Whether we like it or not, Google or Wikipedia are our student’s first ports of call when it comes to researching or undertaking independent study, not the school library. Diigo offers a fantastic way to tap into the way our students operate by allowing the annotation of web pages which can then be shared with your students and, by doing so, you facilitate the process of research for your students and you set them on the right track for further independent study.
What is Diigo?
Diigo is a social bookmarking service, very much like Delicious, but, unlike Delicious, Diigo allows you to write annotations and comments directly onto web pages which are then saved along with the bookmark. This is how Diigo describes itself:
Diigo is two services in one — it is a research and collaborative research tool on the one hand, and a knowledge-sharing community and social content site on the other.
If you are new to the concept of social bookmarking and would like to find out more, then you should watch this video.
Diigo is very popular among teachers because it also offers educators the ability to create accounts for a whole class and it protects the students’ privacy. Click here for more information about Diigo Education. On this occasion, however, I am not using a whole class account. Instead, I am using the get annotated link facility which allows me to send my annotated page to anyone, whether they have signed up to Diigo or not. In this instance, I used Edmodo to send the links to my student group:
Why should I use Diigo?
As a long-time user of Delicious (I use the word user quite liberally - I didn’t use it much, I must admit), I was rather late to try out Diigo, as, in my mind, there was little difference between the two and I had already invested my time in bookmarking sites using Delicious. I then found out that Diigo could import all of my Delicious bookmarks (including tags) and that, in addition, Diigo could also automatically update my Delicious account whenever I bookmarked a site using Diigo. I’ll give it a go then, I thought.