Saturday, January 30, 2010

"I Can't Find Any Information!"

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that from my students. Another one I love to hear is, "What do you mean I can't use Wikipedia as a source?" As an English Teacher, I have spent many long hours teaching students how to conduct proper searches on the internet.

Sometimes I just want my students to look at a few specific websites for a specific project. I have started using a great site I want to share with you great teachers. The site is called Diigo and it is a bookmarking site. By creating a free profile, you can add specific pages to your account and direct students or other teachers to look at them. That is not the only thing you can do with this great tool though.

Highlighting - You can highlight specific information before you bookmark the site. This can save people time when there is to much information to read through and all you want is a few lines.

Sticky Notes - You can places notes on the highlighted areas to remind you of their relevance. There have been too many times where I have bookmarked a site and I could not remember why I saved it a day or so later.

Groups - You can create specific groups and send pages you find to that group only. You can make the group a public group (anyone can join) or a private group (you select who can join). After some time, I will make the teacher's group a private group to keep nosy teenagers at bay.

Email - You can directly email any site yo find to yourself or other teachers. You can create an address book and send the site directly to students or to other teachers in your department.

Teacher Account - You can request to sign up for a Teacher Account from Diigo. This will allow you to sign up students to join your specific groups that you have created. I have a Teacher Account, but am not using it with my students yet. I'm just creating groups and keeping them open to the public. I put links to them on my website so they can view the groups without an account. It could come in handy if I want to email them sites to look at over the weekend.

Linking Accounts - Diigo allows you to link your blog and Twitter accounts to your Diigo account. This way, if you bookmark something, it can be posted to you blog and your Twitter. You can set up a your account to post all the bookmarks you have made to your blog. It can be set for a daily, twice daily or weekly. This is a great way to save you time. You can also link your iPhone to Diigo as well. Download the Diigo App and you will have access to anything that you have bookmarked. It migth be available for other phones, but you would have to check for that.

The best way to start bookmarking after you create your account is to download the toolbar. It will sit at the top of your browser and you just click the bookmark button when you want to share a website. There are many other great parts of Diigo that you can use. It's best to log on and play around a bit. Have fun!



  1. Thanks for sharing some of the highlights of Diigo. I have an account and know how I would love to use it with teachers and students but haven't taken the time to really play with it to feel confident in doing so. I would love to hear more and how your students are doing in their research as a result of the tool.

  2. I have heard this a lot in the past week. I'm not sure if students are being lazy in their research or if they truly can't read informational text to find what they are looking for. I like your idea of using Diggo to narrow down the content for students to find what they need. I have used Simply Box similarly in my classroom.

  3. I have been really toying with registering for Diigo. Thank you for this great information that has given me the push. I wanted to know how it was different from Delicious and you have showed me! Thank you!

  4. One more link here: (Diigo eLearning portfolios).


  5. Theresa G,

    Thanks for the comment. I introduced Diigo to my students today and they were excited to have the trusted, teacher approved, sites in one place. I still had one student ask, "Can I just use Wikipedia?", but you will always get THAT kid. So far it seems good. Check back for more updates as I play around some more.

    Kelly T,

    I think "googling" can be a nice way to start a search, but I think some students lack the skills to deal with the onslaught of information they get when they search that way. With Diigo, I'll give them the sites, but they still have to glean the important information from it. The kids seemed to like on the first day. We shall see...


    A RT from you a great thing! You RT once and the Twitterverse responds in full force. I'm glad I could share something with you since you have shared so much with me. Thanks for the 30 Days as well, it was awesome!


    I wish I could read your website, but I don't speak or read Norwegian. :) Thanks for the info though. The more we share as teachers, the better our students will be world wide.


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