Using Diigo for Student Collaboration

ImageDiigo is an easy to use, free tool that many teachers have been using for years to curate and annotate online documents. I see Diigo as something more, though. This tool can be used on a whole new level when we introduce it to students as a platform for collaboration. Read below to see a few of my ideas for using Diigo as a collaboration tool in a variety of content areas.

  • Ask students to curate articles in a group library to support an assigned claim. As a group, students can highlight and annotate the evidence which supports the claim, eventually identifying the strongest, and most reliable pieces of evidence within their curated library.
  • Assign partners to a shared library in which they locate, annotate, and present opposing articles and evidence to one another in a digital form of debate.
  • Ask students to curate non-fiction articles in a group library that align with themes in a novel they are reading. As a group, students can annotate and comment on specific points from the article that support or negate the themes of the novel.
  • Ask students to collect poetry in a whole class library that centers around one theme. Then have students chose their three favorites for deeper analysis.
  • Instead of having students spend time locating individual sources during a research project, require each student to add one unique source to the classroom library.  Spend class time analyzing those sources for reliability and authenticity, and using the best ones to write a paper or create a video.
  • Ask students, in pairs, to curate the top 20 images which define a time period. Students can justify their selections by placing sticky note comments around the images.
  • Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources by having pairs of students curate a library of each. Groups can then swap libraries for annotation and analysis.
  • Allow students to curate ‘how to’ articles in a group or class library to help one another with genius hour/passion projects.

Many students will enjoy the ability to organize their digital content and note taking with the help of Diigo. Showing them ways to collaborate within the tool is a way to add a layer of learning to their experience. I would love to hear some of your ideas for collaborating through Diigo as well!

Update: 4/8/2014 – Today I created a PDF of tips for students who are working in shared libraries. If it will help your students, go ahead and use it too!

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