- Introduction to the New Professional Development
- Old and New
- What is a PLN?
- Parts of a New PLN
- What’s all that tweeting about?
- Why Twitter?
- Instant PLN!
- Investing in the Follower/Following Relationship
- Differentiating Development with the Educator’s PLN
- How Building a PLN Can Help Your Students
- What’s the Difference Between Social Media and Social Networking
- Introduction to Social Bookmarking
To start participating in social bookmarking, you need to sign-up for a free account on a website. There are several free social bookmarking websites. I am just going to recommend 2. The first is Delicious; it is the first social bookmarking site. It is still one of the most used and easiest to use. It has become somewhat limited in functionality compared to some newer options, but it is stable and a good choice. The second option is comparatively newer, but it adds some features that make it extremely popular among teachers. Diigo allows you to not only bookmark websites, but highlight sections or write notes on them. In addition, it lets you create and manage classes so you can easily share resources with students, which could be incredibly powerful. You are free to choose any social bookmarking service you like, but we will be working with Diigo throughout the next few pages. Most of the functions will look similar in whatever site you choose to go with.
To get started, go to http://diigo.com and sign up for an account. Export your bookmarks from your web browser. (There is a tutorial available on this and all other important aspects of Diigo here.) Click on Tools on the top-right of the Diigo website, then click Import Bookmarks. Follow the directions to let Diigo import you bookmarks and, in a moment, all of the bookmarks that were on your computer are now online as well. If you use multiple computers, just repeat this step from each computer with different bookmarks. If you want your bookmarks to be private, check the box at the bottom or they will be public by default.
Adding new bookmarks is fairly simple. You are already on the tools page. Click on the Post to Diigo button. There will be instructions on the page. Just drag the button to the bookmarks bar in your browser. Notice in the top-left of the picture below, there is a button that is part of my browser. That is how it will likely look on your screen as well. Click on that button whenever you are on an interesting website, and you can catalog on Diigo.
It is important to recognize, though, that no social bookmarking website organizes their bookmarks with folders in the exact same way that your web browser does. Diigo and other sites use the idea of tags. A tag is basically a category. When you bookmark something, you can type in as many tags, or categories, as you want to help keep your bookmarks organized.
Lastly, you should add people to your network so you can see when they post new resources. Below is a picture from my network. You can see that the people in my network are posting different and interesting, to me at least, websites. I can click on any of them and, if I consider them good resources, I can add them to my library.
Adding people is very simple. Anyone on Diigo is able to give you a link to their library, or list of bookmarks. If you are not already following this person, you can add him or her to your network by clicking the Follow Me! button on the top-right. A link would look like either http://www.diigo.com/user/jasontbedell (my list of bookmarks) or http://www.diigo.com/network/jasontbedell (bookmarks from the people I follow). After you have 1 person that you are following, see who else is in his or her network that posts good resources. As this chain continues, it helps you because you gain access to a plethora of good resources you might not have discovered on your own.
Social bookmarking is just one part of a personal learning network. Often, one of the best ways to find people to follow is to look for people from the social networks that you follow.