Monday, July 30, 2012

I'm Digging Diigo; Are You?

Over the last year, I've become a huge fan of Diigo.  Diigo is a social bookmarking site and tool that allows you to access your saved links on any computer.   But of course, it's much more than that or we wouldn't be talking about it here.  You can get a fuller sense of its capabilities by checking out our Youtube Playlist on Diigo.  But for now, let's identify some of its best qualities.
  1. Free (and more free with Educator's license).  Sign up with an .EDU account and get access to more resources.
  2. Links are accessible on any computer by logging in.
  3. Users can join and create groups of common interest or purpose and keep community links.
  4. Users can easily share links with other friends on the network or other groups.
  5. In addition to creating Lists (categories), users can also tag each link for easier classification and search.
  6. Users can annotate (including multi-colored highlighting) the site they bookmark and share both the site and the annotations with others.
  7. Users can subscribe to other users and groups public links via RSS Feed.  (For more about RSS Feed, check out our blog entry on using it for education).
  8. Users can track the number of views a link has received.
So that's a great range of tools that instructors can utilize for learning and student engagement. With that in mind, here are some of the ideas that you could use this program for:

Course Readings:  You could use Diigo to collect and organize your class readings.  With the Group feature, you could invite the class into Diigo, and break up the readings into different lists:  Week 1, Week 2, etc.  One reason this might be useful is that the instructor can annotate each link, adding comments, emphasis, and raising questions.  For instance, in the image below, I've highlighted different text and the numbers within the document indicate different comments I've raised with the reading.   What's great is that students too and can directly respond by commenting which means you can have a conversation around a text.  

Class Created Notebook:  In this sense, instructors can make students create a course notebook; requiring them to go out and harvest relevant materials for each week's reading.  Again, the instructor can require students to comment on each others' links or go in and comment on the students' links and require their response.  Here is a set of guidelines that require students to use Diigo to collection resources for a course.

Group Dissection:  For this one, the instructor can assign specific online readings and require a group using the annotative tools, to have a conversation around a text, by asking and answering questions, connecting it to other material, etc.  The beauty is that it's all within the document/reading itself.  

Research Resources:  Faculty can also use Diigo to create a range of resources for students with regard to a research project.  One List could be on methods, another on recent research or acceptable resources to use for a project, while another could be on citing and editing.  

Research Collection:  Diigo could also be used as a resource collection created by one or more students where all their research can be found and organized for a project.  

What other ways do you foresee Diigo being useful to you?  Have you tried Diigo?  What do you think about it?  What concerns or questions do you still have about it?