Documentation:Social Bookmarking/Elearning

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What is it?

We bookmark websites, blog posts, online resources, photos and everything else that strikes our fancy for future reference, reading at a later date, and a host of other reasons. Regular bookmarking is usually done through your own personal web browser on your computer.

Social bookmarking adds a few different dimensions to bookmarking that makes storing, managing, and sharing resources easier.

Storing

Signing up with social bookmarking services, such as delicious or diigo, you can create bookmarks and save them online, accessible from any computer that has Internet access.

Managing

You can add tags, descriptions, or notes to help you easily find and remember your bookmarks.

Sharing

Sharing your bookmarks has never been easier since they are public by default. Other users can easily which sites you have saved or why you found them useful. You can also share your bookmarks with your friends via email, twitter or direct message.

Uses and Benefits

Saving/Storing

When you create an account with social bookmarking services, all of your bookmarks will be saved online. Regular bookmarking is usually done through your web browser and everything is stored on your computer's hard drive. Changing computers also means losing the bookmarks you've previously saved.

Social bookmarking provides you access to all of your bookmarks, regardless of which computer you are using provided you have Internet access.

Managing

As you continue to save bookmarks, you will eventually need to organize all the resources you've saved. Regular bookmarking only allows you to save bookmarks by folders. You can't save the same page in multiple places. At the same time, you cannot add descriptions or notes to help you remember why you saved that online resource.

Social bookmarking allows you to add tags or keywords based on topics, ideas, or categories that makes sense to you. A list of tags is automatically generated and opening up a specific one will filter out unrelated bookmarks.

You can also add descriptions or notes to your bookmarks. It can help you remember the reasons why you saved it or what you found most interesting on that site.

In cases where you need to back-up, move or change services, your bookmarks can be easily downloaded and imported to other services.

Sharing

A very important feature of social bookmarking is the ability to share your bookmarks with friends, colleagues and students in a number of ways:

  • Your bookmarks can easily be made public to everyone. Users can then see what websites you've bookmarked and what tags you've used.
  • Perform a search using tags to see what others have booked using the same keyword.
  • Send people a message, a tweet, or an email to your friends when you're saving a new bookmark.
  • Social bookmarking sites also generate RSS Feeds that you and others can use with RSS Readers to receive automatic updates when new bookmarks are saved. The feeds can be based on a whole user's list or specific tags. You can also add them your website or course blog.

Examples

  • UBC Learning Commons
    The UBC Learning Commons populates related links on the sidebar by having specific tags for each page on the site.

Get Started

  1. Before signing up, read about the various features of social bookmarking services in order to get a grasp on what they can do.
  2. Determine your teaching and learning goals and see if social bookmarking can help you. We recommend going through the SECTIONS Model.
  3. Ask your friends, colleagues, staff from your Faculty's Instructional Support Unit (ISU) or CTLT on their experiences and recommendations.
  4. Talk to an Instructional Designer or the Instructional Support Unit (ISU) in your Faculty to see how you can pull in social bookmarking to your WebCT Vista course.

Social Bookmarking Services

Below is a short list of available social bookmarking sites, some of them have a scholarly focus.

Resources

UBC

External Resources

Tips

  • Find out if the social bookmarking service you will be using has browser extensions or plugins. These add easily accessible buttons on your web browser that helps make bookmarking easier.
  • Specific course tags can help students find resources helpful in their classes, while general tags can be used as identifiers of additional information.
  • Depending on your workload, it is a good idea to go through your tags, once in a while, to eliminate redundant or irrelevant terms.