Sunday, October 4, 2009
Overhead the canopy of the jungle is lush, its vastness seems to go on forever. Even though the canopy blocks out some of the sun’s rays I can still see the path that leads me through this mystifying land. This week’s journey continues down the jungle trail that I procured last week. This time social bookmarking is my technological adversary. But just like I will find my way out of the jungle I will conquer another Web 2.0 tool. My confidence continues to grow even though I wonder where I will travel on this journey.
Reflections of the process of learning about the tool:
Last May I sat in a school professional development session about Smartboards. We were asked by the instructor if we had a Delicious account. I did not know what that was. After a very brief and confusing five minute lecture (it was all mumble jumble to me), I followed her instructions to set up the account. I put in my personal information and a password and was able to register for Delicious. I felt very relieved that the process was easy! When she told us to add Learn Alberta to our bookmarks I was unable to do so, as the internet went down in our school. I never went back to add it to my account because I didn’t see any importance in doing it. I thought Delicious was just a fancy favorites section like on my computer. I did not see how it would benefit me. By the time that day was over I had a splitting headache as I usually get when I spend a fast paced day learning technology. I often ask myself why the tech trainers go so fast for us technologically impaired people that our heads spin. So I never looked at the account again until we had to explore social bookmarking in this course.
I followed this week’s Trailfire and watched Social Bookmarking in Plain English. The Plain English videos are becoming my favorite way to understand how to use Web 2.0 tools. I found watching the video and reading Will Richardson’s book to be the most helpful for me to understand what social bookmarking was about. I realized that I misunderstood the social aspect of using a site like Delicious. When Will Richardson (2009) states, “what these services do that’s social is take all of the entries that are tagged the same way and connect them, and then connect all of the people who posted those links in the first place” (p.890), I recognized the value this could have for me. I added the Delicious button to my computer which took a little bit of time but I could figure it out without being frustrated. Then I started adding sites to my Delicious account. I liked having the tags come up under each new entry as it helped me to be consistent in the tags I used. I felt comfortable in leaving my bookmarked sites public. Now, I just need to remember to add every site I want to keep to Delicious. I still sometimes forget it is there.
Discussion of the tool in terms of my own personal learning:
Using a social bookmarking site like Delicious will have an impact on me personally both as a learner and as part of a social group. I will be able to connect with others that share some of my hobbies. In the past I have searched scrapbooking sites but have never tried to connect with others via the internet with the same passion. I will be able to find more valuable sights that others use as we collectively search. Hopefully I will engage in social networking about scrapbooking. I will be able to do this through Delicious. I am enjoying learning about the Web 2.0 tools but find that I lack the time at the moment to delve deeper into the social aspect of these tools.
As for me as a parent, I have shown my son how to use Delicious. He loves it because he uses different computers at school, has access to two computers at home and also uses his Ipod Touch. He is now bookmarking his favorite sites and I feel that I have made his life easier. He showed some of his friends how to use it too. They had a project on the environment in science and were able to share some sights they found. My daughter will get the lesson next.
Discussion of the tool in terms of teaching and learning:
I have learned that “Social bookmarking sites provide a means for individuals to save their bookmarks and share them with a community of others. The advantage in using social bookmarking sites is the human collaboration involved in the searching framework” (McGraw Hill Companies,2009). It will make searching for sites for research or school activities much easier. The tags will help to led me to other sites that I may not have found by just googling them. I may even start to network with others that have tagged similar sites as me but I have not gone that far into social bookmarking yet. I can see myself connecting with other Kindergarten teachers who use technology daily in their classrooms. I showed my colleagues the Lee Kolbert Youtube video,Social Bookmarking -Delicious Part Two. Not one teacher I showed this video to had used their Delicious account since signing up last May. Like me, they hadn’t understood what it was about. So far, three teachers have started using their Delicious account and are quite excited about it. I am trying to teach them that social bookmarking “ can provide the resources to facilitate a scholarly approach to teaching where teachers concerned with developing research – based practices can collectively assemble, annotate, recommend, and share scholarly resources such as books, journal articles, websites, and contacts” (Greenhow, 2009). Together we could share resources to enhance our teaching. I feel that if I teach and support the teachers of older students they will use it with their classes.
I am not using Delicious in my classroom for social networking with my Kindergarten class as the entire concept is above their capabilities.
The pros for using social bookmarking in schools would be that students and teachers could collaborate on teaching, researching, or having discussions on line. They would be able to find others that have similar interests or could use sites that have already been bookmarked and tagged for their topic. Teachers could use Diigo and actually make comments on the sites that their students could follow as they read the sites they needed to. The negative aspects of using social bookmarking for my students are that they are too little. For older students you could end up with sites being added that are not appropriate to what they are supposed to be studying. All in all using social bookmarking sites for educational purposes would benefit teachers and students alike.
Greenhow, Christine. (2009). Tapping the Wealth of Social Networks for Professional Development. Retrieved September 28, 2009, from Learning and Leading with Technology vol:36 iss:8 pg:10-11 http://web.ebscohost.com.login.ezproxy.library.ualberta.
Kolbert,Lee.(2008). Social Bookmarking -Delicious Part Two. Retrieved September 27,2009 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P-S9msNbR0
McGraw Hill Companies. (2009). How to Article - Social Bookmarking. Retrieved September 28, 2009, from Teaching Today http://teachingtoday.glencoe.com/howtoarticles/social-bookmarking
Richardson, W., (2009). Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts, and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms. United States: Corwin.