With the increased need among students to gather references from the web for use in distance learning, social bookmarking for group collaboration will become more common than before. Social bookmarking, overall, lets one keep whatever websites they’ve found of interest without having to save them as bookmarks on their home computer or laptop server. Social bookmarking makes web articles retrievable from any computer/device with internet access!
Both let you bookmark URLs in your own online library that can be organized in helpful ways. Tagging with keywords, sharing with other “groups” within each site and the option to share or keep your links private are the functions diigo and del.icio.us share. For del.icio.us, however, the features stop there. The site might be fun for you as a way to share interesting information with friends and family, but diigo (likewise free of cost- by the way) offers more advanced features that serve well in asynchronous, distance learning group collaboration.
Each of these advanced features are not difficult to learn to use. The most convenient feature of diigo is that you can install a diigo toolbar (called a sidebar) to your web browser! The basic sidebar has about 13 tools. You have icons to open the sidebar, log in or out of diigo, search google through diigo- the most necessary functions. Getting now into the strengths of diigo are its following toolbars. These icons give you the ability to bookmark a site without logging into the diigo URL. You are also able to highlight text you find most relevant to you with the “Highlight” tool (in different colors no less!) You can do a screen capture of your selected bookmark for later reference. The ability to comment on text or post sticky notes ( not on the sidebar) make group collaboration more possible by allowing everyone in your group the option to discuss the given text.
These are the most commonly used features of diigo for the researching student. There are so many more ways to manipulate your material in diigo that this blog post doesn’t cover as it would be an information overload to cover them here. If you are a student or faculty, try diigo for yourself and you may find yourself using it whether your course requires it or not!