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Tagging in Action at ITValley10: Reflections after today???s Elluminate session

February 4, 2010

I could only join today???s live session at Elluminate for the last half hour. Little as I heard (I haven’t listened to the recording yet), it has prompted me to reflect on why, how, where – and perhaps, also for whom – I tag. Also, on how and why I could use this with my students.

I started tagging as a way to keep track of all the interesting information, pages, blogs, tools, etc that I encountered as I started my online journey. My very first experience with tagging goes back to my acquaintance with Delicious. As many others have said, those early tags were perhaps not very appropriate but, thanks to Rita Zeinstejer???s advice, I learned early on that, as far as tagging is concerned, ???the more the merrier???, meaning that when you use a wide variety of tags, it???s much easier to find what you need later on. As I became more familiar with Delicious, I learned that it offers the possibility of creating groups. This is a great feature to work collaboratively with colleagues or simply to see what the people in your network, those whose judgement you trust, consider worth bookmarking. More recently, I joined Diigo, which, I must confess, I do not use as frequently as Delicious. However, I find it particularly useful in that, apart from all the features it shares with Delicious, it sends you updates of what the people in your network are bookmarking. I???m not sure Delicious offers this feature (I have to revise the settings, I guess)

Presently, I???m fascinated with a couple of applications, Twibes and TweetDeck, which have given me a new perspective on the power of tagging. Twibes has helped me sort out in groups the myriad of tweets that pop up on my Twitter homepage. Among other interesting features, it includes RSS for the tweets and for the members, as well as groups and people search. TweetDeck allows you to manage your Twitter lists, sort your information into columns and also search for lists. All of these of course require tagging. Another of my recent finds, is how to tag pictures in Flickr, though I???m not so sure I???ve mastered it yet – I tagged a picture in Flickr but I still can???t see it on Spezify (search engine that displays the results in the form of images and newspaper headlines) or Taggalaxy (which does the same with pictures)

So, how and why could I use tagging with my students? Basically, in the same way and for the same reasons I am using it: to search, bookmark, organize and get back to content, to network and connect, to work collaboratively. As Vance pointed out in the Elluminate session, it can be used to direct students to specific content. With the information overload on the web, it is necessary, especially when working with young learners, to provide some kind of guidance and selection. Apart from looking for content utilizing certain tags, students can tag any content they create and work collaboratively in this way. This could be accompanied with the creation of a backchannel for communication on Twibes.

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6 Comments
  1. Yvonne Caples permalink

    Thanks for your thoughtful reflection on tagging. I am still trying to figure out what my process should be for tagging and how to teach tagging to students. I guess the more I do it, the more I will understand the power of tagging and refining my tags so the content found can be leveraged to the maximum. Your post clarified the value of tagging and helping students to learn how to tag effectively.

  2. Maria Rosario Di M??naco permalink

    My apologies to Vance: I discovered later that I couldn’t use the mike because there was something loose (have a new kitten at home and cables are her favourite toy) Which teaches me that I should always check the equipment before joining a live event. One never stops learning 🙂

  3. Kaija Tuomainen permalink

    I have similar problems with tagging in Flickr, no success with spezify or taggalazy :)<br>I will try introducing delicious to my Business IT students, who to my surprise either do not know about it at all or simple have heard about it. In order to use any tool it will have to be meaningful and relevant to their learning or managing learning. With delicious the benefits are pretty obvious, so I do not expect too much resistance.

  4. Nina Liakos permalink

    Must get started with Diigo!

  5. Maria Rosario Di M??naco permalink

    Thanks Yvonne, Kaija and Nina for your comments. Since I posted the above, I’ve been using Diigo a lot for this session. I’ve joined the multiliteracies diigo group and am enjoying all the sharing that’s taking place there. I’m still faithful to Delicious though, since from Diigo you can bookmark to Delicious (nice!)

  6. Nina Liakos permalink

    Hi Mary, your thoughts on tagging, Twibes, and TweetDeck mirror my own. I have not yet tried to get students to use Delicious. I would like to start using Diigo but couldn’t for some technical reason which I have already forgotten, having to do with my desktop (now mostly my daughter’s, since I have bought a laptop)–could it have been Vista? In which case there is no further excuse: the laptop has Windows 7.

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