Social Bookmarking, Put to Good Use

The vast, vast, embarrassingly vast majority of web users use free bookmarking tools to cull, rank, and disseminate some of the most famous drivel on the Internet. Pinterest and Twitter and Delicious accounts are chock full of cat pictures, inspirational quotes, and poorly executed memes that turned obsolete three minutes after they were born. In the face of this massive mountain of mindless material, it can be easy to dismiss social bookmarking as a soul numbing waste of time, energy, and server space.

But leave it to our industrious educators to find a surprisingly good use for even the most egregious of online time wasters. Social bookmarking is finding a life in the classroom that could actually be that legendary triple threat… It educates our children, it makes use of modern technology, and it makes the jobs of teachers easier in the process.

Schools with plenty of computers or schools that provide simple netbooks for student use are turning to free social bookmarking tools such as Delicious and Diigo as a means to connect the learning process together for groups, classrooms, and even entire buildings at a time. Students involved in a project can collaborate their research efforts in cyberspace, sharing sites and photos and videos by submitting them to the free social bookmark tool of choice for their class. Teachers can also check on the research progress of their students and post their own suggestions of avenues to explore.

This collaborative research lends itself extremely well to the high school and college settings too, as researchers can remain current and connected with every member of the group, no matter where they are. And of course, the proliferation of free bookmarking tools means that students in schools and universities around the globe can share their path to information with anyone, all with a simple click of their respective mice.

Fear not, faithful followers of every silly cat picture known to man… You will always have a place on the Internet. But would you mind terribly if we continued to use your technology to also educate our young people, combine our global research efforts, and generally make this world a better place? Pretty please?

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