Shortly after I posted about how I hoped to have my students use Social Bookmarks to share their favorite English-language links with one another, I discovered a much, much better way to do it.
JumpKnowledge is one of a number of newer applications that allow users to annotate websites. In other words, computer users can virtually “write” on webpages they see on their computer and save those pages, along with their notes. Then they can access them anytime they want, and also share the pages and their notes with others.
Most require that you add “buttons” to your web browser — some do not. JumpKnowledge does not, which makes it a whole lot easier to use on a school computer.
I’ve registered (which takes about ten seconds) and opened an account (it’s free). I can then write notes anywhere I want on any webpage, and access them through my account.
My students will be able to access my website through my JumpKnowledge account. I figure that I’ll have one “copy” each of my various webpages where all students can mark their favorite links and write why they like them right next to the specific links. This way everyone can see at a glance which ones are liked the most.
If that gets too unwieldy, each student can eventually have their “own” copies of my various webpages where they’ll mark and write about their favorite links. All of my students will be able access everyone’s pages.
This explanation might be a little (or a lot) confusing. You might just want to go check it out.
I’ll be exploring other web annotation applications in the future to see if there are ones that are even better.
You can find JumpKnowledge on my Examples of Student Work page under Student Bookmarks.
Thought you might also be interested in checking out http://www.diigo.com. It’s not just simple web annotation, and much more than a social bookmarking tool. Rather, it is a knowledge-management solution. What sets Diigo apart is that it handles *Knowledge*, rather than mere sticky notes and links.
More and more educators have started to discover Diigo: Project-based learning is an effective way to teach students and cultivate their skills of finding, organizing, synthesizing, and presenting information, as well as the social skills of working in groups, all of which are necessary in the knowledge-based economy. Diigo is the perfect tool for this kind of exploratory and collaborative learning.
Diigo is an effective tool for teaching as well. Diigo’s features allow teachers to highlight critical features within text and images on web pages, to collect and organize series of web pages and web sites into coherent and thematic sets, and to facilitate online conversations within the context of the materials themselves. Diigo also allows teachers to collaborate and share resources among themselves.
A whole array of very exciting innovations will soon be unveiled. We’d love to have your participation and hear what you think!