Using Social Bookmarking to Make Online Resources More Accessible

Using Social Bookmarking to Make Online Resources More Accessible

Stein Brunvand (University of Michigan-Dearborn, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-878-1.ch014
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Abstract

There are a multitude of high-quality Web-based resources available for teachers to use with students across the curriculum. Having a systematic way to store, categorize, and share those resources with learners is critical. This is particularly true for students with learning disabilities for whom the task of searching through the vast array of online content to find relevant information can be quite daunting. This review looks at Diigo® (http://www.diigo.com/), a social bookmarking tool, and the affordances it provides for teachers trying to make online content more accessible for students with disabilities.
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Diigo Overview

To simply call Diigo® a social bookmarking tool is understating the range of power and features this technology has to offer. The goal of the Diigo developers, as stated on their homepage, is to create the ultimate online information management tool and they are well on their way to doing that. In addition to being able to save websites, Diigo allows you to add comments, descriptions, and tags to each site. You can also annotate sites with a highlighter tool or sticky notes as a way to draw attention to specific content. The best way to learn about the wide range of features Diigo has to offer is by watching the brief video tour on their homepage (http://www.diigo.com/index). The following sections highlight how specific features can be used to support K-12 students with learning disabilities as they access online information.

Diigo Educator Accounts

Diigo® educator accounts (http://www.diigo.com/education) are free and available to any K-12 or post-secondary educator. With an educator account teachers can sign-up an entire class of students easily and without having to provide e-mail addresses for each student. Students within a given class are automatically added to a common group, which allows them to share saved websites with each other quickly and easily. Since bookmarked sites are attributed to the user who saved them, teachers can easily identify students who decide to share inappropriate sites with the group. The teacher retains the authority to delete student accounts as well as any site added by a student. Privacy settings on student accounts restrict them from becoming members with users from outside their assigned classroom meaning that students can only interact with peers from their own class. The Diigo educator account makes it easy for teachers and students to work together to collaboratively build an archive of relevant websites that can be easily accessed and modified by any member of the group.

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