Bagging the web – Digital literacy and young learners
For this activity I chose to create a kind of online bibliography, a collection of resources about digital technology and young people to share with other practitioners. Social bookmarking tools seemed to be most suitable platform as they can more easily aggregate a virtual collection of links to information on the web. According to eBizMBA ranking popularity of the top 15 social bookmarking sites (eBizMBA, © 2013), Pinterest and Twitter are the two most popular followed by reddit, StumbleUpon, del.icio.us, tweetmeme and digg. I had already used the first two and del.icio.us extensively and experimented with the others to see if they would work. I also considered Pearltrees (Pearltrees, ©2013) which wasn’t listed in the top 15 but has many of the characteristics I needed combined with a more visual layout. I rejected the idea of using a blog for this as it was to be more about other sites than my own writing.
Why I chose BagTheWeb
The application needed to run easily on both computers and mobile devices and use a simple process to add items, such as an extension or bookmarklet on the browser toolbar. All of the applications I considered have this facility.
StumbleUpon is like a combination between Pinterest (a visual pinning tool) and a more feed aggregator style of bookmarking like reddit or digg. Both reddit and digg are very good at sharing web based items. Reddit is more about the meme or conversation related to the items as is Twitter. Pearltrees with its greater control and visual layout came closest.
Ultimately, I chose to use BagTheWeb (© 2013 ).
What I liked about BagTheWeb
- Ability to change and re-order items (no ordination in Pearltrees)
- The quality of suggested sites to add – these enabled me to add some good quality resources I would not have found otherwise.
- Ready visibility of comments (Pearltrees allows comments but you have to click on the item to see it)
- Being able to post a your own documents (this meant I was able to add a reference list of non-web resources)
My main gripe was not having automated tagging. You can add your own using hashtags but not as easily as in del.icio.us. One Pearltrees feature that may have been nice in this case would be the ready ability to form teams.
Compiling my bag
In selecting my items I recognised key themes in the research; digital natives and digital literacy, impacts of digital technology on teens and the learning environment and tried to include good resources to present ideas from these areas. I used Google Scholar, ISI Web of Knowledge and Scopus to identify seminal, heavily cited items and also to identify newer articles that were of good quality and I used Ulrich’s directory to identify peer-reviewed journals.
In researching this I learnt about a lot of social bookmarking sites and how they differ from each other. I also learned about digital literacy and information literacy and they way they bleed into each other in terms of definitions in the research (Muller, 2009). The digital divide still exists even in the case of our digital natives and choosing appropriate technology and activities is a big part of addressing this (Spatariu, 2012).
I also reflected a lot on the idea of curation and wondered in some ways if this was obsolete? With new information constantly being generated and the improving capability of search engines, searches on Google Scholar, and other engines will bring up new ideas and research all the time. The ability to share good information winnowed down from the regular sea of information and opinion out there is a good thing otherwise the social bookmark sites and apps would not have been as popular as they are. I have been collecting using del.icio.us and Pearltrees for a while, but find I don’t often going back to the collections I have made. I seem to search all the time for new resources, and I am not really sure why I do this. Naturally currency is important but it isn’t everything. I suppose there is always the possibility that new research which is even more applicable to your question/need can be found and in the case of evolving technology this is perhaps even more so. As each new wave of technology hits we find that children and young adults are responding in new and different ways. The current generation of teenagers for example treats photos as ephemeral items, rather than precious things to keep (The List, 2013). It may come down to the individual’s ability to decide what is worth knowing, and whether the information is worth saving.
My bag is available at http://www.bagtheweb.com/b/6sKRwE
BagTheWeb. (© 2013 ). bagtheweb.com Retrieved May 20, 2013, from http://www.bagtheweb.com/
AVOS. (© 2013 ). Del.icio.us (or Delicious) from https://delicious.com/
eBizMBA. (© 2013). Top 15 Most Popular Social Bookmarking Websites | June 2013. eBizMBA Retrieved May 20, 2013, from http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-bookmarking-websites
Müller, J., Sancho, J. M., & Hernández, F. (2009). New media literacy and the digital divide. In L. Hin & R. Subramaniam (Eds.), Handbook of research on new media literacy at the K-12 level: Issues and challenges (Vol. 1, pp. 72-88).
Pearltrees. (©2013). from http://www.pearltrees.com/
Pinterest. (©2013). from http://pinterest.com/
Reddit. (©2013). from http://www.reddit.com/
Spatariu, A., Peach, A., & Bell, S. (2012). Enculturation of Young Children and Technology Technology and Young Children: Bridging the Communication-Generation Gap (pp. 24-48): IGI Global.
StumbleUpon. (©2013). http://www.stumbleupon.com/
The List. Food is the new rock, Angelina’s breasts and male makeovers. (2013), The List. [Radio Broadcast] ABC Radio National. Broadcast on May 17th 2013.
Twitter. (©2013). https://twitter.com/
Whiteside, K. (2013). Digital literacy and young learners, from http://www.bagtheweb.com/b/6sKRwE