Diigo

Top 10 Teacher Tools List

Here’s my top ten tools list and how I use them.  They’re in no particular order.

  1. Google Documents – The ultimate collaboration tool for your PLN and your learners
  2. Twitter – Widen and enhance your PLN circle with this micro-blogging tool.  Superb tool for connecting with fellow educators.
  3. Diigo – Social bookmarking, highlighting, annotating, and research tool.  Use with learners or use with your PLN
  4. Bit.ly – Powerful URL shortener
  5. VoiceThread – Use it to enhanced/develop oral language skills, practice foreign languages, and useful for students with limited written output or LA students
  6. Skype – Connect your learners with professionals from around the globe, collaborate with classrooms across the nation, and interact with authors
  7. Wallwisher – Virtual sticky-note tool.  Use it as a formative assessment tool during a break
  8. Podomatic – Powerful and free podcast hosting tool
  9. WordPress – Powerful blogging tool which can be used as a reflection tool. Excellent for math journals
  10. Google Reader – Fantastic RSS feed-reader.  Let Google Reader do the work for you.  No longer need to spend time visiting all your favourite websites and blogs.  Google Reader brings them to you to read

Think a tool should have made the top 10?  Let me know your thoughts.

Broadening My Horizons Using Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is the third tool I use to build my PLN. A powerful social bookmarking tool such as Diigo can be useful in sharing, annotating, and organizing your bookmarks and the bookmarks of others in your PLN.

Bookmarking and Sharing

Using the Diigo service allows users to bookmark a URL to Diigo’s servers which means those bookmarks are then accessable from any computer or smartphone with an Internet connection.  During the bookmarking phase users can tag the bookmark to easily find the page for use later.  Diigo allows user to search their own bookmarks by title, by URL, or by tag.  User’s are also able to organize their bookmarks by creating lists.  For example, a teacher may opt to create a list that mirrors the subjects taught by that teacher.  Therefore when he/she needs to find bookmarks related to science he/she can easily click on the science list within the user’s Diigo page.  It is also possible to take a snapshot of the webpage you are going to bookmark.  This could be useful when comparing sites that change often.  Not only is it possible to bookmark URL’s using Diigo, it’s also possible to bookmark pdf’s, blogs, and any other online material.  Finally, if you have a Twitter account you can automatically tweet your latest bookmarks directly to your followers, during the bookmarking phase.

If Diigo was purely a bookmarking service it would be solid product, but it offers its user’s so much more, making it a great product.  Once you’ve developed a set of bookmarks it’s possible to share those bookmarks with friends or members of your PLN.  This allows you to see what blogs your peers are reading, what websites they’re saving for later use, what paper’s they’re reading, and who is sharing bookmarks with them.  This is a powerful option when collaborating or attempting to expand your knowledge based in a particular area.

Annotating

Before, or after for that matter, a URL is bookmarked it’s possible to highlight text and pictures.  The is particular useful when researching.  It is also possible to add notes to the page with multiple sticky notes.  Annotations will then be saved during the bookmarking phased.  These pages can also be sharing with members of your network or PLN.

Searching

One of the most exciting features of Diigo is it’s ability to search the Diigo network for tag’s of your choice.  For example, if I need to find resources on ‘digital-storytelling’ I would visit my Diigo homepage and type ‘digital-storytelling’ into the search box.  Diigo then gives me options on my search criteria.  I am able to either search my existing saved sites, search the whole Diigo network for ‘digital-storytelling’ sites, or search my friends (PLN’s) sites.

For additional information on Diigo please visit the following link to view Diigo screencasts and tutorials:

http://help.diigo.com/home