Social Bookmarking

Suzzallo Graduate Reading Room
Suzzallo Library Graduate Reading Room
at University of Washington
Module 9 of TEC-950 explores the use of social bookmarking. I have "used" Diigo over the past year but only passively. I hear teachers who rave about it but until now I didn't understand the hype mainly due to my own experience with social bookmarking.

My social bookmarking use has been limited to exploring resources as part of the CUE Innovative Educator Certificate Program as well as a site set up for the CTA/Stanford Instructional Leadership Corps that has numerous resources related to CCSS and NGSS. Both of these uses are very passive in nature. Leaders in both programs had already curated materials and used Diigo with it's ease of bookmarking and tag structure to put them in one place for use by a large number of participants. Given this purpose, Diigo has been useful but it didn't turn me into a user of the technology in my role or provide a vision as to how it could be used in the classroom.

With additional exploration time and with a renewed sense of purpose, the uses of social bookmarking within the classroom are limitless, especially if students are the ones actively using the site as opposed to being directed to already provided resources.  Social bookmarking sites provide a means for students to gather online research materials in a single location. This alone is remarkable and a tremendous asset for any researcher. However, the real power is in the tags and annotations. Students have the power to create their own tags for their research materials, read them online, and add annotation in the form of highlights, notes, and have multiple possibilities for sharing. These capabilities make me want to write another master's thesis or begin work on a dissertation because the research experience would be so dramatically different and streamlined than what I experienced many years ago with notecards and spreadsheets. I have such fond memories of time spent in Suzzallo library (pictured above) and can imagine the transformative experience that social bookmarking would have had in my previous graduate student/researcher life.

This is the real power of social bookmarking in the classroom.  It simulates the experience of a researcher and makes the process so accessible for students. As CCSS aims to create students who are college and career ready, this is a tool that helps meet those expectations.

Photo Credit: "Suzzallo Library's Graduate Reading Room" by Jkiang used under CC 3.0  / Social Bookmarking Icons created and added using Google Drawing