Posts Tagged ‘Social Bookmarking’

EVENT: Teaching and Learning Uses for Social Networking Technologies

October 9th, 2009

A little while ago, I tuned in for 3 of the speakers in this event, and found them all to be very different even though they share a theme (educational uses for social networking technologies). I’ll include my notes from each speaker below, so you can get an idea about the type of projects discussed. You can find the description of each session on the event website.

Some interesting points that I found in all three presentations:

  • You have to integrate the technology into the teaching and learning. It can’t just be added on top of an old learning structure, and expect the students to engage with it. Things have to be properly planned out and executed to the best of your ability!
  • With these ‘social’ technologies, the students are a part of the process, not just a casual observer. You may not want to give them the power to veto your use of certain features, but it can be useful for them to feel included – especially when the technology doesn’t work the way you were expecting. Their input and feedback is as important as yours (maybe MORE because they are supposed to be getting an education out of it!).
  • Choose solutions that utilize interfaces most users are already familiar with. Getting “past” the technology is often one of the hurdles to having an engaged group.

(My notes on each speaker below)

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Yummy Bookmarks

September 30th, 2009

I surf deliciously. Yes, I said it… corny as it is, it’s been an interesting evolution for me. Let me explain.

This post is about the personal – and not so “social” – side of social bookmarking. (What is social bookmarking? Check out the great link at the bottom of this post!)

I got a delicious account a few years back. Honestly, I didn’t do much with it at first. Like with most things, I signed up to try it out so that I could see what it was about and how people used it. I didn’t end up using it very much, and my bookmarks didn’t get used much, and I basically forgot about it.

This year, I decided to make more of an effort to put important bookmarks on it. I could see its use — being able to access my important links from anywhere, tag them in various ways so that I could find them again (maybe!). Sure, I knew it was useful, but I wasn’t using it. This time would be different, I would make an effort.

And then it happened.

I installed the delicious plugin for Firefox, so that it would be easier and more efficient for me to add links. Little did I know what I had done. The next time I tried to access my computer’s bookmarks via Firefox, I was in for a shock — my local bookmarks didn’t show up, my delicious ones did!! I was angry at first, and then I saw it as an opportunity.

You see, I now had no choice but to actually use delicious. I had to add my links there. I had to properly tag them so that I could find them again. I had to learn how to access them.

I learned that you could create a list of ‘favourite’ tags to appear at the top of your browser window – and you set these favourites on each computer, so they can be different at work than at home. Brilliant!! My biggest fear in using social bookmarking for all of my bookmarks was that I would end up with a meaningless list of hundreds of links with no context. With the browser plugin, you can narrow that view to just what you need in that context.

delicious_plugin

Above, you can see the delicious bar in my browser, showing only the tags (categories, shown here as headings to a dropdown menu of links) that I have deemed ‘favourite’ in this browser on this computer. This makes it easy to categorize and access just the links you need at that time! The list of ‘favourites’ on my home computer is much different, of course!

Forcing myself to use delicious means that I have access to my bookmarks from virtually anywhere! There is even an iPhone/iPod Touch application that you can install for even more mobile access.

Next Steps: to explore the “social” aspect of social bookmarking. I’ve figured out how to use it for myself, but how to I share my bookmarks with others? How does social bookmarking make it easier for you to find resources that interest you?

Related Links: