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Research Skills with Diigo

Posted by sducharm on November 6, 2015

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I’m a Diigo evangelist: I absolutely love this tool for saving bookmarks and so much more.

For our middle and high school students, it’s also a powerful research tool.

 

Here’s how Diigo aligns with several key research skills:

 

Skim and scan for information and discernĀ which text is most relevant to the information need

 

In Diigo: Highlight the text you wish to clip and it goes into your Diigo library automatically. You can even color-code the clippings of text (up to four colors). Since all highlights get clipped, students are careful to choose just the most relevant information, lest their library get filled up with too much information.

 

Summarize, Paraphrase, Analyze information

 

In Diigo: Use digital sticky notes to track your thinking. Write questions about the text. Practice summarizing and paraphrasing. Show understanding of the difference between these two skills (use one color for summary information and another color for paraphrases?) Show your analysis of the information: what are the deeper connections you can make? The possibilities for annotating are endless!

 

Evaluate Sources

 

In Diigo: Add description to each link to help yourself remember what was best about the site. Evaluate the source in a few sentences. The list of sources can be shared with teachers or fellow students easily.

 

Organize Information

 

In Diigo: Create tags for saved links. Use tags from broad to narrow to create a network of information for yourself. For example, the grade level, the course, the topic, sub-topics, the format…. Tagging requires students to think about informational hierarchies and how they might categorize information for later use.

 

Cite sources

 

In Diigo: All links you highlight or annotate are automatically stored in your library. You can easily see the clipped text and your notes. This makes it easier to see which sources you used for various pieces of information.

 

Check out some Screenshots!

Here we see a webpage with highlighted text and an annotation. The highlighted texts gets clipped and stored in the Diigo library. The annotation is saved underneath the clipped text.

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Here we see the same webpage as it appears in the Diigo library. The link in blue, the description of the site, the tags, clipped text, and annotation are all saved.

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Grade 9 and 10 Humanities classes are using Diigo!

Students are learning to create tightly focused research questions and find resources that will answer them. Thanks to Diigo, a student shares his or her list of resources with the teacher, who can easily see the quality of the site, the text the student thought was relevant, the student’s thinking about that text, and which question that site answers.
Bam!

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Diigo integrates seamlessly with Google Chrome as an extension. Search for “Diigo Web Collector” and install it onto the Chrome toolbar.

 

To get started with Diigo, log in with your Google account, create a username and password (the same as your other school accounts) and install the extension. Note: The username can’t start with a number.