Diigo (Application Thread)

At first I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of capability that Diigo offers. After watching a few video tutorials on the site, I found that it is very easy to use and pretty straightforward.

Like Christine, I am very much an active reader. All of my books from college, as well as the texts that I teach to my students, are filled with my scribbles. In my college books I jotted down connections, and questions as well as highlighted passages of particular interest. I do the same with the texts that I use in the classroom, but I also note vocabulary, excerpts of thematic importance, as well as questions to pose to the class. If you flip through my students’ books, you will find them full of post its—their connections, reactions, reflections, questions, etc. This way I know that they are digesting the material instead of skimming the surface. It is very hard for me to read reference books from the library because I get tempted to write in them! Diigo is great because it saves you the trouble of having to print out all of the resources you find. You can do everything you need online and it saves to your account for use at any time, anywhere!

In terms of organization, I enjoy the fact that you can categorize your information by bookmarks, lists, and tags. If you were researching more than one thing, you would not have to worry about all of your sources being mashed into one space. This would also be useful in keeping personal research separate from school research. To speak to the highlighting, I found it a bit confusing that I saw other people’s highlights. In a way it is interesting to see what everyone thinks, but at the same time I want solely my own notes on the article. This was problematic as I could not highlight over others’ comments. I can definitely see myself demonstrating this feature in the classroom. Often students go “highlighter crazy” and before they know it they have the entire page highlighted instead of the few important parts. Using this tool in front of the class to model how one goes about making highlighting choices would be a nice activity. I can then assign 5 sources (already in my library) and have 4 students look at a source. They can each take a highlighting color and practice. This would be a fairly instantaneous way for me to see that they grasp the downfalls of over-highlighting.

The My Networks feature is appealing because you can share your work with a selected group of people. I am already following both Christine and Sarah. I know that they have similar interests to me based on their tags. If I need sources on a certain topic, I can check to see if there are any worthwhile sources in their libraries. The My Groups feature could again be useful in the classroom when working with a large group, such as an entire class doing a research project on the same topic. Through these groups, members “can interact and discuss important points right on the web page, preserving the original context.” This is great because it stimulates class discussion and students can trade insights. Seeing the students interact with any text that I give them is a priority for me, but having them interact with each other about the text is even better! My Network/My Groups could also come in handy in terms of professional development. Each department can form a group to share insightful articles related to that content area. Additionally, separate bookmarks can be used for different subjects within the department (Algebra I teachers, Algebra II, etc.) Either way, Diigo provides a centralized spot for fellow staff members to share and access useful information.

I could go on and on about Diigo, but in short it is a wonderful resource. One can collect sources for their students to utilize for any research topic. It truly showcases that organization is a crucial skill when researching anything—from buying a car, to making informed voting decisions, to writing a paper for school.

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