Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Social Annotation

Social Annotation: Seamless Integration of Social Bookmarking, Web Highlighter, Sticky-Note & Clipping Annotated

learning accounting...
Originally uploaded by rnav1234
Two posts in a row about interesting web tools...

I've just discovered a web based service called diigo. (Yet another cool idea with a silly name! I would have pronounced it die-go, but apparently it is dee-go.) The site describes itself as a Social Annotation tool... which perhaps doesn't help explain much. The welcome screen adds:

Social Annotation: Seamless Integration of Social Bookmarking, Web Highlighter, Sticky-Note & Clipping

Highlight, Clip and Sticky-Note for any webpage

  • Just as you would on paper ⇒ Write on any webpage!
  • Make them private or public ⇒ Interact on any webpage
Share your online findings with your friends and colleagues
  • Complete with highlights and sticky notes
  • As lists, as blogs, as albums, as feeds, or via email
  • In groups
Still in the dark? It reminded me of the the review tools in Microsoft Word which I've used a few times with students - someone sends me a Word document and I add comments and suggested edits. The review tools can track changes I make as well as highlighting sections and adding notes in the margin. I can then send the annotated Word document back to the author and a conversation grows around the original document and our comments. When I first started using this feature of Word, I thought it would be great if you could do that with web pages. Imagine being able to get a class of students to collaborate on a web page: to highlighting sections, share their understanding, ask questions and add extra information. With diigo, that's exactly what you could do.

Add to that online social bookmarking (which can be linked to other bookmarking services such as del.icio.us), the ability to highlight any text on a page and search for it on a range of search services using a pop-up menu, to blog about a page and link non-diigo users to your annotations on that page (this blog posted was created using the diigo Blog this tool) and a host of other features ...and you have a stunningly valuable educational tool.

I think I'll be spending a lot more time on this site in the near future and I'm already plotting ways I could use it with students. What do you think? How could this service be used in the classroom?

By DavidDMuir

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Karen said...

I decided yesterday that I wanted to use diigo with my 8th graders, but I need to be able to monitor their email and other online activity. I was going to set up accounts on diigo by using my gmail address plus their log on (teacheremail+student@gmail.com) but diigo seems to have an issue with the plus-sign. Do you have any workarounds or ideas? I have posted in their forum, but no responses there yet :(

David said...

Hello Karen

Sorry, I'm jut new to diigo myself. There doesn't seem to be any way to pre-moderate comments which might be useful in your situation. I'm afraid the plus sign problem sounds like one for diigo's technical help people. Hopefully somebody will get back to you soon about this.

I'm guessing that since you were going to use it with a class, you've been using it yourself for a while. What do you like best about diigo? Can you tell us how you thought you might use it with your class?

Tom Barrett said...

Hi David - I have also found Diigo to be quite an exciting tool and this year my year group is in a better position to use it. I structured it into an independent activity during a literacy hour with my Year 5 children. Using Diigo I annotated a set of written instructions with comprehension style questions and the children answered them in their jotters. The children were accessing the site using a class set of laptops. I wanted them to respond someway online but took a simpler step to begin with to test the concept. It worked very well and the children were well motivated and on task - they managed well with the new tool and took it in their stride. There is more on my blog if you are interested.

Karen said...

Hi David - No, I actually haven't started using it yet with my students, but I'm going to want to start soon. No one has responded to my post in the Diigo forums. I agree that it has to be some sort of technical issue.
One way I have thought to get around it is to make a class log on and see if it is possible for everyone to log on at the same time and to annotate different pages.
The project that my students will use it for is research on teh History of Computers. The end result will hopefully be a virtual museum which will be on a class wiki that I have.

Anonymous said...

Hi David and everyone,

Thanks for your comments on Diigo. Glad to hear you guys found Diigo useful and it's being made into good use! Thought you might be interested to know: founder of Diigo was previously a EECS professor at UC Berkeley. So we love to see Diigo to make some meaningful contribution to the field of education!

Karen's Gmail+ signup issue is now working and it's a great workaround for teachers wishing to sign up a bunch of students.

Feel free to email or participate in our user forum. We'd love to hear from you, especially any usecases in classroom and any special needs/ wishlist that you have.

There will be a new Diigo with lots of powerful innovative features shortly, so stay tuned!



David said...

Hello Tom

Thanks for the response and the excellent description of how you used diigo in your class. (I was also impressed with the "How to fold a t-shirt" thing in an earlier post! I'm wondering if I could use diigo on this page with my students.)

Hello Karen

Thanks for giving more details and annotations on the history of computers could be interesting. Also, it looks like they've solved your gmail problem and you even got a compliment from the diigo people for the class account idea. :-)

Hello Maggie

I like the tools diigo provides and I look forward to using it with students... and glad to see you fixed Karen's gmail problem - that's service.