Thursday, December 23, 2010

Social Bookmarking for the Classroom

I have recently discussed two ways to use social bookmarking with posts on and Digg. is a web 2.0 tool where the user can save any number of sites, tag them with labels, and organize them so you can share them with others or simply categorize them. Digg is a web 2.0 tool that allows the user to "digg" various news sites that he/she likes and rate them. If you sign up for an account with Digg, you do not even have to create a "new" account; you can use your existing Facebook or Twitter account if you have one!

While both sites have similar functions, one is for any site that you put into your links list, and the other is more for news stories, but it appears that the stories must be "diggable" (most news sites offers this option now, and not only for Digg but also for many other social bookmarking applications). Digg does have an option where you can go to their website after you've found a link that you want to "digg" and put the URL into their site. That seems like a great deal more work, however (there is an add-on toolbar for Firefox to make this easier)! The Digg FAQ was very helpful in answering many of the questions that I had. I did not find the help page very useful, but it did answer some of the basic questions about this tool.

This tool could prove extremely useful in the world of academia! Teachers and students now have numerous ways to not only bookmark their favorite sites (not the primary function of these applications though) but also share, tag, and rate sites for their own personal purposes or for others. Some uses for teachers, students, and in telecollaboration are:
  • gathering sources to share with students or classmates that are all organized, categorized and/or rated
  • guiding classes in a computer lab by directing them only to specific sites instead of taking time to search for various sites(would be great for younger classes so they only have one link to type!)
  • guiding students in the rating process of sites; the teacher could provide a rating rubric similar to what we have done in class, but also use Digg to rate them for others
  • creating lists of links to share (perfect for telecollaboration when classes cannot physically be together)
  • doing research in class/at home and bookmarking the sites for later use
While I have not tried any of these with my students, I do actually prefer to use Weebly sites with them instead. A Weebly is a drag and drop, create your own website! It allows me to prepare the students for work in the computer lab by posting rubrics, links, search engines in Spanish, online dictionaries, and even graphic organizers. I like the all-in-one combination of Weebly! Here's an example that I used this year during the Spanish 4 arts unit. Coupled with Weebly I could use something like in order to collect the sites that I like, and then, post the link to the categorized sites for the students.

All in all, I would consider social bookmarking with my students, especially with my telecollaboration project, but I do not really have a need to use it personally. I see its benefits, but I am not all that impressed by it to feel the need to use it regularly. If you are interested check out Digg or or even BlinkList, Reddit, or StumbleUpon.

1 comment:

  1. I too have used delicious before. The problem for me is that the moment I start using one site like this, there is another one that is recommended by a friend that they like better or they suggest is easier or more accessible from other sources. I think that I said this before, but I get overwhelmed with so many tools that are available that I often just don't use any.