In Terry Freedman’s article on Social Bookmarking in Coming of Age v1-2. (page 90) he makes the point that social bookmarking could actually increase the amount of web pages that students will look at. One thing social bookmarking does is indicate how many others have also bookmarked that site, but that couldn’t possibly always be an indicator of a site’s usefulness or reliability. It simply underscores the importance of raising awareness of the importance to critically evaluate each web page for reliability. He also mentions that searching by tags may require a pre-teaching. For example if students wanted to look for “shark videos” they should also search for “shark video”. On a similar note, it may be wise to teach students to tag their own bookmarks carefully so that they and others can find them later.
In her blog post “All Together Now” Donna DesRoches describes how useful social bookmarking can be for classes of students researching similar topics. For instance one class researching endangered species tagged their best websites as “species at risk” so everyone else in the class could easily find others’ bookmarks. I believe Donna when she states students are more careful to critically evaluate websites if they know others are going to look at them.
What Donna has done in her school division that impresses me the most is “written social bookmarking into our ninth-grade information literacy skills continuum”. I agree this is a research tool that all senior students should have in their virtual toolkit.