Tool Review: Diigo

Tuesday, March 08, 2011 at 3:12 pm
Jennifer Dick's picture


One of the joys of surfing the Internet is stumbling across new websites and interesting information through the course of normal web reading. And while you can save interesting pages to your browser’s bookmarks, your bookmark folder can get cluttered really quickly. Sure, you can create sub-folders to try to organize things a bit, but it takes longer to save them and it’s harder to see how your different resources relate to each other. A number of web apps (many with desktop and mobile versions as well) fill the need to keep our bookmarks, notes, and other miscellanea stored at one place in the cloud. Some services, like Evernote, are more note-oriented; while others, like the much-loved Delicious, focus on the bookmarks and sharing. Diigo offers a convenient middle ground, providing social bookmarking, notes, and image storage in one place.

Features
At first blush, Diigo’s feature set seems pretty standard: Save bookmarks, notes, and pictures in one place. Tag entries for easy sorting. Because this is Web 2.0, other users can comment on whatever entries you’ve saved publicly. Because this is 2011, you can follow other Diigo users, invite your friends, create groups, and maintain a profile. The Community page shows which pages are most linked by users (lots of education technology links here).

What really caught my eye as I was poking around their About page was the Diigo Educator Account. These people have thought about features that teachers and students need, and they’ve provided a way for teachers and classes to share and annotate information. Educators can batch-create student accounts, which automatically creates a Diigo group that includes forums.

Student accounts default to high privacy (only teachers and classmates can communicate with them), and only education-related ads get displayed (it’s a free service, after all). You can read the FAQ about Diigo Educator Accounts here.


Sample Classroom & Youth Program Applications

 

  • All subjects: Have students create topic-based groups of bookmarks for websites that pertain to subjects discussed in class. Pick a different student-selected site twice a week to evaluate together as a class for content, bias, and relevancy. This will increase student information literacy (a skill our youth today sorely need)
  • All subjects: When students are working on a project or paper that requires online research, have them bookmark all of their web resources using Diigo. Require students to write a brief abstract for each source using the note feature to help them remember why this source may be useful to them.

 

Breakdown

  • Price Structure: Free & Premium
  • Pros:
    • Educational upgrade available!
    • Can sort all entries by tags
    • Group functionality allows for collaboration
    • Can install toolbar in web browser for even faster indexing
  • Cons:
    • The note feature’s text editor sometimes pastes html code if you cut and paste from a Word document
    • Can’t display pictures in notes



Do you use Diigo or other cloud-based social bookmarking sites with your youth? Do you have any activity suggestions, tips, or tricks to share? Comment below or contact us!