Almost everyone who has given a research assignment to students has then sorted through the bibliographies of their students’ papers and found the same handful of resources cited across all of the papers. I discovered this years ago when I noticed the same website popping-up again and again as I read my students’ papers about Antebellum America.
Seeing the same links in many of my students’ papers prompted me to add a new component to research projects. That component was collaboration through Diigo. I created a Diigo group to which students had to submit bookmarks before they began writing their papers. Students had to add a note about why they were adding a particular bookmark. I also added a rule that they couldn’t add a bookmark that someone else had added.
Diigo isn’t the only tool that can be used for sharing of bookmarks. Google Keep lets you share individual bookmarks, but not whole groups of bookmarks unless you add them to a Google Document. Padlet Mini is a Chrome extension that students can use to add bookmarks to a shared Padlet wall. You can see a video of that process here. Annotary is a social bookmarking service that is similar to Diigo. By using Annotary in Chrome I can bookmark sites, highlight portions of pages, and annotate pages with sticky notes. Annotary allows you to share bookmarks and search other peoples’ shared bookmarks.
The next time you give a research assignment to students, create a place where they can all add a few bookmarks. They’ll learn from each other and discover content they might have otherwise never seen if they didn’t have to dig a little deeper to add links that weren’t added by a classmate before them.
What’s your favorite social bookmarking tool for students? Send me a note a let me know.
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