Ed Tech #8: Diigo

What is it?

Diigo is a tool I’ve used often in my coursework for my UAF M.Ed. It’s a great way for students and instructors to organize websites, PDFs, etc. for future reference. It also makes it easy to share these resources with others. It has a few plans ranging in price, but I think the free Diigo account offers enough features to be worth your while. Diigo also supports teachers by offering free account upgrades/features if you apply for a teacher account. In the teacher account, the teacher can create and manage student accounts. A student account provides additional privacy for the user.

How does it work?

You create an account with your email address and password. This is what the “dashboard” for my account looks like:

Screenshot of Diigo dashboard

 

You’ll notice I have ads because I have a free account. Clicking the red button on the top right hand side of the screen (which I did before I took the screenshot) expands and shows you the types of items you can add to your Diigo library. Whenever you add a webpage bookmark, image, PDF, or note, you can “tag” it with a particular category or topic. So, for instance, I have tagged the articles and resources I found with the course name so that I can easily sort/view them (I’ve circled my “tagged” list on the left-hand side of the screenshot).

You can also use Diigo to annotate with notes or highlights, either within your Diigo account or with a browser extension, and Diigo saves your annotations for later use.

Sharing your resources is easy within Diigo. Here’s my Diigo library link:

https://www.diigo.com/user/vmw1925 

With that link, if you have a Diigo account, you can view my publicly shared articles and annotations. (Using the tags to sort and find the articles that are relevant to your interests, of course). If you want to share a specific article (including your annotations, if you’ve added some), you can click on the “share” button and Diigo will generate a specific link to that article.

Strengths, Applications, and Limitations

This is a very handy tool when conducting research. It encourages students to archive and organize their sources, which encourages proper citation habits and discourages plagiarism. The collaborative potential of Diigo is also particularly useful because it makes it easy for students to quickly and easily share articles with their classmates. Aside from being used by the student, I think anyone should consider using Diigo since it is an efficient way to build your own personal “library.” With Diigo, you can keep your favorite professional, academic, or even personal resources at your fingertips, ready to be sorted, retrieved, and shared whenever needed.

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5 Comments

  1. I love any and all organizational tools! It is great that Diigo will electronically store research materials together, I remember having to print all my articles and websites that I used to write papers when I was in high school. I am part of the committee at my school researching the possibility of becoming a 1:1 technology school, I might actually suggest this for our committee 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thank you for this – I have been looking for a way to keep a selection of scholarly articles online someplace that I can transport between computers. I normally email myself attachments in the summer when I take my laptop to work while at school I prefer the larger desktop version. I am changing jobs this summer and will probably use this to transfer everything. It sounds better than Dropbox. What do you think? Have you used Dropbox? Are they very similar?

    1. Hi Tracy, I have used Dropbox, and I think they both work for what you’re describing, but have somewhat different strengths. If you’d primarily like to store files (like PDFs, PowerPoint files, etc.), and you’d like to be able to organize them into files and subfiles (as you would on your computer), then I’d recommend Dropbox. Diigo is better for storing/keeping track of websites (although you can also add PDFs and other files), and is good if you want to be able to easily annotate and make notes that are associated with your stored websites/files. You wouldn’t be able to organize them outside from “tagging”, though, so Dropbox offers more in terms of organization. Hope that helps!!

  3. This is a great tool for those of us who are less than well organized. When I was in school I remember doing research for a project and just printing off any and all websites I found related to my topic. Diigo seems like a great way to limit what resources are actually used and make it easier to find them later.

  4. Oh man, I wish I had heard about this before I did a research paper with my 6th graders! That’s something I still struggle to have them do, organize their research and KEEP it long enough to write a works cited page. I’m definitely bookmarking this! Thanks!

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