Tag: social

Social Bookmarks: 5 Tools to Try

I once had these unnamed, quite brilliant colleagues (They’ll probably nail me for talking about them behind their backs. 😮 ) who were and are wonderful friends, phenomenal educators and true technology innovators. They provided me with countless ideas and resources. However, they usually insisted on sharing by sending me an email. While I did appreciate the sharing, I spent literally years advocating for them to  jump on board with the idea of sharing with one another via online, social bookmarking tools. “You see,” I would explain, “I get SO many emails, and I have to then open each one, click on the link inside, then add it to my bookmarks. I have to repeat the process at home to put it on my home computer. It’s just exhausting!” (Okay, I’ve always been a bit of a hyperbole fan.) I offered that simply adding it to a bookmark list in a Diigo group would be much more efficient, accessible, organized, etc. They could click a simple button added to their browser, add a little description, some tags, then share them with everyone that was a part of their group. We would all learn of these great, shared resources in one tidy, weekly email. Ahhh….a dream come true!

Alas, my efforts at persuasion met with very limited success, for unknown reasons. The emails kept coming (replaced occasionally by a tweet). A normal person would have felt beaten. Not I, however. If, by continuing to share the virtues of online bookmarks, I can save just ONE inbox, my efforts will be worth the high costs. To that end, here are 5 email server sparing online bookmark tools you might think about using:

  • Diigo for Chrome

    Diigo’s Chrome extension

    Diigo –Diigo is a very useful tool that has been around for several years. Users can bookmark sites using a simple browser plugin, which also allows bookmarks to be categorized by tags (also the best way to search through collections), added to lists, annotated with virtual sticky notes, or shared with groups. The groups feature is a great way to discover new resources or share with a specific audience. Members can opt to receive notifications of shared resources daily, weekly, etc.

  • Adding collaborators in Pinterest.

    Adding collaborators in Pinterest.

    Pinterest –A huge hit among casual users, Pinterest also has a loyal following amont educators. Users can use bookmarklets or browser extensions to quickly add Pins to specific boards, where they are shared in Pinterest’s appealing, visual style. Don’t forget that Pinterest can be very collaborative, too. Just visit the user dashboard, click on the Edit button at the bottom of any board, then add contributors using their email addresses.

  • Symbaloo webmix

    Symbaloo webmix

    SymbalooEDU –Symbaloo EDU is another tool that has grown a huge following in education circles, in particular. Users create very slick, graphical “webmixes”, collections of bookmarked sites. One shortcoming is that webmixes can be shared, but are not truly collaborative just yet. Still, its attractive style, user-friendly results, and ample pre-existing collections make it worth a look.

  • A flipped classroom pearltree.

    A flipped classroom pearltree.

    Pearltrees –Pearltrees is a tool unlike any of the others. It is very visual in nature, and folks who like graphic organizers are likely to love Pearltrees. Bookmarks, called “pearls”, are added via browser extension and organized into “trees”, which are clusters of pearls. Pearltree users can share trees and pearls, follow others’ collections, and collaboratively build collections. Probably not for everyone, but for those who like its style, Pearltrees is a powerful resource.

  • A ScoopIt collection.

    A ScoopIt collection.

    ScoopIt –ScoopIt takes yet another approach to saving bookmarks, assembling groups of them into pages resembling online newspapers or magazines. A browser bookmarklet can expedite the adding of resources to topic lists. Users choose the destination lists and add descriptions. Users can follow one another and “suggest” new resources to be added, a list of which can be browsed (“curated”, in ScoopIt lingo), evaluated, and either added or rejected. ScoopIt will also make recommendations from the web based on user-defined terms. A drawback is the inability to filter items on a specific collection, but I keep coming back to the tool after several years.

Certainly, there are countless other bookmarking tools being used by educators to collaboratively cultivate classroom collections. What are others that should be in any such list? How are you using them with your students or teams?

TLA 2011 Presentation Links

Links to resources shared at Texas Library Association convention:

PowerPoint on Steroids Presentation

3 New Tools for a New Year

Some useful tools that are either new or at least that haven’t been mentioned here…

Diigo (http://www.diigo.com) –Social bookmarking site that puts greater emphasis on the social aspect than other, similar sites. Users can create friends lists or groups. Saved bookmarks can be shared with all, some, or none of the friends and groups. Additionally, sites can be customized with highlighting, sticky notes, and more. Envision creating a class group, then having student members studying a topic such as geology find and add resources to the class’s list of bookmarks, including notes telling how the resources are useful.

Diigo

Slideboom (http://www.slideboom.com/)–Finally! I have found a site that will support my PowerPoint 2007 presentations, INCLUDING ANIMATIONS! Slideboom is very similar to Slideshare, my old favorite. Users can add friends, mark favorites, leave comments, and more. This tool can be used to allow students to post and share PowerPoint presentations, then to have classmates make comments or ask questions on the site. The user agreement also prohibits pornographic images, which should keep content safer for children.

Slideboom

Weebly (http://www.weebly.com/)–I found Weebly a few months ago, but only yesterday actually began testing it. This is a fantastic site for creating free webpages. The site offers numerous page designs, uses a point and click method for adding page features, includes the ability to create blog pages, and more. Additionally, users can associate existing domain names.  The site very easy to use and allows children as young as 13 to join. Site traffic statistics are available, and users can choose the option of including Google Adsense, making it possible to profit from site traffic.

Weebly

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