I have often thought that with my (somewhat peculiar) love of indexing and cross-referencing, I should have been a librarian! This makes for an unfortunate combination with my inability to throw out anything that might have a 2% chance of being useful in the future! Although you wouldn’t know it by looking at my desk (with so MANY things to file!), every item does eventually make it to its proper place. (Sadly, this is rarely “file 13”)!
On the internet, tabs such as “Favourites” (Internet Explorer) and “Bookmarks” (Firefox) were created as a place to organize links. Creating separate folders to organize subject areas (“Science Links”, “Art Websites” etc.) is a good idea. My lists grew very long, as you can imagine, and the annoying part was that what I saved at home was not accessible in my browser at school.
The social bookmarking site, Delicious, was an amazing solution to “tucking away” useful links for future reference. A handy tab on the toolbar gives you instant access to your account, so that you can add the link, a comment to remind you why you are interested in it, and a tag so that you can find it again. There is also a “tag bundle” option, which allows you to group different tags together. Now your links are available to you, no matter where you are. Likewise, you can add new links from school or home and retrieve them easily. I held an inservice on Delicious at our school quite a few years ago, and hopefully this blog post will remind staff to make use of this helpful service. The aspect of SOCIAL bookmarking is another advantage to using Delicious. All links are publicly available, so you can search for items such as “Elementary Math Lessons” to see what other teachers are finding useful. The tags come up in order of “how many people have tagged the link”, so you will also know which are the most popular items. Another bonus is that you can add people, such as fellow staff members, to your Delicious Network. This lets you can easily share interesting links that you have discovered. James McConville, our district technology coordinator, has some great comments on the benefits of using Delicious.|
Another, increasingly popular, Social Bookmarking site is Diigo. This website has similar features to Delicious, plus the capability to share information via groups. By setting up a group network, members can contribute new links to a shared area. I was inspired by Anita Strang’s blog post on Diigo. http://anitasquicktips.edublogs.org/2009/10/19/diigo/ Anita is a member of the pilot project “BC UDL – Universal Design for Learning”.
So, the next time you find yourself emailing yourself a link or scribbling it down on a scrap of paper, why not try downloading Delicious or Diigo instead!