When you are writing a method or tool review it should address/include the following:
Basic information: What does the method or tool "do" in other words, what skills, practices, and/or means of collaboration are supported by this method or tool?
When considering which tool to initially review, I was mixed between Twiddla and Diigo (pronounced DEE-go) and eventually decided to review Twiddla. When the possibility was presented again and Diigo was still available, I jumped at the opportunity.
Diigo is an absolutely ingenious program that may be used for students, educators, and members of industry that has been around for 10 years. It is a program that I have been trying to replicate by using outdated means of taking notes, word processor documents, and lots and lots of copy and paste. I formerly printed pages that I wanted to save as later references and put them into a filing system. I also used to copy and paste useful text and web addresses that were pertinent to the topics of previously created projects.
Diigo is called by many a social bookmarking tool and it allows a user to easily bookmark a reading, highlight important text, add an annotation of whatever he or she desires, and create social libraries.
A collaborative tool review would not be complete without discussing the collaborative benefits. So, let me tell you that Diigo allows facilitators to create groups of users. For instance, an educator can create a group (say of students) and invite all members of the group to view, share, and critique submitted information through essential discussion. While this is an extremely useful tool for educators, its use is not limited to teachers. It can be used for student-to-student collaboration or in industry among coworkers. If you are an educator or researcher, you can gather and curate your desired information. Or, if you are like me, and you want to gather and store your favorite quotes or literary creations, you can do so using Diigo.
Diigo allows a user to bookmark a webpage or document. Once the bookmark, or whatever function, is made from one device, you can easily go to another device, sign in, and continue working or review the work that was already performed. I can do some work on my home computer. Then, go to work and pick up right where I left off.
If you’re like me, you have your feet in many doors and have many interests. Diigo allows users to have many lists that can be organized in topics or classes. The Diigo home page is well organized into work pages and can be renamed to better suit a user’s organizational preferences.
Once downloaded, users are able to add Diigolet to their bookmarks. He or she is then able to go to a webpage or document of choice and click on the Diigolet bookmark and the Diigo menu bar will appear in the upper right region of the screen. Your computer is allowed to perform its normal functions, and when you want to utilize Diigo, you just click on the many potential Diigo icons that relates to the desired function. From here, you can bookmark a page, highlight text, add a sticky note, click ‘Read Later’ to add to the home page where it can be accessed at a later time, or share the page.
When you go to the Diigo home page, the highlighting, annotation, and other saved settings will still be there. You, and anyone else in your group, will have the ability to exclusively read the highlighted text if desired.
Usage: How is the method or tool being (or might it be) used in your current project management and design, your teaching, and/or your graduate coursework? What type of example activity might be developed for utilization by someone unfamiliar with the tool?
I would primarily use this program as a tool to assist in personal academic progression.
Prior to the introduction to this tool, I have been creating separated files and Word documents (or like files) on my computer for each class that consists of notes that I can access at any time. However, it cannot be accessed from anywhere and this is not the most efficient way of doing things.
Diigo allows me to free up much hard drive storage. Everyone loves fast things. Fast cars; fast roller coasters; but now we have the potential to enjoy faster computers.
While my expression for utilizing this tool with my academic works may not seem expansive, it actually will be used many, many times in the coming semester and when I continue my studies at the next level. I am considering progressing my education in the educational psychology and educational technology fields and much research will be performed as I am considering beginning my research on motivation.
Even after I obtain a terminal degree, I plan to continue my education. I am interested in taking classes such as foreign languages, literature, music, and science classes among many others. Why learn one class when you can learn more. This tool allows me to save the important aspects of what I learned from one class and share them with my wife. She, in return, is able to reciprocate the gift to me.
Design: What are the affordances and constraints of this particular method or tool in relation to current/future collaboration, team or group work, and project management?
There are many price options to choose from that range from annual costs of $0 to $59 or $10 per month. The free version allows for limited bookmarks, webpages, and PDF highlights, and includes mostly nonintrusive ads. The next step is called ‘Standard’ and is $40 per year. With this plan, you can enjoy unlimited bookmarks, highlights, image storage, webpage backup, and the pleasure of not having ads.
The next step is called ‘Professional’ and is $59 per year. You would have the privilege of the previous allowances, as well as have unlimited PDF storage and outliners.
The highest level is called ‘Business’ and is $10 per month per user and you can try it for free. This level includes all of the aforementioned, as well as unlimited team library storage for webpage, PDF, and images, collaborative web annotation and PDF annotation in team, and the admin console dashboard.
All of the pricing is fair and reasonable considering the potentially received benefits. They even have a ‘gift’ option if you struggle finding that perfect gift for someone and this option is suitable.
The old proverb has been used many times that states that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, imitation is also smart as long as one protects against plagiarism. Why do ALL of the hard, dirty groundwork when some of it can be borrowed and the effort can be concentrated toward progression. Just like how almost all research is built upon previous research, users can join groups and search for other users’ works regarding the same or current topic of interest, or anything else for that matter. A user can then bookmark that page for themselves and access it from their Diigo home page at any time to accept ‘as is’ or to build upon.
Some pros include pricing, not having to submit students’ email addresses for added security, it can be used on multiple platforms and even mobile devices, ease of use, and convenience.
There are only a couple cons that I can recollect. One is the aspect of somewhat confusing clutter on the home page. I prefer everything to be crisp and clear, but the home page seems to get cluttered with many different words with different fonts, and it seems like simple borders could help improve the appearance and organization of the page. Also, this tool is moderately easy to navigate and use, but there is not an ‘in site’ tutorial available. However, there are many tutorials available online of which one can cross reference. The following is the best tutorial that I could find on Diigo:
Relation: How is this method or tool similar/dissimilar to other methods or tools you have previously used? How is it similar/dissimilar to those methods or tools your peers in this course have already reviewed?
While I have not previously used a tool like Diigo, upon performing some light research, I found that similar functions can be performed with programs such as Raindrop.io, Reddit, Box, Delicious, Kifi, Pinboard, and Pearltrees, just to name a few.
Here are the links to some of Diigo’s aforementioned competitors:
Reflection: How does this method or tool relate to course themes and/or professional practices?