Some thoughts on educational uses of the annotation tools in Diigo

This week, Dr. Wiley asked us to highlight and annotate a classmate’s blog posting. I annotated several classmates’ postings:

In previous posts, I’ve disclosed that Diigo is my primary social bookmarking tool and that I use Diigo because of its annotation features.  Still, I don’t annotate web pages very often.  So far, I’ve mainly used social bookmarking tools to collect information on web-based tools so that I can find information when I need to share it with a student.  I use annotation features when I am reading articles (and occasionally blogs) as part of my research or for a course assignment.  For me, online annotation is the digital version of margin notes on a paper document

The assignment to annotate a classmate’s post didn’t seem like a very authentic task.  Why was I making the annotation?  My classmate’s already show up in my Google Reader, so there bookmarking the post felt redundant.  I try to comment on classmate’s posts when appropriate (and when time permits), so making digital margin notes also seemed redundant.  I haven’t made Diigo a required tool in my online course, but this assignment has got me wondering how I would use Diigo if I were to require it.

I may use Diigo to replace the Ning network that I am using in the course this semester.  I’ve used Ning mainly as a location for students to post profiles that provide me with a little background about them as individuals.  I’ve also used Ning as a forum to host class discussions.  I could accomplish the same goals by requiring students to create a Diigo account and join a Diigo group for the course.  I’d also gain the ability to share lists or resources with students.  I have a couple of ideas for Diigo assignments.

  • Students read and/or view an assigned web-based resource and make annotations guided by a set of reading questions/activities.  After making their own annotations, they will look to see their classmates’ annotations before participating in a discussion related to the readings.  I wonder how being able to see classmates’ thoughts as they read the same material might impact understanding of each others’ points of view during a class discussion.
  • Students create their own resource lists as they work on their projects.  For example, a student working on creating an educational podcast may gather links to the examples that inspired her, the tools she used, and the guides and “how-tos” that helped her through the process.  The student would then share the resource list with the other class members.
  • Students could have a discussion on tagging and evaluate the group’s use of tags.

These are just a few ideas of how I might use Diigo in my class next semester.  Any other suggestions?

As I was using Diigo, I noticed that the annotation tools didn’t work consistently.  I experienced some problems.

  • Diigo would only allow me to save private comments, even though I was trying to make public comments.
  • None of my comments would save.

These problems arose inconsistently.  I was able to resolve the problem by making sure that the page I was trying to annotate was not loading from the cache.  I noticed several of my classmates commented on difficulties using the annotation tools in Diigo.  Maybe checking to see if the page is loading fresh or from a cache might help resolve some of their problems as well.

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About Kimberly McCollum

I'm a former middle and high school science teacher and current stay at home mom.
This entry was posted in Graduate Work, Teaching, Tools and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Some thoughts on educational uses of the annotation tools in Diigo

  1. Pingback: My daily readings 10/30/2008 « Strange Kite

  2. lelutes says:

    When I ran across the “No Longer Alone in the Library” slideshare presentation, I almost used it as a link for our class assignment but, as usual, went exploring and ended up with a different link. So I was really happy when I saw your header–it is almost mind boggling what new libraries should and will look like. Thank you!

  3. Pingback: Links and Things: Web 2.0 Links « Digital Learning 2.0

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