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Common Sense Media | Erin Brereton

Common Sense Media Says

Online Bookmarking Gets Collaborative -- Just Watch Privacy.


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What Parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids have to register to use this social bookmarking, search-based site. Although you submit a username, you'll be identified on the site by the first and last name that you're asked to provide during registration. Diigo encourages users to interact, but parents and kids can take some steps to help safeguard accounts. You can alter privacy settings to remove a profile from user searches, block your list of personal bookmarks from being matched to other users' information, and prevent external search engines from accessing your Diigo profile. You can also change account settings to block all users from following your activity and only allow approved friends to send messages. Because kids can search user-tagged bookmarks, they can access links to explicit sites that include porn and other adult content.

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What's the story?

DIIGO -- which stands for Digest of Internet Information, Groups, and Other Stuff, pronounced dee-go -- lets users bookmark items, add notes to them, highlight part of the text, and ultimately store the marked-up pages and share them with other users. A browser bookmark bar button makes adding content easy. Users can also mark items to be read later. A version for educators lets teachers set up classroom accounts to share pages with students; privacy settings prevent anyone but teachers and classmates from communicating through the forum.

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Diigo is a great way to collect, comment on, and share web content. After creating an account, users can bookmark pages and add thoughts via sticky notes; they can also showcase particular passages using a virtual highlighter. The pages can then be stored in your personal Diigo library and shared with other users. You can also check out content users have bookmarked in searches or view a list of popular, recently bookmarked topics. Diigo encourages users to connect in several ways: You can search for other users by name, e-mail address, or a topic they've tagged their account with or mentioned; you can also instantly view the percentage of things you have in common, according to your profile content.The collaboration tools on Diigo provide a unique way to store information and discuss it with other users. However, while parents may (rightfully) have some concerns about kids coming into contact with total strangers on the site, changing your kid's profile privacy settings can prevent random users from contacting your child through the site.

Explore, discuss, enjoy

  • Families can talk about determining accuracy when conducting online research. How can you tell if a source is valid or if it isn't?
  • You can see pages other users have bookmarked on Diigo. How can you tell if the content is OK for kids? Should you look at pages people you don't know have bookmarked?
  • Ask your kid what other ways you both might research a topic without using the Internet. Do your kids know how to track down specific books and other materials in a library?