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Social bookmarking in an educational context

April 13, 2011

Here is my description of an educational context in which social bookmarking would be appropriate and useful.

Well, the MAODE study is the best example for an educational context in which social bookmarking is appropriate and useful, in case people do not forget to store their link and tag them appropriately in a social bookmark system, like e.g. Delicious which is according Iskold (2006) on of the most used service on the social bookmarking market. However, the article was written already 2006 and a little research revealed different results. I found this page with the ‘Top 15 Most Popular Social Bookmarking websites‘ and guess what who is the number 1?

  1. Twitter
  2. digg
  3. Yahoo! Buzz
  4. reddit
  5. StumpleUpon
  6. Delicious

I got to know social bookmarking in H800, which introduced Delicious, and since that I am stuck with it. I found it interesting to check what links other students found regarding a certain topic and although many sources showed up that I found myself, there were always a couple of new sources that proofed to be valuable. It saved my some time searching the web myself, but most important it revealed sources that I did not come up, because each user has their own way to search and find information on the web. However, I have to admit that I did not make great use of that tool during my previous courses, but found my way back. However, I just conducted a tag search in Delicious and it seems that I am the only one who tag my bookmarks with H807_2011 tag. A lot more hits can be found simply using H807 as search tag, showing one limitation about social bookmarking that every user can choose their own tags. However, it seems that I should conduct more often a tag search in Delicious as I just explored some interesting resources for my other course H809 as well 😉

Ok, back to the actual question the educational context where I think Social bookmarking could be used appropriate and useful.

Known for my less innovative school environment 😉 and having never considered of introducing social bookmarking in my classes I am somehow stumped for an answer. I could echo the educational uses mentioned in our course material or what I found in the Educause flyer ‘7 thing you should know about social bookmarking‘ and I honestly do not come up with other ideas. I think the idea that a class set up a network to share resources they find over a period of working on a joint project is practicable and viable. Our school just applied for a project ‘Trialogue of cultures’ from the Herbert-Quandt charity and because each class can design their own little sub-project, that contributes to a school-wide project, it would be a good idea to unify the sources found by the different classes in one place. Maybe I should suggest that to the project leader?

Well, the idea that I (the expert?!) could share my bookmarks with my students (novices?!) would be an idea as well, although you already see my question and exclamation marks, that the notion or discourse of expert and/or novice is often questionable. Sure in my particular subject I might be the expert, but regarding the use of social networking our next topic I am sure that I could learn a great deal from my students.

Similar to the video ‘RSS feed in Plain English‘ I found a video on YouTube considering ‘Social bookmarking in Plain English‘.


References

Educause (2006) 7 Things you should know about Social bookmarking Available from http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7001.pdf (accessed 13 April 2011).

Hammond, T., Hannay, T., Lund, B. and Scott, J. (2005) ‘Social bookmarking tools (1): a general review’ [online], D-Lib Magazine, vol. 11, no. 4; http://www.dlib.org/dlib/april05/hammond/04hammond.html (Accessed 2 December 2010).

Iskold, A. (2006) The Social Bookmarking Faceoff [online], Read/WriteWeb, September, http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/social_bookmarking_faceoff.php (Accessed 2 December 2010).

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