Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Collaborative Learning with Diigo

This was something I wrote a while ago but saved as a draft. The blogging I refer to with Diigo is still not working for me directly. Diigo has a feature called "blog this" from which you should be able to highlight some text on a site then go directly to creating a blog posting about what you've read. I haven't been able to make it work with Blogger but Will Richardson regularly uses it on his blog (don't know what he uses). Anyway, here's the gist of this idea:

With a little experimentation, some of the features of Diigo have become much more clear to me tonight. I've been reading and commenting to Clay Burrell's blog, Beyond School. He's doing some really interesting things with his students but most importantly, he's working on turning the responsibility for learning over to his students and finding great success with what he's done so far. In going back and forth on this, it became really clear that Diigo has some extremely important possibilities for learning. For example, from a posting that Clay made last night, I added some sticky notes to his posting then made them public. Because he has a Diigo account, he was able to see all my notes. When I go to my Diigo bookmarks, I can see all the notes I made but more importantly, I can pull those notes right into my blog as shown below. What a great tool for students to use as they read and write about their learning! Here's the notes from Clay's posting:

Beyond School

Repeatable moment: With the class, we re-defined our labels--the words "student" and "teacher" were out; "learners" was in. We have to ritually repeat this to make that semantic difference cement itself in our realities.
  • This is really important to remember in the 21st century. When you label you and yourself "learners" it seems to subconsciously put you into that role and you begin to act within that role. - post by quirkytech
Repeatable moment: A 2:40 teacher-student ratio is more efficient than two 1:20 classrooms. Spivey and I tag-teamed, taking different roles--him delivering verbiage while I drifted amongst students to help troubleshoot, and vice versa. That was a bit of an eye-opener. We should do that more often.
  • Now it's not "his" students or "your" students - both of you are on the same playing level to all of the students in the room. - post by quirkytech
Laughable: Read my raptures about Diigo in this blog ("researching" tag), see the red-hot enthusiasm. Now see the natives: Virtually highlighting key ideas in virtual texts, bookmarking them, annotating how they might use them in their class wikipedia--though I need to check on how they're tagging--like it's nothing radical at all. Just a tool. (I was tempted to launch into a "When I was your age, we had to use index cards, and walk to and from school for three miles in ten feet of snow, uphill in both directions," etc. Didn't.)
  • YES! Big LOL! Some people I know are still using index cards - I can't imagine what happens to those poor kids who drop their pile of cards and then have to figure out how to rearrange them. - post by quirkytech
Repeatable moment 2: Spivey and I decided (which of us came up with it, I honestly forget--we probably talked our way to finding it) to reward the best of the four class wikipedias with significant bonus points for the unit grade. This class competition seemed to motivate them.
  • I'm betting that the bonus points will mean nothing compared to the act of real learning that's going on. - post by quirkytech
So now, what else can we do with Diigo? The sky's the limit! Thanks for the experiment, Clay!

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