Diigo: An Online Tool to “Annotate and Capture the Web”

Online research is a primary form of information gathering for most students and teachers.  Diigo is a way to make this type of research more interactive, organized, and effective.  In other words, as Diigo states, it is a means to “annotate and capture the web.”

How to Diigo

In order to use the program, register on the site and then download the application in order to get the “Diigo” icon on the top of the browser window.  This works best in Google Chrome instead of Firefox.  Once this icon is present, all one has to do is highlight any text or multimedia element on a webpage and a pop up screen will appear and provide these options:

  • Pen icon- Highlight articles (can be color coded)
  • Paper icon- Comment on articles (can also be color coded)
  • Magnifying Glass Icon- Search for additional information using the highlighted term, phrase or sentence

Once the first highlight is made on an article, then the Diigo toolbar appears in the top right of the browser window:

Diigo Menu

A pop up menu will appear with each new highlight, but the red flag icon is only available in the continuous menu at the top right.  This is the icon used to archive articles when they have been read, noted, and are ready to be saved in a Diigo account for later use.  As articles are archived by the user, the title of the article and all highlighted sections and reader comments will be shown in the account without viewing the article itself.

When saving, tags can be added articles to make them searchable.  In addition, “lists” can be created where articles will be placed for organizational purposes.  These labels will be helpful when in the Diigo account (available via logging in to the Diigo website) because the popular and recent tags are listed at the top of the screen, and an article can be tagged for multiple purposes.  The lists are shown to the right, and when a list is clicked on, all saved articles in that category appear (see below).

Diigo Account

There are also additional Diigo functions available from this icon next to the search bar (the blue d):

Diigo Icon

Click on this icon to see options to save a screen shot of a page in the Diigo account, share a page using various social media options, or save a page to read later.

Using Diigo with Students

In addition to teachers using the application for their own purposes, students can set up accounts to use Diigo for individual research.  In addition, there is a function to create groups.  Teachers can create groups of classes to share information, and students can also set up their own groups if they are working on a research project/question together.

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