Social Bookmarking

Social Bookmarking is a great and mobile method for collecting your favorite web links (aka URLs) and grouping them together in ways that you can easily reference them later - from anywhere you can get to the web.  Making them even better - I can see your collections and you can see mine... at least those I make public!

For a better (and more amusing) explanation, check out this video from the folks at Common Craft.

For an excellent "get my head around this concept" aimed at educators, check out this 7-Things You Should Know About Social Bookmarking (printable PDF) from my friends at ELI.

And now that you understand social bookmarking - here's my guide to how to actually implement Delicous - one of many powerful social bookmarking tools out there - in a classroom situation where the ultimate goal is identify and share resources particular to the learning outcomes for a given class.

Using Delicious in the Classroom

Option 1 - The Group Account

In this scenario, an account is created by the group leader in the name of the group, rather than as a personal account.  The group leader then shares the username and password to the group so that all group members can collect their links under one “username” or Delicious handle  e.g. @ds120fall2013
Members of the group can further organize their links and make their links interesting/accessible to themselves and others outside the group by adding tags to each of their entries.  e.g. #disabilityissues #children #hearingimpaired
So - once members of the group has begun adding links, an individual (in the group or not) could point their browser to and see all the URLs the group has added.  Alternatively, using their personal Delicious accounts, they could follow the user @ds120fall2013.  
Visitors to this list of links could narrow the results to just those links with specific sub-specialty tags.  There are a number of ways to search - by clicking tags or by using the search field.  As an example, typing @ds120fall2013 #disabilityissues #children would find all links added to Delicious by the account “ds120fal2013” with BOTH tags of “disabilityissues” AND “children”.  By removing the user handle from this search, the search would return all links made by ANY user on Delicious tagging their URLs with “disabilityissues” AND “children”.

Option 2 – The Network

In this scenario, each person in the group creates their own personal Delicious account.   The user account handles are then collected and shared among the group.  So – I tell you my handle is @idsDiane and you tell me that yours is @Lochbaum.   We then respecitively log into our Delicious accounts online and use the search field tool to find each other.  I add you to my network by clicking the follow button on your profile page once I find you. 
As all the individuals then begin adding URLs to their own accounts, the group can see each other’s links by selecting “network” at the top of the Delicious page.   These results can be narrowed and/or improved by searching on specific tags just as in Scenario 1.    This, is in fact, especially important in this usage scenario because an individual’s network may include many other users besides those in a given class - especially if the individual is an avid Delicious user.

Option 3 – Tagging Alone

In this scenario, once again, each person in the group creates their own personal Delicious account.   The group agrees to use a specific minimum set of tags to identify all URLs of relevance to the group's needs or activity.  Other tags can be used as well, but at a MINIMUM, all URLs will have a unique one or two tags that will enable members of the group to search for and find URLs intended for the group.  
So – in this example, one of the required tags might be #ds120fall2013 and another #disabilityissues.  These two tags should provide an appropriate starting place for the group to identify their URLs and not be similar to other random tags used by other Delicious users.  
To then find the group’s collective list, one would go to Delicious and search for those two tags.  Narrowing the results list could then be accomplished by adding sub-specialty tags to the search as in Scenarios 1 and 2.

Follow me on Delicious @idsDiane

For more ideas about using Delicious in the classroom, see Kristi Hines' webpage:  How to Use Delicious:  The King of Social Bookmarking

For how-tos on adding links, adding tags, adding bookmarklet tools to your browsers and more - see the Delicious Help page: