There was a great #elemchat on Twitter yesterday about social bookmarking for students. In today’s information heavy world it would make sense that we would help student learn to filter and share resources. After all, that’s what we do right? Honestly most of my best resources come from social sites such as Diigo, Twitter, and Google reader. I loved reading the chat because it reminded me of some great resources to use for and with students as well as introduced me to some new ones!
Diigo: I use this site all the time to keep track of the variety of resources I find online. I have a great little toolbar on my Mozilla Firefox so that all I have to do is click a button and it’s saved in my account. If I think it’s something that I want to share I can share it with a group, either professional or a group set up for students. If students have accounts they can bookmark and tag the websites they find to share with me and each other. You can also use this as an assessment tool to keep track of the types of websites that students are marking as worth resources. Plus, I have had one too many students lose a webpage that they were using so I’m certainly going to use this with my class next year, especially because there is a Diigo app and toolbar for the iPad.
Livebinders: This is a fun site that I’ve used in the past to gather websites for certain student groups during inquiry projects. Let’s face it, some topics require advanced search skills and I don’t want to hold my students back. A quick search and creation of a live binder can offer students a simple one stop shop for resources. You can include multiple pages per tab so you can put everyone’s inquiry topics on one livebinder, each topic gets a different tab. I have also seen teachers have students create their own livebinders to share resources among their group.
Symbaloo: This is a new site that I just learned about and I pretty much LOVE it! It’s hard to explain well so I’ll link to an example of one on U.S. History. As you can see from the screen shot that I took, sites are presented on little color coded buttons. You place them anywhere you want on the grid and you choose what goes in them. What I love about the ability to color code them is that you can quickly categorize, organize, and differentiate resources. I also think that the visual layout is very snappy and will appeal to students. You can make this the default homepage on student laptops or devices and save precious minutes because frequently used sites are right there.
Jog the Web: This is another site that I’ve heard about but haven’t had much chance to explore. It’s a little similar to live binders in that you create a conglomeration of pages into one easily navigated area. You can see below that the pages are listed on the left in a nice table of contents and they appear on the right with comments on the top. This is a really nice jog that compiles blog posts about conferring.
To read a transcript of this and all of the other #elemchats you can visit the #elemchat wiki. If you’d like more information on using social bookmarking with students try Cybraryman’s resources page.