Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Social Bookmarking

I know when I post articles about social bookmarking tools, someone is going to read it and post a comment. Bookmarking companies really understand how to use search engines so, I am going to be very truthful and precise. I have be very happy using for almost an entire school year. My students had issues with trying to use bookmarking software in class. I never have been able to pin-point their reluctance in using bookmarking tools. I read a post on Tim Lauer's blog:
The great thing about Scuttle is that you can download the source and run the application on your own server. Today my friend, Dick McPartland, came by and installed the necessary software and we now have Scuttle running locally at, Lewis Elementary. This means that we can provide our students with a social bookmarking tool, running locally in our building. Several teachers have asked for a tool similar to I wanted to set up so that students did not have to create a login on a remote system.
The idea of hosting our own bookmarking software makes good sense so my students will not have to create a login to use the bookmarks. When I created a bookmark account for my class to use, they never could remember the password. I tried changing the password to a very simple password like the initials of our school. That did not work. Wrote it on the board at the front of the class, but they could not remember the URL. Tried installing the javascript bookmark button on their browser, I just need a better way. I do not mean this ugly, but it seems that my students are not 'digital natives', unless they are searching for wrestling, pit bulldog images, or online game sites. If it is something they want to find, they are wizzards. If it is instructional, they basically act like they are oxygen deprived. Could it be a lack of motivation? Basically, it is a very frustrating to me. How many times do I have to reteach how to use social bookmarking?

1 comment:

Wesley Fryer said...

Motivation certainly is the key. I wonder if you could devise an assignment which leverages the student's existing motivations, but allows them to learn about social bookmarking? For instance, asking them to use a common tag to social bookmark good game sites that have some educational value. They could insert in the description of the bookmark why they think it has educational value, and be required to be specific about skills it could develop.

I think the idea of locally hosting social bookmarks is good from a peace of mind standpoint (like what happens if suddenly goes away), but the power of the social bookmarks really comes from the community. So I would like to either see a way for local installs of social bookmarks to aggregate together (maybe through something like Technorati) or for the bookmarks to export and import easily between environments. I am not sure if this can be done easily yet or not.