Online bookmarking tools are an important way to streamline your workflow and organise information. While you might currently store all of your bookmarks in your browser (and we’ve already shown how Chrome will keep these synchronised) this is not the best way to manage a large library of bookmarks. In fact, if you’re anything like most people, you’ve probably got a big folder of bookmarks stored in your browser that you’re never likely to look at again, or that you hope to read one day!
So, instead of storing every interesting bookmark in your browser, why not store them online in a searchable library of links? That way you can free up your browser to only have the most important bookmarks you need, such as sites you regularly visit or links to your online tools. In the same way that Evernote is a digital shoebox for notes or articles you find, an online bookmarking site is a great way to squirrel away those links that you might like to find again on a rainy day.
The added element of these sites is the social aspect. ‘Social bookmarking’ means that your links can be shared with others, and you can see the links that others have saved. In this way a bookmarking site can become a shared library of resources, and the most popular items on a particular topic can be browsed by anyone. Many of these sites let you create shared groups where everyone can post links on a topic. Gone are the days of emailing links to your colleagues when planning the curriculum. Just create a shared group and all contribute to the shared library.
The tool we are going to use for our bookmarking is Diigo. We recommend Diigo because:
- it’s a convenient way to keep all of your bookmarks organised and synchronised across all computers and devices
- your bookmarks library is fully searchable so Diigo is a great way to manage large libraries of links
- the useful sharing options and ability to create groups make Diigo the perfect way to collaborate and share resources with colleagues or students.
Let’s get started with Diigo.
Install the shortcut bar and save a bookmark
If you don’t have a Diigo account then visit http://diigo.com and select Join Diigo. There are educator accounts available for Diigo for those people with registered educational email addresses. Those of you who have a .edu email address should use this to sign up. Edumail users should also find that their email address qualifies them for an educator’s account (this comes with extra benefits).
Watch the Getting started video tutorial below for more information about the login process and how Diigo works.
Once you’re logged in you will presented with a blank library page. Getting started with Diigo is not the most intuitive process, as there is no simple way to add your first bookmark. The easiest way to begin is to install a Diigo toolbar in your browser so you can save bookmarks easily.
After you first login to Diigo you should be presented with an option to install the Diigo toolbar. If you don’t see it, select Tools (or visit http://www.diigo.com/tools) There are a number of tools you can install, but for Chrome users we recommend Web Highlighter for Chrome and for Internet Explorer or Firefox users choose Diigo toolbar.
For help with installing the toolbar in your respective browser, go to the Diigo Help pages.
Now complete the following actions:
- Install the Diigo toolbar to your browser
- Find a page that you want to bookmark. Select the Diigo toolbar icon
- Save the bookmark
Video tutorials: Adding bookmarks
Now that you’ve installed your first bookmark you will be able to see your library. You can continue to add bookmarks using the toolbar, but you can also add bookmarks directly from your library page. Watch the Adding bookmarks video tutorial for more details about bookmarking options. Remember that unless you choose to set your bookmark to Private that any bookmarks you save will also be visible on your public profile page.
Diigo has a powerful search function and also lets you use tags to organise your bookmarks. Make sure you use relevant tags when saving bookmarks to stay organised. Watch the Find your links with tags and search video tutorial for more details.
Tutorial video: Joining groups and sharing links
Now let’s take a look at the social aspect of this social bookmarking tool, by learning about groups. Diigo lets you share your links within groups that you can create or join. Watch the Groups video tutorial for an explanation of how to create, manage, join and share to a group.
Your last task is to join a Diigo group. The VicPLN group on Diigo has been running since the start of the course four years ago, and has many alumni from previous courses. It’s an open and welcoming space to share any interesting educational links you might like. To find the group on Diigo, visit https://groups.diigo.com/group/vic_pln Once you are there, login to Diigo and select Join this group.
The final step is to share a great educational link to the group, and have a browse through the other links that have been shared by group members. We’d love for this to be a place for you all to contribute your favourite sites and share your knowledge. As you work through the course remember to share any interesting links into your Diigo library so you can come back to them later, and think about setting up Diigo groups at your school for resource sharing.
Phew- that’s almost it for this unit. There’s one last task though, and that is to write your reflection and think about how all of these tools can work together.