Submitted by Melissa Dvorsky
For my technology assignment, I explored the potential of using the “Diigo” site/app for organizing materials for a course. I found it quite helpful actually for organizing resources for all aspects of my professional life including organization of course materials (e.g., example syllabi, ideas for assignments, slides, handouts, videos), but also for clinical practice (e.g., measures, handouts for patients, training videos) and research (e.g., bookmarking articles, screenshots of particular tables etc). Overall, Diigo is a website that allows you to annotate, bookmark, and comment/tag various webpages and links you find online. I used the few version of Diigo just to begin my exploration, and it’s my understanding that the purchased version includes even more helpful features. I used what I believe is a newer/recent feature of Diigo, which was the “outliner” feature. The “outliner” tool can be used with the downloaded Diigo extension or “diigolet” to essentially add your links and organize your annotated articles/pages/videos etc. in an outline format. I appreciated this feature and in my outliner, I organized upcoming course material under various headings including assignment ideas, example syllabi, video links, slides, and course webpage ideas. You can drag and drop bullet points and use a search tool to locate them. Another aspect of the outliner I really liked was that if your bookmarks contain annotation, you could easily convert annotations to new bullet points. I practiced annotating within the page itself and also adding annotations to my outliner to remind myself what my various references were for.
Another interesting perk about Diigo is you can follow other people and build groups or friend lists that allow you to find webpages from people that you know, or those with similar interests that you want to share your links or resources with. I found a group for Teaching of Psychology and some great other higher education groups. I was hoping I would find some Diigo sites of fellow graduate students or faculty who had taught similar courses from which I could review their Diigo pages, but I had a hard time searching for those. I think if you’re just starting out with teaching and looking for resources generally, then professors personal webpages or course webpages are more resourceful for looking up various “key readings”, video links, slides, syllabi, etc. Diigo wasn’t specifically helpful for that, but rather was helpful for organizing and annotating other webpages I did find.
I primarily used Diigo thus far on my laptop and desktop computer devices, (downloaded as an app to the google chrome search browser), but I could also see it’s utility as an app on my ipad. I can foresee using Diigo to annotate empirical articles and archive them for writing projects. You can highlight or add in comments (I tried to use both), although the comments were less useful for me. Instead, I found that annotating my ideas and links in the “outliner” (e.g., adding sub-bullets about what a link may be useful for) was more helpful in this vein.
The biggest negative that I came across using Diigo was that it did not allow me to save OR edit/annotate any pdfs. So any pdf manuscripts/articles or pdf syllabus could not be annotated or saved into my outliner or my Diigo page. In order to have this feature, you have to pay the monthly fee for the standard or premium service and then it’s my understanding that you should be able to annotate pdf’s seamlessly as well. Even saving links to pdf’s was difficult (at least from my macbook, using google chrome browser), and it was irregular about links it would let me copy/paste into my outliner or save. Instead, I found it easier to save the pdf’s of these materials (e.g., slides, syllabi, handouts) to folders on my desktop for future use. I wish however these materials could all be located in one concise location tied to the outliner, so the cost may be worth it for that aspect.
Here is the link to my outliner page: https://www.diigo.com/outliner/q6rsn/Child-Psychopathology-Course-Prep?key=hcvfg982bq
Here is the link to my Diigo library: https://www.diigo.com/user/dvorskymr