Trust me, you need it!
Many teachers I have talked to have no idea what social bookmarking is, and most are doing it and don’t even know it! They do however usually ask me if it has something to do with their “Favorites” websites. If you are a teacher and you are using Pinterest, then CONGRATULATIONS! You are using social bookmarks….see you didn’t even know it.
Take a look at the bottom of any of my pages and you will see this:
THIS IS SOCIAL BOOKMARKING!
According to Educause.edu’s 7 things you should know about…Social Bookmarking, Social bookmarking is the practice of saving bookmarks to a public Web site and “tagging” them with keywords. This is in contrast to simply saving the site on your local computer. The benefit is by using the tags and making your tags public they become searchable to others. You can now collect websites (URLs) and tag them (with multiple tags) and share them with others.
For example, imagine you are a US History after 1945 professor. You are searching the Internet for online resources for a project you are about to assign. You come across some amazing websites that you want your students to check out and use as a resource in their projects. If you are NOT using Social Bookmarking, you simple have to copy and paste all the URLs into a Word document and give it to the students. This means they would have to copy the URLs into the address bar, and NOT make a typo. This is very frustrating for everyone. On the other hand, if you are using Social Bookmarking, you simply click the “Save to…” or the “Add to…” or the “Pin It” button from your browser and tag it as needed. When done you can share one simple URL with the students and they will have all the sites you recommend.
Another example is you are a grade level teacher and you want to collect websites for the students so they have resources at home to use. You can have an account called “MrsSmith5thGrade” on Delicious.com. Here you collect and tag your favorite websites for the students using the tags: Math, Science, Social Studies and English. When the students go to your delicious URL (www.delicious.com/MrsSmith5thGrade) they will see all your sites and can click on the Tag that they want. You can even post the link tag specific : www. delicious.com/MrsSmith5thGrade/Math and just the Math tagged sites will show up.
Here is the URL of my Delicious Tag “web2.0” http://www.delicious.com/stabaldo/web2.0
Pinterest.com is another way to collect sites and “pin” then to virtual pinboards.
Others can follow your boards or you can have a private board. This is where I have seen heavy usage by teachers. I see teachers create thematic boards and then share then other teachers can see those collections and add them to their boards. It is a powerful teacher resource. The ability to search by tags, or category is extremely underestimated.
As a teacher, you are often thought of as a web resource to the students. This can be daunting when you have a difficult time knowing where to start looking on the web yourself. Having a starting place can be a huge relief. Begin asking your peers if they have a Delicious, Pinterest, Twitter or other place where they bookmark. If so check it out. Get an account. Test it out. See what you like and what will work for you. Happy Bookmarking!
I have started a Pinterest for Education & Technology http://pinterest.com/stabaldo/education-technology/
Here is the Educause article I referenced 7 things you should know about Social Bookmarking.
An online article about the Top 15 Most Popular Social Bookmarking Websites Jan 2013
Campus Technology article on Pinterest in Education.