8 June 2013

Digging Diigo

Recently, as part of my research, I have been exploring Diigo. I want to address the need to be able to organise and curate online research so it is easy to find and use in future learning.

The need to curate in the explosion of online information is essential in our digital world. For example, this morning I logged on to my University site to check my workload for this week as well as our conferences, to see what discussions had taken place overnight - my colleagues are all in the US so communication is 12 hours asynchronous for me. Following links from this and from Twitter, less than an hour later I have shared four new sites, taken part in multiple conversations, and bookmarked almost ten sites or articles I want to read for my research for the paper I am writing about software that advances writing. I currently use Pearltrees to curate educational sites that I want to use for teaching and learning, which is explored in more detail in my post 'Pearls of Wisdom'. I love Pearltrees but this time, I wanted a tool that would allow me to curate and organise but also plan and annotate my research digitally in my last attempt to sever my 'old school' ways and make that final move to digital immigrant so I stop printing out articles to highlight in hard copy.

Diigo is an acronym from "Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other stuff" and was established in July 2006 with the aim to "dramatically improve your online productivity" (2013). Whilst there are extra options for premium account holders, at the basic level it is free and more than adequate to address the needs of most.

Evolution of Diigo (2013)
Classed as a "social bookmarking website", users can bookmark and tag web-pages to create easy to find resources in 'lists' that serve as collections. For example, when I set up my free account, I was able to create the list 'MEd' to collect all my research for this course. Within that, I can use tags, such as "Week 2" or "Software Assignment" to further organise my findings. To bookmark, a Diigo extension is available that sits in my Chrome Tool bar; whenever I find a site that I want to save, I simply click on that button. I can then assign it to a list and tag it appropriately.

Ok, so many sites off this BUT, what makes Diigo really useful is that it goes beyond this curation. Once your resource is bookmarked, Diigo autmoatically pops up a highlight tool that allows users to highlight any part of a webpage. In addition, sticky notes can be attached to specific highlights or to a whole page - and these annotations can be kept private, shared with a group within Diigo or a special link forwarded to someone else. Even more than that, when you view your resources in your lists, the highlights and notes you have made are displayed under the article. Even MORE - once the Diigo extension is installed, when you search, Google automatically searches your Diigo library too!

Even MORE - lists can be shared too so your collections can become contributions to other interested parties.

Even MORE - there is an educator area. Teachers have a console where they can set up and manage "classes" where members can curate collaboratively and share and manage research together.

I selected Diigo as I need a way to curate and organise research. Research is identified in ISTE NET*S "Research and Information Fluency" which requires learners to be able to "apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information". And it is the USE that I think is most relevant; many tools allow us to "gather", we can then read to "evaluate", what Diigo does is allow a way to let us easily "use" this information both for ourselves and with others - which is the whole point really. The information overload we experience daily means we have to be able to select and evaluate our sources and organise them in a way that means they will be useful in the future.

Collect, highlight then remember. (n.d.).Diigo. Retrieved June 8, 2013, from  https://www.diigo.com/indexdiigo help. (n.d.).
diigo help. Retrieved June 8, 2013, from http://help.diigo.com/
ISTE. (2012). NETS for Students. Retrieved June 03, 2013 from International Society for Technology in Education: http://www.iste.org/standards/nets-for-students

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