This is a guest post by Julie-Ann Amos who is a freelance writer who covers topics such as online university ratings and reviews, elearning tools, and more.
Social bookmarking is a highly useful tool for educators since it allows specific categorization of websites for easy access and sharing. It works on the basis of the user creating tags or categories in which websites are then placed. Unlike standard search engines that are generated by computers and therefore often misclassify or categories websites, social bookmarking is done by people, usually people that are knowledgeable and informed on the particular subject.
Individuals can set up social bookmarking tools similar to how they have bookmarks grouped on their own computer. Teachers and educators can then make these sites available to students, other educators or groups to facilitate information dissemination in logical and simple fashion. Typically all social bookmarking tools will allow users to develop their own tags or categories, plus provide a short description of the website. Educators can view each other’s social bookmarking tools to enhance or more further develop their own list of reference sites. Through this shared research and categorization or tagging it is possible to cut down on search times and wading through websites that aren’t relevant to what you are looking for.
The following social bookmarking tools can definitely help out in the classroom, both in sharing information with your students as well as other educators in the field.
- Stumble Upon – this free service allows you to click on the Stumble integrated browser and instantly receive a list of relevant topics that have been rated by other Stumble Upon subscribers. Each member can click on a thumbs up or thumbs down icon or choose not to rate the site.
- Del.icio.us – specifically designed for teachers and teaching, this social bookmarking site allows for continuous access to all social bookmarks from users from any computer, anytime.
- Furl – ideal for storing and archiving webpages and bookmarks, this is another free application that is great for sharing information with students, parents or other professionals.
- uLinkx – music, video and multi-media social bookmarking site, perfect for projects and presentations.
- Connotea – great for high school and upper types of educational settings, this social bookmarking site is free and designed for researchers, scientists and clinicians. Bibliographies and references are saved when you add any article or website to your internet library.
- Scuttle – this is a specialized social bookmarking program that can be run right on a school’s server. Data is held in the server and not through a third party site, giving schools maximum control over content.
- SocialbookmarkIt.com – the basic service is free and provides opportunities to automatically link to other social bookmarking services. You can also decide to opt into a premium which allows customization of your social bookmarking page plus you can track who else is using your bookmarks.
- Newsvine – as can be expected, Newsvine focuses on current events and newsworthy articles. Members can add content to the different categories with a simple click of a button, keeping everyone abreast of happenings around the world.
- Pixrat – this social bookmarking site is designed to allow users to collect, tag and categories pictures and create albums. The service is free and you can make notes about the pictures that will be displayed with your collection. Bookmarks can be made private if you don’t want public access.
- Squidoo – Squidoo allows users to create their own unique web articles that are then searchable. Authors are credited for their work and readers rank articles as to their quality.
Using social bookmarking tools is just as simple as adding a favorite to your own computer. Teachers and students alike can share information easily and simply using these free and easy to download applications.