We live in such a fast-paced age with information that comes at us through multiple forms of media. Even our television viewing has been transformed since the DVR and the ability to record live TV. We are a clickable, on demand society. As we use the Internet more and more, bookmarking websites in our Favorites is common-place, but don’t ask me to remember the address! It’s no different with our cell phones. Who remembers phone numbers anymore? You just click speed dial 4 and your best friend’s number automatically rings. Bookmarks work much in the same manner. There’s only one problem. Your cell phone is easily carried around with you. Your home computer is a little heavier!
A creative website
Furls are the answer to the “I can’t remember the website” dilemma. Why not have a place on the Internet where you can bookmark all your favorite websites and have access to them “ubiquitously!” (sorry, I couldn’t resist) Furl websites include www.furl.net, http://simpy.sourceforge.net/, but the most popular is del.icio.us. You have no need to be tied to one computer anymore. With your bookmarks saved to an internet site, you simply log on to the Internet, log into your favorite social bookmarking site and all your favorites are there, no matter whose computer you are using. Best of all you can share! Pretty cool stuff.
An image to share.
"Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” Buddha
Now what do social bookmarks have to do with the classroom? Just about everything. As we give our students projects and research to do, they can spend half their time on unnecessary surfing. Sending them to your del.icio.us site gives them the exact places that you want them to go. They can even leave comments about what they have found, learn to paraphrase information they are looking for and share sites with other users. I would also encourage students to create their own social bookmarking site such as iKeepbookmarks.com because they definitely cannot bookmark at school. Why not encourage them to develop research skills that will enable them to quickly return to websites for further investigation and more detailed reading any time, any place and at any pace (and may I add from any computer!) Let me know your favorite uses for social bookmarking on my blog.
How do you do that?
Using delicious is really a breeze. I’ve created a special delicious account for “tuesdays” so that you can experiment with its ease of use. The most effective part of using this social bookmarking site is the ability to “tag” your favorites. Create hints that best describe the website and these hints or “tags” give you the ability to search by topic. You can even add other users of delicious to your network and search through their sites. This can lead to other people in their networks who in turn share your favorites and the sharing can get exponential. Give it a try. Create an account and use a name that will actually identify you so that others who would like to share with you would be willing to join also. For those teachers who are already using social bookmarking in the classroom, please considering joining the conversation in our “tuesdays” Professional Learning Community.
What are teachers saying?
Tales from the Teachers in the Trenches
“With the introduction of iMacs in my classroom, I am able to teach the students (K-5) cross-platform on both Macs and Windows. I am able to show them the benefits of more than one platform and it is very important to show them the differences and give them a lot of exposure to help them make their own decisions to what platform they may want to use in the future.” Sherry Black, McKeel Elementary Academy