Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Best Practices in Diigo



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Best Practices

  • The proliferation of Web 2.0 tools on the web offers numerous ways of collaborating with students and colleagues.  One of the most exciting and valuable tools I have seen recently is Diigo, especially with the introduction of Diigo for Educator accounts. 
  • Diigo is a social bookmarking site similar to Delicious but with more features that are beneficial for the classroom.
  • The first great thing about Diigo is that your bookmarks follow you wherever you go.  When you bookmark a site using your Diigo account, you can have access to it at work, home, the computer lab or library.  The other great thing is that once you bookmark it, you can share your book mark links with students and colleagues and they can all have access to your sites.   
    • This would be the first reason to use Diigo in the classroom comment by Amy Cordova
  • The next big plus to Diigo is that you get to “tag” the sites you want to bookmark.  A tag is the classification system you determine so you can organize your bookmarks and find the link the next time you need it; this is known as a folksonomy. 
  •  The great thing is that you can share your Diigo bookmark list with your students, and they can click on the Greek Mythology tag and see all of the resource for the unit.  But, now let’s get to the “social” part of social bookmarking.  Let’s say you find a really awesome site for your unit on Greek Mythology, and you tag it on Diigo.  You see when you look at your bookmark list that 72 other people have tagged that exact same site.  You can see the lists of the other people who have tagged that site, and you might discover a 6th grade teacher in Wisconsin who has an amazing list of Greek mythology sites that you didn’t even know about.  Now you have taken advantage of the social part of the bookmarking process by adding some of those bookmarks to your list. 
  • One of my favorite features of Diigo and what separates it apart from Delicious for me is the ability to highlight and add sticky notes.  That’s right, I can highlight the key parts of a web page or article and add sticky notes. Every time I come back to that page, when I am logged into Diigo, I will see my highlights and sticky notes. One of the goals as educators is that we must help students learn to read effectively on the web and give them the tools to be successful. Diigo is one of those tools. 
  • We know that many students do not know how to highlight effectively.  Many students highlight everything.  We can teach them strategies how to selectively highlight by modeling aloud how we read a paragraph and select the key words and phrases to highlight.  We can have them use the sticky notes to list main ideas, details, and key points they want to remember.  Students could then be given a passage or article to practice with and then share what they have highlighted with a partner using the Diigo sharing capability and discuss why they highlighted certain parts and made certain notes.   
  • On the sticky note the teacher could ask questions and Diigo allows people to comment and reply to the questions on the sticky note.  Students could also add sticky notes for other students to comment on as well.  Another way to use the highlighting tool is that students could go through an article and highlight all of the vocabulary that they didn’t know and learn what it means prior to reading the article.  Or students could put sticky notes about questions they have when reading the text. 
  • I heard about a teacher who is planning to use Diigo to have students use the highlight and sticky note comments to peer edit student writing done in Google Docs.   
  • One of the best things about the educator accounts is that you can create the student accounts, and students do not need to provide an e-mail address.  Another nice feature in Diigo is that you can upload an Excel spreadsheet in .csv format with student names, usernames and passwords, and the accounts are created in an instant. 
  • Diigo provides a 21st century collaborative learning tool that students can use to process, organize, analyze, evaluate and share information.  Try it out with your students today.
Now you can take the highlighting and summarize it or quote it  or annotate.  I would love to be able to tag my sticky notes. 

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