The Winnipeg Folksonomy Festival

October 5, 2008

In his blog post Taming the Beast: Social Bookmarking Will Richardson describes how Winnipeg calculus teacher Darren Kuropatwa has his students use a specific unconventional tag in Delicious – apcalc06 – so that each student can find each other’s bookmarks easily.

This reminded me of an unconventional use of tagging that I’ve started at our Adolescent Parent Centre School in their . I’m working with students who want to earn a volunteer credit to inventory all the books in their classrooms and mini-library in librarything and tagging them by the location so that they can be easily located within the school. As of today 803 items are added. (I wanted to put the widget here but unfortunately WordPress does not accept java script – Librarything is working on a compatable widget so please click the image above or here to visit the Adolescent Parent Centre librarything.) One thing I learned is that in order to sort them by location, the location had to be the first tag listed, and that it had to be added consistently – e.g. rm 18 OR rm18, but not some of each. Searchable fields include author, title and subjects that are often imported in via the ISBN # so I didn’t think it was that important to add other tags – but may decide to go back and have students add them in later. I really like the book suggester and the book unsuggester for the APC students and am anxious to have them use librarything in a lab setting to see whether they enjoy exploring librarything including looking at other’s tags others’ libraries.


Implications for Teaching and Learning

October 5, 2008

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.

Delicious or Diigo?

October 5, 2008

I’m content with my Delicious account and am even more now that I’ve realized what else it can do for me. Nevertheless I thought it was important to check out some of the other social bookmarking sites. I like the look and feel of Furl, and that it was recommended for educators. But it was Steve Hargadon’s personal endorsement in “Cool Tools: Best of Social Bookmarking” School Library Journal 12/1/2007 that peaked my interest in Diigo.

Check out my Diigo here or click on the Diigo Widget in the left sidebar of this blog. The first thing I noticed is that the widget automatically included a RSS feed button and some of my more frequent tags which is much more visually attractive.

Once logged into Diigo I was able to import all my bookmarks from Delicious. I was also able to install their toolbar for my browser easily. Diigo allows you to filter your bookmarks by your tags just as easily as Delicious, but one advantage is that it allows you to create lists based on tag searches. So I created a list of my bookmarks that I would share with just the English Team at my school.

The tools I appreciate the most  are the highlighting and sticky note tools. You can highlight text on a webpage and add a sticky note if you want that will persist in your bookmarks.

I like the slide show Diigo will create for those that want to have a visual scan of theirs or others’ bookmarks.

I also like the way Diigo will allow users to make actual bookmarks private, allowing one to keep private/personal and professional bookmarks in one account.

I can explore others bookmarks based on their tags just as easily as in Delicious. I’m still shy for a social bookmarker, and haven’t added any friends or groups yet. I think the best time to do this would be for a real collaborative purpose like lesson, unit or curriculum planning, but if for any reason someone else invites me as a friend, I’ll probably jump on the chance to experience how it works.

Now getting back to the original question; Delicious or Diigo? Sorry if it appears to be a cop-out, but I can’t make up my mind yet and I’m going to stick with both for awhile.

Delicious Lessons Learned

October 5, 2008

I’ve been using Delicious for 18 months now to collect bookmarks. Check out my delicious/mikisew. I’ve also added a link to it on the left column of this blog. I was happy with Delicious because I can access it from any computer with internet access at work or at home and can see the benefits for my students who travel between home, work and school(s). It took the Joanne’s trailfire and Will Richardson’s chapter 6 for me to realize what I was missing!

The Social Part of Social Bookmarking

I always noticed how many others had also bookmarked the same URLs, and I always took this as a sign of the sites’ reliability. It never once dawned on me to actually click on that number to see who else had bookmarked it. When I did I realized I could look at their bookmarks. There was one member named bookwyrmish whose bookmarks I looked at and for a minute I thought I was back at my own bookmarks. The entries were so freakishly alike that I got a chill. The next day I checked out bookwyrmish’s links again and he/she had added a whole bunch more that weren’t at all like mine but included many that I was interested in – so I decided we simply had similar interests and subscribed to his/her delicious bookmarks through my RSS feeds. I learned I could add this person to my network of people, but decided to stick with the RSS for now. I think it would be good to use the network feature when I’m working with a group of teachers collaborating on unit development or a lesson plan.

I used to think that you had to create a separate account in order to share some of my bookmarks with teaching teams at work. For example, I created a whole separate Delicious account to share some rubric and assessment tools with the English teachers last year. I just discovered that I could have just searched for those sites with a tag which creates a subset of my bookmarks, then shared that URL. For example here is the list when I search my bookmarks for those bookmarks tagged with web2.0  I can even narrow down further what I want to share with others by adding another tag to the search string – For instance if I added web2.0 and video tags : .

I’m still not using Delicious to its fullest potential, but I’m more likely to now when the need arises.