George Lucas Educational Foundation
Teacher Leadership

Marking Up the Web: Diigo’s Social-Annotation Tool

    A few months back, a high school history teacher introduced me to a great Web-collaboration tool called Diigo (Digest of Internet Information, Groups, and Other Stuff). By creating a Diigo account, you can visit Web sites and mark them up by tagging sticky notes on the page with a simple drag-and-drop procedure. Imagine being able to place a tag on an image, a specific line of a poem, or a statistic on a page of data.

    From your Diigo account page, you can also create groups that allow others to see the tags you place on Web pages. Visitors can even add comments to your sticky notes.

    Get the best of Edutopia in your inbox each week.

    Diigo definitely has a place in education. Envision a group of students working on a Web-based research project: Not only can they cite the pages they've used, they can also have conversations about resources on the very pages they are discussing. And to take it a step further, the students' teacher can join the group, view how the students are using the Web resources, and comment on their note-taking -- right on the sticky notes. As the site states, "Diigo is about Social Annotation."

    Come on! It's digital, so you can't break it, and, yes, they want you to play! A Sandbox feature lets you test the program by first installing the Diigo toolbar. I'm using it on Firefox on a MacBook running OSX 10.4.9. It is available for other machines and browsers; to view the Help menu, which is quite complete, visit the site's Help page.

    Let me know what you think of the program. And if you start using Diigo innovatively with students, how about inviting me to join your group? I'd like to see what you're up to.