What is Social Bookmarking? It is online storage of your favorite website links which allows you to organize, search and manage your bookmarks. You must have internet access in order to use social bookmarking. It is called social because you’re able to share your bookmarks with others and view bookmarks other people have saved. Most social bookmarking sites allow you to share or keep your links private or a combination of the two.
Why use it? Many people access the internet using multiple devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops). Social bookmarking allows you to see your favorite links from any of your devices. You can also use any browser (Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, etc.) and still see your bookmarks. Also, if you’ve ever had your desktop or laptop crash or you have received a new computer, you know the value of being able to get at your bookmarks without exporting and importing and all the hoopla that entails.
How can it be used in the classroom? Students can collaborate and share bookmarks for research projects. Share bookmarks with other teachers (within the school or anywhere in the world.) Give students a place to start when they’re researching a class topic. Provide websites for younger students who have a difficult time typing. Use it as an intelligent search engine by choosing a category or tag that matches your interest.
There are a bazillion (yup, that’s my number and I’m sticking to it) social bookmarking sites. I chose the following three sites because I like their interfaces (the way they look) and they work for a variety of age/grade levels.
Draggo is easy to use! The website (http://draggo.com) lets you try out using Draggo before signing up (it’s free!) There is also a video that shows you the features and how to use it. You can create different tabs and set each one as either private or public. Draggo has a “Get Button” link toward the bottom of the page so you can put a Draggo button right on the bookmarks bar of your browser (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome)
The downside to Draggo is that you aren’t able to tag the links (set searchable key words) so that retrieval is easier. However, Draggo is still my personal favorite because it’s visual and “thinks” like me.
Diigo – Before I discovered Draggo (thanks to Rachel Langenhorst) I was using Diigo. The beauty of Diigo is in the tagging. You tag each post with key words and that makes your links searchable. All posts are arranged in a long list so tagging is essential. You are also able to have lists that include links with different tags. You can highlight and add sticky notes that will remain on the page when you access it from Diigo. Diigo is available for all browsers and mobile devices (tablets and smartphones). You can also set your links as private or public.
You can add Diigolet (a bookmark icon) to your browser (https://www.diigo.com/tools/diigolet) in order to access Diigo without having to login to the website. You can also highlight and add sticky notes right from Diigolet.
Other tools are available (https://www.diigo.com/tools) that allow you to take screenshots, save for later, make quick notes, etc.
Frankly, I think I’m going to start using Diigo again. Although I don’t like the messiness of seeing all my links in a list I do like the ability to tag them and sort a single link in multiple categories (tags).
Symbaloo is beautifully visual. This makes it very user friendly for younger students. Within Symbaloo you create a “Jeopardy-looking” screen called a webmix. To add a link, click on one of the empty tiles. You can choose one of Symbaloo’s existing tiles or create your own. To edit a tile’s URL (link address), right click on it and select edit.
You can search for other webmixes by category and build your library of useful links. I can see using Symbaloo with various classes and creating a separate webmix that fits each class. You may even decide you want to use several different social bookmarking sites for various purposes.
Some other social (cloud) bookmarking sites include:
If you have a favorite or find a favorite social bookmarking site please let me know! I’d love to hear what you’re using.