Monday, August 1, 2011

Gifted 2.0: Social Bookmarking

What is Social Bookmarking?

Social bookmarking involves saving bookmarks on a site rather than a web browser and sharing these publicly online. This is done by setting up an account with an existing social bookmarking site such as, Diigo, Google Bookmarks, Livebinders, ZooTool, and Symbaloo. With most of these sites, users are able to:

1. Create bookmark lists, which can be sorted by category or topic. This makes it easier to retrieve or find them later on.

2. Import existing bookmarks from one’s web browser. This is a good strategy to back up all your bookmarks and to have access to them from any computer.

3. Export bookmarks saved on one bookmarking site to another (i.e. From to Google Bookmarks or Diigo). This is recommended as backup because there’s no guarantee that a site will be around forever.

4. Cross-post between two sites (i.e. between Diigo and Again, it is recommended to back up any bookmarks across sites just to be sure.

5. Set up a free educator account, where teachers are able to set up student accounts.

Just as blogs connect people to what others write, social bookmarking allows for people to see what others read (Richardson, 2006). Social bookmarking is very collaborative in nature. Its labeling and tagging features offer a convenient way to keep track, organize, retrieve, and share bookmarks with others (Eckstein, 2009; Witt, 2009). Also, several social bookmarking sites have groups that one can join to connect with other users on that site. If you come across a link that you like, you have the option of connecting with the user who posted that link by joining their group or adding their bookmark lists or links to your own lists. In this context, social bookmarking creates a community of researchers (Richardson, 2006).


Social bookmarking can be a valuable tool for the gifted classroom. The most common use of social bookmarking can be found in research type projects, where students can gather, label, and organize links that they come across during their research. However, there is much more to social bookmarking. In order to push students to higher order thinking, particularly in evaluating, teachers can have students compare and contrast links that were bookmarked by different groups or individuals on any given topic. Students can explain their reasoning for saving that bookmark and why they felt those were important resources.

Here are other project ideas that incorporate social bookmarking:

1. Service Learning Projects- Students can compile a list of community resources to help plan or organize a service learning project.

2. Career Exploration- In researching a profession or career students can gather sites that outline career options and schools, universities, or resources pages that outline the preparation required for these.

3. Independent Research Projects- Students can gather their own resources for a particular topic and share or compare bookmarks with other students with similar interests.

4. Favorite Classroom Sites- As a class, students can collect bookmarks to gaming, puzzles, or other favorite sites that they visit during class. This list can be embedded on a class blog or site to share with parents and the global community. This list also provides access to the sites when students are not in school.


7 Things You Should Know about Social Bookmarking (PDF Document)

Webtools4u2use: Social Bookmarking

Livebinder on Social Bookmarking in the Classroom

How to Share Links with Students
Cybraryman’s Social Bookmarking Page

Educational Origami Starter Sheets (For Diigo and Delicious)

Using Social Bookmarking for Differentiation

Social Bookmarking Roles (Shared by @tcash on Twitter)

Educational Origami: Social Bookmarking Rubric


Eckstein, M. (2009). The Gifted Kids Network: 2008 Pilot. Gifted Child Today, 32(2), 20-28.

Richardson, W. (2006). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Witt, D. (2009). Strategies for the tech-savvy classroom. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.


  1. Diigo is a tool I use with my elementary gifted students beginning in first grade, at which point I introduce finding relevant electronic sources. Depending on their individual needs, students have evaluated sources collaboratively, learned how to distinguish relevant from irrelevant information using highlighting, made connections to texts using sticky notes, and created lists of appropriate sources for teachers to use in a unit of study. Parents love it because the students can go online at home and show their parents what they were doing in gifted support that day, as well as explain the relevance to their goals. These are only some of the activities in which my students have engaged. I'm looking forward to another productive year!

  2. Ms. Guyer,

    Thank you for sharing how you use Diigo in your classroom. It has great potential in helping students evaluate information and sources. I also love your approach to involving parents! I wish you a Happy New School Year!