Useful tools

1. Keep found things found

Bookmarking an interesting learning resource is an easy way to keep it readily accessible for use at some later point in time when you need it. It is particularly useful when, as often happens, you just stumble across a useful resource. Bookmarking it in your Favourites folder allows you to access it again easily as many times as you want.

2. Access them easily again

Adding your own keywords, also called tags, to your bookmarks helps you to keep them organised, and quickly reminds you about their content. You can, for example, add keywords that remind you of the topic area, of how you want to use the resource, with what age-range of students etc. These keywords are yours; you decide what they are, in what language(s) and how many! Apart from keywords, you can also add notes. These notes might, for example, say how you plan to use your material and how you have already used it. These comments become even more useful when shared with other teachers. These might give you a good idea on how a learning resource can be used!

3. Share them with others

Your Favourites folder with all your bookmarks can be shared with other LRE users and this is a great way to highlight good resources that you found. You can also share your Favourites by using keywords. In this way, for example, your students can find a pre-selected collection of resources that you have prepared for them in advance.

LRE Tag cloud

A tag cloud from the LRE - the most browsed resource is shown by size of font.

4. Social Tagging

Descriptions of resources (metadata) created by an indexer may not always reflect all the possible ways a resource can be used by experienced teachers. For example, an indexer might decide to add metadata which indicates that something is essentially a “drill and practice” type of resource whereas, in practice, teachers might actually be able to use that resource in many different pedagogical contexts – even for collaborative learning. The LRE provides social tagging tools for teachers to add their own metadata to resources they have used and to share these tags with others.  As a result of this collaborative work, all users are better able to find content based on familiar terms. The Flickr photo-sharing portal is one of the best-known examples of a web site that uses social tagging.

To learn more about this subject a report produced by the MELT project.  The report provides an introduction to social, collaborative tagging practices; explains frequently used terms such as tags, tag cloud and folksonomies; considers some of the advantages and disadvantages of social bookmarking and tagging and offers concrete examples; discusses emerging trends in the field. The report also contains an exhaustive reference list for further reading and a glossary of terms. You can download it in a pdf version here.