Dive In

In this tissue of the Toilet Tech Talk, we are going to be learning about social bookmarking. Bookmarking a new website you found on your school computer in either Internet Explorer or Firefox is a good way to remember the address of a website, however there are some issues with that method. First, that bookmark is stuck on your computer. When you need that bookmark at home you don’t have access to it. Very annoying. Additionally, wouldn’t be nice to be able to see the bookmarks of likeminded people or people with your same occupation or interests? Social bookmarking can solve both of those issues.

Take the Plunge

There are several services out there that do social bookmarking, each service has different features or extras that might interest you.

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Folders in iKeepBookmarks
The first of these services is the simplest one. http://www.ikeepbookmarks.com

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This bare bones site allows you to create an account and then save bookmarks on the website. The account can be made public and you can then share the address to your account. You also can search public accounts to explore more links. When you save a bookmark, they can be grouped by folder. It should be noted though that of late, iKeepBookmarks can be rather slow and even sometimes unreliable.

For a much better experience, you may want to try http://www.diigo.com

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After signing up for your account you can then upgrade your account to an educator’s account which will give more space to save images. Diigo will not only allow you to save, and more importantly, tag your bookmarks, but with the optional Firefox toolbar you can easily add sticky notes to webpages that you can save on webpages. They can be private or public to other Diigo users. You can highlight webpages and you can find other users who are finding content you like and then you can follow them so that you can see what they have publicly been bookmarking. If you find a webpage that you would like to read but don’t have time to look at it then, you can save the webpage to read later. All this info is accessible from any internet connected computer and smartphone.

Another newer social bookmarking site that you may have heard of is called Pinterest, sadly, is blocked here at school. http://www.pinterest.com

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On Pinterest, you can follow other people to see what they are linking or pinning. You can also look at groups of pins (links), education for example, to get new ideas.

Spare a Square

Tagging your bookmarks on sites like Diigo is extremely important. These tags group you links. You can also search other users by tags as well. The more specific you are with tagging your bookmarks, the easier it will be to find links later. For example, I am going to tag a website with Diigo that I like, I click the bookmark button on the Diigo Toolbar.

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Then I am asked to fill in a description and some tags or keywords for my bookmarked site.

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Clicking Save adds the bookmark to your Diigo account and shares it with your followers as long as you didn’t select Private checkbox.

Air Freshener

In our next issue we will be looking at a few more Social Bookmarking tools that you might consider as well as discuss uses for you and your students. Until then, if you decide to get a Diigo account, share your user name with your tech contact so that you can follow each other’s links.

The Final Flush

The authors of T3 hope that you will be able to use this information in a way that will help enrich your life and/or the lives of your students. If you have questions or topic suggestions for future issues of T3, please e-mail your building tech contact.

Don’t forget to wash your hands and try out your new tech skill!