I read a lot of blogs, magazines, books and articles about education and technology. I also attend professional meetings, workshops, conferences and more. As a result, I have been able to collect online resources that I find tremendously helpful in my work. I also find web resources that could be helpful for other educators.
I use two main tools to organize these links (both totally free): del.icio.us and ma.gnolia. Both of these fall under the category of social bookmarking. Basically, it means that instead of using “favorites” or “bookmarks” in my web browser, I post all links to all of my favorite websites into del.icio.us or ma.gnolia, and I share these with you.
del.icio.us: I use del.icio.us for every single site I want to remember/come back to in the future. There is a shortcut button on Firefox 1.5 that makes it very easy. When I am at a site that I want to remember, I just hit the del.icio.us button, and up pops a window that lets me enter a description of the website, along with tags (I will get to tags, but click the image to the right to see more).
In the example to the right, you can see that I tagged the website with “blog” “education” and “technology.” The beauty of tagging, is I can basically run queries when I am looking for old bookmarks. So, to see all my bookmarks, I might look at http://del.icio.us/agrover but if I only want to see the ones I tagged education, I could look at http://del.icio.us/agrover/education. The most powerful tool is the plus sign: http://del.icio.us/agrover/education+software+free. Starting to see the possibilities? While you can browse the linkroll, you can also just subscribe to the linkroll RSS feed, and let my prescreened, commented and tagged links come to you. del.icio.us is now owned by “Yahoo!”http://www.yahoo.com
ma.gnolia.com: ma.gnolia is another social bookmarking website, but it seems to be more keyed in to aestheics. The site is definitely prettier than del.icio.us, but has some additional features like groups. So, you can join the Educational Technology group I started there, and we can all share bookmarks with the group. The best feature of this site, is that the moment you bookmark something, ma.gnolia goes out and saves a copy of the site. So, if it disappears, goes down, or moves, you still have a copy of the page. This is great for article at places like the New York Times who make their article go away after 7 days (and then they charge for them). I bookmark any interesting articles from newspaper sites with ma.gnolia so I know that I will always have access to them. They of course also allow tagging, which makes organizing a breeze. ma.gnolia even lets you have tags with two words, like “educational technology.”
Both of these sites automatically create RSS feeds for you, either for all your bookmarks, for one of your tags, for combinations of your tags or for individual groups you are in. Amazingly powerful ways to share your links. I share my favorite links on my linkroll page, so enjoy, and please do the same.