With the incredible proliferation of online tools, tips, resources, and technologies available for teaching and learning today, we at the Technology for Teaching and Learning group often find ourselves playing the role of technology testers and commentators. We would like to take a few minutes every now and again to share a technology that we’ve put through a good old fashioned workout, to save you time and help you decide if something new is right for you.
Introducing: Social Bookmarking!
Social bookmarking is comprised of a set of online tools that help you to organize, search through, and share your bookmarks online. We have been experimenting with social bookmarking for the past year and overall we think it is very useful! Before delving too far into why we like this tool so much here is a bit more information on what Social Bookmarking really is (please note this video uses Del.ic.io.us as the example where as we will be talking about Diigo.com later)
So why do we find this tool useful?
- Universal Access
Social bookmarking sites give you access to all of your bookmarks online, regardless of your physical location. You just sign into your social bookmarking site from anywhere, and your bookmarks are right there waiting for you. And you don’t have to share your personal bookmarks with the world, either; permissions can be set on all major bookmarking sites to keep any link private, shared with a group of friends, or made public. Just think–never lose a site you wanted to bookmark again! The use of a social bookmarking site can empower you personally by making your bookmarking more efficient and centralized.
- Keeping Everyone up to Date
Anyone who has worked in a group has experienced the frustration of emailing or instant messaging interesting resource links around to the team, and then trying to find them again later. Social bookmarking can eliminate this difficulty by storing all of the links that you share with your group in one central location. Group members can even choose whether they would like to be notified of additions to the shared group bookmarks pool, to stay on top of what their group members are sharing.
- Branching out
Some of the links we share as a group relate to the work we do in our TTL group, but we all also have our own interests and personal projects, too. Social bookmarking helps us to inform our colleagues of other potential topics of interest, encourages suggestions, and keeps them involved.
And if it sounds like too much work to log into a web site just to add a bookmark, don’t worry! Most major social bookmarking sites have tools that integrate right into your existing web browser, so you just click a button to add a site to your bookmarks, and it’s added automatically.
Diigo, the site we have been testing, has solutions for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, the iPad, and Android powered devices, making it completely seamless to bookmark and retrieve sites.