There are two main ways that I can see social bookmarking benefiting me as a professional development tool. The first way is by organizing all of my websites into organized categories or folders. The second way that social bookmarking can benefit me is by allowing me to communicate with other teachers, to get new ideas (and share my own with them) to try within my own classroom.
While I am normally and very structured and organized person, I have to admit that until I discovered social bookmarking, my favorite websites used to be saved in a single gigantic list that had absolutely no order or structure to it. Using a site like Diigo to organize my bookmarks allows me to categorize my favorite websites into folders so I know where to find a particular resource. This summer, I plan to organize these sites into a couple different categories, some of which include: my personal websites, technology education websites, the three levels of chemistry that I teach (CP Chem, Physical Science, 12th grade Chem), curriculum information (Learning Focused Schools, Student Learning Objectives), etc. I also really like social bookmarking because I can use “tags” and the “highlight feature” to help me find what I am looking for. This will save lots of time to help me remember why I bookmarked a particular page in the first place.
Another way that I plan to use social bookmarking is to communicate with other teachers regarding new ideas to try in my own classroom. I have recently been asked to consider converting my 12th grade (second-year) chemistry class into AP Chemistry. I think this is a good idea, but I need some online resources to get me started, because I am the only chemistry teacher within my school district, and the neighboring districts are about 30 minutes away and neither one of them currently teach AP Chemistry. I have already started my plan using Diigo, which is to sign up to join other AP Chemistry groups. I have created and AP Chemistry folder, and as I have started to make acquaintances and find helpful resources, I am “tagging” and “highlighting” them before I bookmark them. I’ve already (in just two days) found about 20 useful resources as a result of joining other AP Chemistry groups! In the future, I hope to continue to build more resources for my AP Chemistry course, and the other courses I teach (and my own personal interests and hobbies!).