Wednesday, February 11, 2015

2.1.1 Collecting Reputable Digital Resources

Social bookmarking tools are a great way to access bookmarks anywhere and at anytime. I have used Delicious for several years. I like the way Delicious allows me to tag the bookmarks and group them by tags. Social bookmarking is a great tool for networking and sharing bookmarks with anyone especially other teachers and even students.
My Delicious Tag Bundles

In the same way that social bookmarking is a great tool for teachers to keep track of resources and share them, students can also take advantage of this tool. Students can use social bookmarking to collaborate on projects with other students in their school or in other schools. For each thematic unit that we study, I like to see my students compiling a list of resources using Delicious. They bookmark the sites that they find more useful and interesting, and organize them by tags (vocabulary, grammar, irregular verbs, culture, etc). Students also network and benefit from seeing their peers' bookmarks and using their tags. Students can expand their research by adding new and relevant resources that their peers have found.

As I just mentioned, when we begin the study of a new thematic unit and students start their research, I have them bookmark and tag resources that are key to the achievement of the learning goals. These sites must meet certain criteria such as accuracy, objectivity, currency, and reliability. I explicitly teach my students that it is imperative that they follow these criteria in order for them to maximize their learning and benefit from using social bookmarking. They do understand that using social bookmarking and sharing their bookmarks allow them to use their time more efficiently, and that's an advantage that they don't want to lose. Active teacher monitoring is key to make sure that there are not inappropriate or irrelevant sites added to their bookmarks, and that all students are making significant contributions.

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