students with a variety of online resources beyond Google and Wikipedia (not that there is anything wrong with either, but until kids develop really solid search skills, handing them great websites is a good idea).
Diigo, as I mentioned yesterday, goes one step further. Installing the Diigo toolbar on your browser (works on Windows, Linux, and Mac) allows you to highlight text on a website and add those highlights as notes to the bookmarks you save. Thus, you can easily draw a student's attention to a particular passage or simply save time in writing descriptions of bookmarked sites by highlighting a relevant bit of text.
Similarly, it's easy for you and/or those in your network (your students, for example) to add comments to to your bookmarks. Diigo actually offers educational accounts that lend themselves to this sort of collaboration among students. As the Diigo education site explains,
# You can create student accounts for an entire class with just a few clicks (and student email addresses are optional for account creation)
# Students of the same class are automatically set up as a Diigo group so they can start using all the benefits that a Diigo group provides, such as group bookmarks and annotations, and group forums.
# Privacy settings of student accounts are pre-set so that only teachers and classmates can communicate with them.
# Ads presented to student account users are limited to education-related sponsors.
Certainly makes those little lists of links seem very 2002, doesn't it?