For each of the days of August I will share some simple ideas you can use in your classroom. Try them before school begins so you have time to explore all of the ways you can integrate these skills into early lessons.
Where do you keep your bookmarks? On your school computer or your home computer? What if you need a bookmark and you are not in one of those places? There are so many different ways you can keep your bookmarks online so that can be accessed from any computer or device connected to the Internet. Let’s explore a few.
The most visual way I have found to share your bookmarks is through Symbaloo.com This is a site that allows you to add an icon to a button that takes you to the designated site. The buttons can be organized by topic, by tabs. There are good learning tools and videos to help you create your Symbaloo. You may want a tab for SharkWeek, one for Photography skills, or whatever you may be studying. There are many samples you can view or subscribe to, here is a sample of a Symbaloo I created as a start page for some school computers at our school: http://www.symbaloo.com/shared/AAAAAnL3kR4AA41_HBAUBw==
Another visual way to keep and share bookmarks is through a site called scoop.it This actually adds the title and an image from the page you are bookmarking, along with a bit of text to tease the viewer. You can organize by tag, but with this service, I bookmark by topic. I have a general scoop.it for interesting web ideas: http://www.scoop.it/t/weekly-web-wonders another one for good photography links: http://www.scoop.it/t/photography-nikon and one scoop for recipes: http://www.scoop.it/t/great-recipies. There are thousands of scoops you can follow and even suggest a link for that person to add to the scoop. This also has a button you can add to your browser that makes it easy to curate.
Diigo or Delicious? There is a debate about which service is better, but actually both have excellent merits. First choose one and create an account. Then look for a little script button that you can add to your browser. This is what makes it easy to curate different web links. But the real powerful part of saving so many bookmarks is to be sure and “tag” the bookmarks. Tagging is simply the process of identifying key words that are meaningful to that link. If I bookmark the site for the Grand Canyon I might use tags like; geology NPS or National Park, science or Arizona. A bookmark for a lesson for using Scratch programming in the classroom might have the tags; programming, scratch, lessons, lessonplans. You make the tags whatever is meaningful for you.
Google has a bookmark extension you can install in your browser. It will crete a small button that you can click when you want to save a bookmark. Again, use tags to organize them. Of course you need a Google account to do this and that is free. More information can be found here: http://bit.ly/134KfMQ
More sites to consider are: iKeepBookmarks.com, Weave (Add-on) for Firefox, BookmarkKeeper.com, myBookmarks.com. There are so many more, so please add a comment if you use anything different. But if you do not currently have a bookmark keeper, pick one and get started!
How could I forget Pinterest, a visual representation of sites you want to organize and keep. EduClipper is similar to Pinterest with a few more educational options. Each of these will allow you to insert a button on your browser bar to curate sites you want to keep and both are worth trying to get a good idea of having an image or photo to go along with your bookmark.