So I’ve spent the better part of this evening getting myself subscribed to Flickr & Del.icio.us…trying to figure out how these tools are going to impact me – as a learner and as an educator.

The power of Del.ici.ous seems pretty straightforward in it’s primary purpose of housing bookmarks online…that in and of itself will make my life easier. But I can see how accessing networks of others bookmarks is also extremely powerful. I  went immediately to Dean’s and Alec’s accounts and added them to my network…and felt a bit odd about it at first. I feel as though I’m a bit of a creeper…which is really stupid considering the purpose of the tool, but I wasn’t really sure where else to start! I guess as I continue to engage with social bookmarking I’ll sort it out. So far I’ve added people that I personally know, or know of from colleagues…but I am curious – how do I build a network that will best meet my needs? I’m not sure it makes sense to just arbitrarily add people because I know them….? I used the search engine a couple of times, but didn’t come up with a whole lot…perhaps my keywords were not specific enough.

The one thing I do need to become more adept at is adding tags…I always forget!!

In terms of classroom application – again – I can see the power of students and teachers organizing and housing useful links and sites in one location. I can’t help but think of the higher order thinking skills that students need just to provide useful tags…let alone the opportunities inherent for collaboration when they can access and share resources. As with anything, though, using the tool needs to be meaningful…not just for the sake of using it. As Richard Schwier reminded us, we’ve seen many “panaceas” in schools over the years – everything from filmstrips to the internet. Simply having the technology or the tools doesn’t guarantee improved learning…

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