Saturday, January 30, 2010

DIIGO is a social bookmarking website where users can do various actions such as bookmark a webpage to view at a later time, tag a webpage in a specific category, highlight specific portions of the webpage, and/or attach sticky notes to a part of a web page to share with a users and share with a person or groups of people that are also on the DIIGO site. DIIGO stands for “Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other Stuff.”
DIIGO can be utilized as a research tool and platform. Users with the DIIGO can highlight portions of the webpage, or images in the webpage that are of particular interest to the user, and then attach a sticky note to that part of the webpage. Unlike other websites with similar features, DIIGO’s highlights and sticky notes are “persistent” in that they stay on the webpage if the user leaves or shutdowns the computer. According to DIIGO’s website, users “can easily search, access, sort and share this collection from any PC or even iPhone.”
In addition to its research capabilities, DIIGO also allows many social networking features. Since DIIGO allows user to tag comments and highlight, other networkers can search for subjects and view if any other DIIGO users have tagged or made comments on web pages with that tag. Then, users can subscribe to the most recent and bookmarked items and write comments about them which other users can then read at a later time. In addition, DIIGO uses the bookmarks and your most recent page views to find trends in which you can select and read other similar websites in a particular topic. In addition, when the user is reading a page, the DIIGO sidebar feature allows the user to view who else has bookmarked this page, and other similar pages that the user has bookmarked. DIIGO writes, “you are what you annotate..”, in other words, a user’s personality and interests can easily be found by the types of web addresses that he or she uses, making DIIGO not only a powerful site for information and storage, but for social profiling and networking as well.
DIIGO can be a powerful source when employed in the classroom and teacher professional setting. Imagine that all of the students in your classroom have access to a computer and the internet. The amazing feature of DIIGO is that only one computer is needed for infinite amount of students to use the program. Since DIIGO remembers the users saved web content, any student can log into the same classroom computer and use DIIGO to save information on the website. In a professional setting, teachers can link with other teachers by utilizing the bookmark features of DIIGO that enable users to select preferences and show other DIIGO users that are looking at the same page. For example, a teacher viewing a website of chemistry lesson plans can link with other educators who have also viewed that page using DIIGO.

For more information see:

The DIIGO sidebar:

DIIGO sticky notes:

Saturday, January 23, 2010

There are many ways in which blogging can be utilized as a teaching tool in the classroom. First, educators can use the blogs to post student work and comment on their progress throughout an assignment. For example, a project or homework assignment can be given to students and then the students could be asked to publish their work on a blog. This would allow students to showcase the work that they have completed as well as comment on the work of their fellow classmates. In addition, the teacher can also comment on student work and write suggestions for students to follow up and edit their submissions.
Another way in which blogging can be utilized as a teaching tool is for teachers to share with other educational professionals the lessons and assignments that they are giving to students in their classrooms. For example, a new teacher could post assignments and student work on a blog and have other teachers comment on suggestions and opinions of the work. This would allow the new teacher to receive feedback on the pros and cons of the lesson plan. The teacher can then take the thoughts and ideas of the comments and incorporate these to make his or her lesson plan better.
A third way in which blogging can be useful as a teaching tool is to teach students different forms of technology and have them learn the different ways in which they can access forms of technology to improve their education learning. For example, students can learn how to blog, set up their own blog, learn to make a wiki page, set up a classroom NING or learn to e-mail one another as a means of educational communication. See and
Blogging connect students to people from different cities, states, and even countries. For example, a student studying French language might post comments on other blogs from French bloggers. This would immediately connect the American student with a blogger from another country. If the French bloggers writes back, then the American student has made a connection from someone that he or she does not know, nor had any connection to before. Together the students can help each other and improve their language skills via blogging on the internet. See
Blogging does not only help students connect and improve their education, but it also helps teachers with professional development. Teachers can use blogging to connect with other professionals’ nation and worldwide such that their ideas and techniques can be improved and perfected. Teachers can then go back to their classrooms with more information on a topic, improved skills in instruction, and access to others professionals should other obstacles or challenges come while teaching. For some tips from other teachers, check out

Sunday, January 17, 2010

In class, we discussed globalization, particularly how the “world is flat” ( and the different changes that are happening to the global economy, and how it affects the American education system. In particular, the rapid incline of China and India as forefronts in educating their citizens has put particular pressure on the United States to compete by using technology to advance the knowledge that they instruct their students.
ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) is the premier organization of educators and education administrators aimed at improving technology in K-12 education. The ISTE have made six principles in which they have formed standards for students to follow including: 1.Creativity and Innovation, 2. Communication and Collaboration, 3. Research and Information Fluency, 4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making, 5. Digital Citizenship, 6. Technology Operations and Concepts. The ISTE has transformed classroom learning by giving instructors guidelines to follow when incorporating technology into classrooms. For example, the ISTE lists Creativity and Innovation first, placing emphasis that students learn how to use technology to expand and develop creativity in the classroom. The NETS are so crucial to use as a planning springboard because it keeps teachers focused on the importance of the lesson and not to get so caught up with the technological aspect. Moreover, when teachers are given guidelines to follow their lessons will be more robust with guidelines set forth by ISTE.
While ISTE has made six different guidelines for teachers to follow, Part Three, Research and Information Fluency, is most important because it explains guidelines for students to gather, evaluate, and use information effectively. The first section of Part Three states “plan strategies to guide inquiry”. This is important because students must understand how to show the students how to obtain information and data, and how to plan their time spent finding information accordingly. In addition, this section details the importance of student to ethically find information on the internet and use it properly. Another important part of this section in the ISTE standards, is to “select information sources..based on the appropriateness to specific tasks.” With so much technology and with the industry expanding at a rapid rate, its important to for teachers and students to understand what tools to use as not to create more work for themselves. Most importantly, students should have a grasp of how to use technology to process results and how to manipulate data.
The ISTE are important and useful because they show instructors how to integrate technology into their classroom and use it effectively. For more information see: .