Name: Dave Ehrhart
Website: http://classroom20.ning.com/profile/dehrhart
Educational Institution: Social Studies teacher at Central York High School, York, Pa, 36th year
Teaching Environment: Advanced Placement US history, Current Events and Issues, 10, 11, 12 grades.
Web 2.0 Focus: Social Bookmarking using Diigo. Here is the screencast I made on Diigo basics.
Description: I honestly wonder how carefully some students read the online articles I assign, and I question whether some students read them at all. To give students a handout or worksheet to complete seems a bit dated in today’s world, and I’m always looking for ways to integrate technology in my teaching and student learning. I have found that the social bookmarking tool Diigo is an excellent way for students to provide notes and documentation to me when they read online articles, and it’s very easy to use. Diigo is a social bookmarking tool very similar to Delicious in that you can bookmark, tag, and share bookmarks with a group. Your bookmarks are associated with one another through tags that you apply to each individual bookmark. Delicious is the most popular social bookmarking tool, but I like Diigo because of the ability to highlight and comment on passages in online articles. In order to do this you must first create a Diigo account and then install the toolbar. Safari does not support the toolbar so I use Firefox (IE works also).
Using Diigo I can monitor student online research and reading. I have each student create a group and invite me into the group. After accessing an online article, they book mark it, and share it with me via the group they created. The cool thing about Diigo is that the student can then highlight passages in the article and show me online which parts of the article they consider important or relevant. Plus, they can add a sticky note to each highlighted passage and comment on that passage. All of this is shared with me. I think this is powerful because they must actually read, understand, and comment on the article. I can check their research through their comments, plus I can comment on their comments and post questions for them. Checking comments is very easy and convenient. This is all done on the actual online article.
Teaching and Learning:These features also give Diigo tremendous possibilities with group collaboration because students can comment and ask questions on articles and share them with any number of students in a group they have created. You can also differentiate instruction with Diigo. On a basic level you can have students find the main topic of paragraphs or unknown vocabulary by highlighting and making comments, or students can highlight and explain bias in a writer’s point of view in an editorial. Students can use their comments on articles as notes for an essay or paper thus eliminating note cards and handwritten notes. The teacher can review all of the student’s research by checking the comments on articles the student shares with the group. Diigo is truly a collaborative web 2.0 tool for student research and reading on the web.
Preferred Applications: Diigo because it does what the other social bookmarking applications do plus it allows comments to monitor students' research.
Mentor(s) and Hero(es): Sue Sheffer, our district's Instructional Tech. guru, advisor, and trouble-shooter, and Jim Moulton who always makes me want to do more with technology.
Favorite Web 2.0 Applications Right Now: My other favorite tool is the wiki because it is easy to use, collaborative, and students can do anything with it from group research to maintaining a notebook. I like both Wikispaces and pbWiki.