The Learning Librarian

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Del.icio.us

on March 21, 2013

This week, I decided to look into Del.icio.us, a social bookmarking site I have heard a lot about lately. I was excited to finally be “in the know” about Delicious and to truly understand what a social bookmarking site is used for. My initial reaction was that the site looked a lot like Facebook. Since Facebook has been so successful, it is definitely a good site to use as a model. I created an account on the site which you can view by visiting https://delicious.com/arcoops.

As I just mentioned, the page looked a lot like Facebook. At first I thought this was a little unoriginal, but then I remembered that I use Facebook quite a bit, and that Facebook is familiar to me. The familiarity made me feel more confident about using Delicious, even though I had no idea what it was. I easily found some links to add to my page – dozens of results come up through simply typing a word or phrase in the search box. The website seems very easy to use, and fairly uncomplicated and straightforward. That being said, after exploring for awhile and enjoying what the page had to offer, I couldn’t help but wonder why do I need this? Like I wrote in my post on Google Reader a few weeks ago, (the same Google Reader that is now no longer going to exist, I believe) I believe that time is precious, especially to teachers and librarians. With so much to plan, read and do, it is crucial that the websites we use for organization and professional development allow us to be as efficient and productive as possible. I like this page – the resources are great, it’s nice how you can tag things and leave comments – but I simply feel that it is not necessary. As far as social sharing/networking goes, I have both Twitter and Facebook, and that helps me keep track of what my friends are reading/thinking and lets me share my thoughts with them. Usually when I encounter a great article or link, I post it on Facebook to share. Similarly, I feel that when I come across important links that I would like to refer back to, I simply add them to my bookmarks bar – I do not need a whole website just to list my important links. The website is well put-together and nice, but I do not feel that it offers me anything new, different or better than what I already have access to. While I am eager to learn about and incorporate new technology into my life and career, I don’t want to incorporate it solely for the sake of incorporating it. I want technology that will enhance my organization, learning and teaching in unique, creative ways.

That being said, I do not think I would be overly eager to share this website with students. While it might work for an activity where older students share an article or a link they have read and find interesting, they could just as easily do a similar activity using a Wiki, blog or class Twitter account. I am extremely interested in sharing new, innovative technology with students, but I would prefer that they become extremely proficient with a few forms of technology rather than being just okay with dozens of technology tools. Just as the Common Core is shifting to a curriculum that spans deeper instead of wider, it is more important to me that students know how to use technology well as opposed to only knowing the basics about every single tool. Part of learning information literacy is learning when it is okay to decide not to use a source. By looking at what already exists and pinpointing exactly what kind of information they would like to find – and how they would like to organize it – students will be able to differentiate tools that are necessary from tools that are not. Being able to examine websites with a critical eye will promote higher order thinking skills and information literacy.

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