As educators who use technology know, there are too many sites out there to visit and go through by oneself. We don’t have the time to do that plus do all the other things that need to get done. That’s why using an online bookmarking tool has become a must for me.
Just Managing My Time
Time is very precious so any tool that allows me to manage my time in a better way is of great interest to me. When I first began using online bookmarking, it was to save my own bookmarks while at home so that I could access them online and use them. I then began to understand that, by tagging them with particular tags, I could then access them much easier and find the those I wanted to use in my classes with greater ease. I could incorporate and access the information without having to constantly search for them or go through a list of links on a Word page.
The first online sites I used were delicious and magnolia. I experimented with each to figure out how I might use them more effectively to improve my teaching. Then, I tried out Furl, Mister Wong and Diigo. As an administrator, I began to use them to save information that I wanted to read or pass on to other administrators. Like all things, eventually you have to quit experimenting so I finally decided to stick with Diigo for a few different reasons.
1. Posts to my Delicious – I like that all my posts from Diigo also show up on my Delicious because it allows me to share with the people I follow on Delicious. It is a great way to have both sites working for you!
2. Can create Groups – these groups can be either public or private and can be open to the public, invitation by members or invitation by the moderator. This is great if you are using it in a school setting. I have used the private setting for a class where I invite the class to join the group and then they can save bookmarks to that site for projects, essays and other such school-based projects. I’ve also set up a group for teachers at the school so they can share information and set up a group for our school division Learning Coaches.
3. More than just bookmarking – because the site allows you to ask questions of people whom you have in your network, you can get some great resources and insights into things you are doing from the network.
4. I can browse other groups to see if there is something of interest or something that may provide me with some new information. And remember, this isn’t just about school – there are all sorts of groups that share information – a great deal of information on a wide variety of interests is available – if you have a hobby, there is probably a group!
Like usual, I suggest you try out a number of different options to see which one is best for you. Many people I know started with Delicious and won’t move because they like the various options. For me, there options at Diigo just lend themselves to a school setting.
Whichever service you choose, the underlying idea is that all educators need to have an online bookmarking site. As I indicated in my post about Evernote, there is just too much information out there to try to limit your information storage. By finding a few online tools, you can really enhance your efficiency and effectiveness. The more you use the tools, the more you begin to think about how they fit into your teaching. Eventually, the online tools become similar to textbooks, pens, paper and other classic tools, something we use to enhance the learning of the students.