It seems as though every day I discover new search engines, bookmarking tools other Web applications that are intended to simplify the cluttered and overwhelming task of conducting Internet research. But let’s face it, most of these resources sound great in theory, but prove less effective in practice. Yet once in awhile I come across a tool that is inviting, intuitive and actually does what its mission statement says it will. Diigo is this type of tool.
The catchy, quintessentially Web 2.0 name reads like a word from some obscure foreign language, but is actually an acronym for “Digest of Internet Information, Groups and Other Stuff.” Though many enter the world of Diigo in a social networking frame of mind, the networking aspect is the core of the tool and only scratches the surface of Diigo’s capabilities.
For teachers, a useful feature is the “watchlist,” which enables you to know what’s going on across the network through specific tags, for example “education” tags. The social annotation feature is the best way to collect and share online information from anywhere, and you can write about that information with the blogging feature!
The first characteristic I look for in any tool designed to enhance productivity is usability; will using this save me time and effort? Diigo passes the “usefulness test” with flying colors. Plus, it has all of the information that’s important to you and allows you to share it with others educators. Perhaps this is what the author of the blog I’m Not Actually a Geek meant when he said, “It has changed the scope of what it means to be social.”