The educational benefits and classroom applications are numerous for social bookmarking. The Web2tutorial at
http://web2tutorial.wikispaces.com/social_bookmarks?responseT listed a number of possibilities;
- teachers could network with other educators around the globe who share their interests.
- as TLs we could create social bookmark accounts for our school's academic departments. Teachers within the department could all contribute to the growing database of web resources.
- school staff could contact other people for professional networking, based on their social bookmarks.
- classrooms could collaborate on projects with other schools, sharing bookmarks
- the TL or classroom teacher could choose specific sites and bookmark them. Their students could go directly to a bookmark that supports a concept or research project instead of the student 'Googling' and trying to wade through all the irrelevant information.
Will Richardson in Taming the Beast(2007) discussed having collaborative groups, classrooms or districts decide on a unique tag that everyone can use when they bookmark something of interest. He gave the fascinating example of a AP(Advanced Placement) calculus class in Winnipeg who when students found an interesting and useful site about calculus, they would bookmark it at del.icio.us with the tag 'apcalc06'. He goes on to say that not only are they collecting sites for themselves, they are collaboratively building a classroom resource.
I am quite interested and curious to know more about social bookmarking for books. Richardson briefly discusses this idea using Library Thing or Shelfari bookmarks. You first start a free account that allows you to create an online catalog of all of the books in your school library, and then add notes, descriptions and tags that describe what they are about. You then get connected to everyone else who has tagged that book and you would be able to view their comments, see the other books in their library and get ideas for what to read next. I think it has possibilities... has anyone heard of this before or done this?
Through collaboration and sharing teachers and students do benefit from utilizing social bookmarking tools.