using delicious bookmarks at werk

I am constantly bookmarking sites on my browser, even though I have a delicious account. I suppose I may regret that should my computer decide to die. In the mean time, I’m ‘living on the edge’! (sorry, we’ve recently picked up RockBand and we’re all now singing lots of rock from the 70’s, the 80’s, the 90’s…)

Are you familiar with delicious.com? It’s a website that allows you to save all of your favorite websites by bookmarking them to your delicious account. It’s free, it’s easy to access, and equally easy to share…which got me thinking…how could I use this technology at work?

I work at a special education school. A few years back I wrote a grant request for some books and posters. It was awarded, which was exciting and a little nerve-wracking…I would have to show usage of these materials…and how I’d planned for their future usage. I began with an idea to help connect teachers to resources specific to our grant award.

Our teachers have requested subscriptions to online services such as enchantedlearning.com and edhelper.com, as well as others. I realized if I created a delicious account for the school I could ensure these grant items would be used year after year. I could scour these sites (as well as the web) for lesson plans, coloring pages, and all kinds of instructional materials that were specifically matched to the titles in this grant. My idea was to link teachers to a delicious account of relevant materials so they would be inclined to use these books in the classroom.

I began by listing the subscriptions we use. Our budget may change year to year but I’m sure these subscriptions will continue to be supported; they’re widely used and liked by all teachers, they’re user-friendly, and they’re not too expensive. Once I had my list ready I was set to start my search for materials.

I looked at our grant items, beginning with our books. We were awarded a “We the People” Bookshelf grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Our Bookshelf theme was “Picturing America”, the list of titles can be found here: http://www.neh.gov/wtp/bookshelf/picturingamerica.html. I began by searching for instructional items for these books.

Each search began with the title of the book, then author, then subject, then time period. At times the search yielded many results, sometimes none. I contracted and expanded my search as necessary to find materials. Once I began to get a good amount of resources I had to decide to how to organize them in a way that made sense to everyone–I started by naming each bookmark by subject but decided that was not concrete enough so I used the book title instead. Not every teacher I work with is comfortable with technology. I chose a rigid format for the account hoping there would be comfort in predictability. Each entry (link) is listed by title, by item (lesson plan, etc), and by source (website). Take a look: http://delicious.com/arata_creek

I was able to present this to teachers during a “professional learning community” meeting. I began by explaining what bookmarking was, what social bookmarking was, and how teachers and staff could use this technology in the classroom. I sent the link to the NEH as part of the follow up required of grant recipients. I hope it becomes part of a larger body of resources for grant recipients.

Delicious is a very handy tool. I looked at class sets of literature and wondered what instructional materials are online, awaiting discovery? I encouraged teachers to look at the subjects they teach and to begin grouping their favorite sites and links in one place by creating an account on delicious. Teachers could access their favorite resources from any computer, adding to their list as they found new materials. I am inspired to keep creating lists on delicious…and am wondering if there’s any limit to the amount of accounts I can create?

Thank you for reading!

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Published in: on July 23, 2010 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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