Social Bookmarking in Education
Two of the biggest multipurpose social bookmarking services are FURL and del.icio.us. Both have free registration, and easy pop-up saving forms. del.icio.us has a nice feature of suggesting tags, while FURL actually saves a (private) copy of the page, so you can see it even if the page disappears or changes.
There are also social bookmarking services aimed at specific people or formats. Flickr is a photo service with some neat annotation features. Connotea and CiteULike are aimed at academics and researchers and interface with certain databases and journals.
How can these be used for educational purposes? I first started using FURL when I was finishing my last few classes for my Master's of Education. I set up FURL categories for each class (EDTC575 and EDTC590) and saved my research findings as I worked. The best part was that since FURL (and all the others) is completely web based, it didn't matter if I was home, in my office, or on the Reference Desk, if I found something useful I could FURL it for later use.
A professor could save readings for a class this way, too. Since each tag has it's own URL, like my classes above, the URL could be posted in the syllabus. Many of these services also have RSS feeds, so students who use a news aggregator can see new postings automatically.
Groups can use these services for collective projects. Either a group account can be established, with the password passed around to the group or, in what is probably a safer and more useful version, a group can establish a unique tag and tag all group-related links with it. Joy Weese Moll set up del.icio.us/tag/sislt9409 for her Digital Libraries class. (Thanks to the Shifted Librarian for this link!) This could get very interesting, since other people, outside of the class, could potentially add things as well just by using the tag. You could get people from all over the country contributing to your class reading list!
That's the "social" part of social bookmarking. Sure, you are likely to get some things that aren't useful or relevant for your purposes, but in return you get resources that you never would have found on your own.
- Many2Many-news, research, speculation, etc. on social networking, http://www.corante.com/many/
- Rebecca's FURL Archive for Social Software, http://www.furl.net/members/rhedreen/Social%20Software/
- Wikipedia on Social Bookmarking, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_bookmarking
- The Online Social Networking Conference 2005, http://www.socialnets.org
- Many library and educational technology related blogs comment regularly on social software, networking, and bookmarking. Try
This one is taught by Howard Reingold (Smart Mobs) and his colleagues at Stanford. Howard Reingold is one of the speakers at the Online Social Networking Conference 2005. (Thanks to Mike at Feedster for the link!)
Tags: social bookmarking del.icio.us furl higher education distance education