According to Wikepedia, Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata. Uses of social bookmarking are highlighted in 7 things you should know about social bookmarking by educause which indicates that social bookmarking is important because "Activities like social bookmarking give users the opportunity to express differing perspectives on information and resources through informal organizational structures. This process allows like-minded individuals to find one another and create new communities of users that continue to influence the ongoing evolution of folksonomies and common tags for resources. "
Online Learning and Teaching in an INformation-Rich Context identifies that "information is the principal ingredient of much learning." It is important that we are able to find, keep track and sort information. Programs like del.icio.us provide a template on which to do this.
I see the benefits of del.icio.us... sort of (can't remember how to spell it ever though- where to place the periods keeps throwing me off... have to bookmark it). I used to be a favourite saver. If I thought a site had any merit I would add it to my favourites so could easily access it Everything was neatly saved in a course/subject appropriate folder renamed so that I could quickly remember what was so great about the site. Now though, I have come to find that I can google a site quickly with a couple of key words and I don't have to save them. Addresses I use all the time have become like phone numbers and I just access them without thinking about it. Other addresses I like to use I know are posted on specific websites and I can just go to them if I can't remember.
I think i have gotten to this point for two main reasons. The first is work. At work, there has been a problem since an upgrade (about two years ago) and since then my favourites have been wiped out and if I save one as soon as I shut down my computer the favourites go with it. I know I could get the IT guy to fix it very easily but I always forget to ask because it didn't seem like a big deal and I got into the habit of saving addresses on my thumbdrive and accessing them from there. The second reason is that my husband is bit of a techy and has a tendency of resetting all the computers in the house on a regular basis. He generally forgets to save my favourites as part of the backing up process so I just stopped using them.
Del.icio.us is the main program that I have trying to use. At home and at work I need to have two internet windows open though to use it. I can't save the shortcut tools on either computer without running into an error. At work I don't have access to changing/adding to the toolbars and and at home... well, after my google toolbar fiasco I am working without the buttons. Looking at other peoples suggestions on the site I have quickly found a few sites I want to look at more and have been sidetracked a few times using these some of these sites features.
I can see using Del.icio.us to create an online catologue of useful sites and I think it is great that it has the ability to be open to others in the subject area as myself. The hardest part about teaching in an area that no one else teaches in a school is that you are constantly working on your own to create meaningful learning opportunities for students. Searchin online for useful information can be time consuming and because the subject is quite specific it can be fruitless. Working together to search the masses of stuff available online helps everyone and I think can actually bring enthusiasm back to teachers who are tired and possibly frustrated with trying to get through it all.
I like the idea of creating shared sites with students and have them share what they have found as well. I wish there was a feature that would allow certain sites to be shared with specific people and not others. For example, I might want students to see sites of interest to subject areas, and friends to see sites that I think are fun on a more social level.
the nice thing about this too is that rather than have to update website links on a shared blog, on a website and whatever else one is using to share. One could have a single link to a person's del.icio.us account and manage links from there. I don't know about anybody else but I am getting bogged down with trying to make sure everything everywhere is current.