Welcome to the seventh step in our free professional learning series on building your PLN. In this activity you will explore:
- What is Diigo?
- How to get started
- Joining and creating a Diigo group
- Ideas for using Diigo
This guest post was co-written by Keith Ozsvath self-professed techie who is passionate about helping others. He has conducted numerous professional development classes for fellow educators on creating a PLN, educational technology, podcasting, blogging, and using social media as a professional development tool.
What is Diigo
Diigo is a free social bookmarking tool that allows users to share online resources like websites and web 2.0 tools in a private or public group format.
The benefits of using a social bookmarking tool is it allows you to organize and store your bookmarks to an online tool rather than in the browser of your computer. This means you can log into your account, on any device, any time and easily find your bookmarks.
The power of Diigo as a social bookmarking tool lies within the groups feature. A user can create both public and private groups for professional development purposes or perhaps a graduate class, study group, or classroom research project. Anyone with access to a group, has access to all bookmarks, plus special features like tagging and commenting on links.
Diigo also allows users to highlight any part of a webpage and attach sticky notes to specific highlights or to a whole page.
There are tons of different groups on Diigo, many for professional and educational use.
As a music educator, I am interested in education technology, as well as music. On Diigo, I have joined public groups that interest me like:
- Classroom 2.0
- Cool Tools for Educators
- Teaching Music
Diigo was a powerful tool in my quest to create and build my PLN. It is a tremendous way to share and collaborate with fellow educators. I have also created private groups for students and teachers.
When my middle school bands were participating in a Lewis & Clark Expedition Cross-Curricular Unit, I created a private group of bookmarked websites pertaining to the Lewis & Clark Expedition. I was able to share the private group with my 2 colleagues so we could collaborate using the same websites and resources that were bookmarked in the group. Commenting and tagging these links were also very useful for our planning.
How to Get Started
1. Go to Diigo and create your account.
2. When you click on the link in the activation email you will see a prompt to install the Diigolet.
3. Follow the instructions to install the Diigolet in your web browser’s bookmaks bar.
4. Now close the welcome message and you’ll see My Library.
3. Now you are ready to start bookmarking links to Diigo.
Watch the following video to learn how to bookmark websites using the Diigolet bookmarklet.
4. Once you have added links to your Diigo account you can view them any time by logging into your Diigo account on any device, any where!
Organizing Diigo using Tags and Lists
It’s important when you bookmark websites to Diigo that you use tags and lists effectively otherwise eventually you’ll find it becomes increasingly harder to find your links because you’ll end up with a huge list of unordered links. Tags and list add structure to your bookmarks.
Tagging lets you categorize information online your way.
The key to tagging is use good tags, be consistent with your tagging. For example use podcast or podcasts but not both. Join words together to make meaningful tags. Every now and then go through and tidy up your tags, to rename them to more appropriate tags.
Lists work slightly differently than tags. Tags are best for diverse and disparate information whereas lists work best for focused information. Think of lists like folders of your computer. Lists allow you to organize, share and display bookmarks in a specific collection. For example. if I was bookmarking information on podcasting I might tag it as podcast, podcasting and add it to a list on mobile learning.
Watch this video to learn more about working with tags and lists.
How to Join a Group
To create and develop your PLN, you need to join some groups. Diigo’s groups open a world of learning and professional development for the educator. There are so many groups to choose from. From Social Studies to ESL to Ed. Tech., there are bound to be groups that will interest you.
Click on the My Groups tab at the top of the screen. In the search box, search for groups that will help you build your PLN.
It may also be helpful to view the Group categories on the right side of the screen to guide your search.
Or check out the recommended groups!
I recommend finding 3-4 groups to join. Once you find your first group, click on the group name. If it is a public group, apply to join the group by clicking on the right side of the screen.
- If the group you selected is a private group, you will not be able to join it.
- Private groups are by invite only.
When you apply to join a group, you can also choose to be notified via email when new bookmarks are added. This feature makes it really easy to stay-up-to-date when new bookmarks are added.
More nice features on the group pages are the Most Active Members and Top 10 Tags.
Watch this video to learn more about working with Groups.
How to Create your own Group
Perhaps you have already thought of creating your own group on Diigo. Go for it! Click on the My Groups tab at the top of the screen.
On the right side of the screen, follow the steps to create your group.
After you set-up all of the details, you will be prompted to invite others. Congratulations! You have created your first group. Begin adding bookmarks you wish to share with group members.
Auto Post Diigo Bookmarks to your blog
Another handy feature of Diigo is you can automatically post your or your group’s bookmarks to your blog daily or weekly.
You set up Auto post as follows:
1. Go to Tools
2. Click on Auto blog post under Web services.
3. Click on Add a new blog.
4. Follow the instructions to add your blog.
5. Select your Saved blog, select your publishing option, click on Add a New Job and set up your job.
- Publish to post: bookmarks are automatically published immediately.
- Post as draft: sends bookmarks to your blog as a draft post which allows you to edit the post and add extra information.
- Job name: controls the title displayed on the post. In the example below the post would appear as Daily Education News with the date.
- Only these tags: controls which Diigo tagged bookmarks are added to the post. In the example below only bookmarks tagged Education would be autoposted to the blog.
- Content Type: There are three content type options. My annotations only: displays any notes you’ve added to your bookmarks. Show all annotations displays every annotation added to the bookmark. Links only displays just a link to the bookmark without any additional notes.
- Privacy / Source: Controls which source links are obtained from. This option can be used to auto post bookmarks from groups.
- Post Interval: Options are daily, twice daily or once weekly.
6. Your diigo bookmarks are now auto posted to your blog based on the job created.
Watch this video for more tips of auto posting from Diigo.
Ideas for Use
Here’s some ideas how you can use:
- Create a group for your department or team to access and share bookmarks
- Set up student accounts for your class inside your Teacher Console. Read more about student accounts and how to set up classes here.
- Join a public group to create your own professional development and grow your PLN
We’d like you to add your ideas to our ongoing conversation about PLNs by undertaking one or more of these challenges:
- If you haven’t joined Diigo yet, head over to Diigo and sign up. Leave a comment on this post with your Diigo name so we can follow you.
- Join some Diigo groups and/or create your own group(s). Leave a comment on this post about your initial impressions of Diigo. You could include – what you see as obstacles to taking part in Diigo, what you have learnt from using Diigo, or who you have connected with via Diigo.
- Write a post on your blog about what you learned. The focus here is to reflect on your learning. For example, ‘What did you learn about using Diigo for building a PLN that you didn’t know?’, ‘What did you like/not like about Diigo?’, ‘What advice did we give that you don’t agree with or we should have included?’ Your tips for using Diigo. Please include @edublogs if you tweet your post — so we can share your post with our network. Leave a comment with a link to your post so we can read it!
Also feel free to leave a comment to ask any questions or share your tips.