I was talking to teacher who was so proud of the social bookmarking his students had done. They had collected over 60 links about the topic they were studying. I asked him if they had agreed on what tags they were going to use; he said that they used whatever tag they wanted. Next, I asked him what categories they had divided the links into; he said that the 60+ links were neatly organized in one long list. Then, I asked how much they had annotated (explained about the importance of each link); he proudly said that they listed the title of each website. Finally, I inquired how they students used these bookmarks; he mentioned that the activity was to collect them. He was so excited about using the Web 2.0 tool of Social Bookmarking.
In my opinion, he wasted his students’ time. The students did not learn about the academic topic; they learned how to collect information. They did not know the topic in a deeper or more comprehensive nature anymore than when they started their social bookmarking.
Even if each student found two links about the learning topic and compared and contrasted the information on those two links, they would have learned so much more in a very little time.
How do you use social bookmarking?
My new book, Successful Student Writing Through Formative Assessment, is available through Eye on Education.
My book, Formative Assessment: Responding to Your Students, is available through Eye on Education.