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The Role of Delicious in Education

The Role of Delicious in Education

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Published by Gabriela Grosseck
I made some changes to the first version of the document.
Paper presented at 5th International Conference on INFORMATICS, EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY AND NEW MEDIA IN EDUCATION - Sombor, Serbia, March 29 - 30th 2008.
I made some changes to the first version of the document.
Paper presented at 5th International Conference on INFORMATICS, EDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY AND NEW MEDIA IN EDUCATION - Sombor, Serbia, March 29 - 30th 2008.

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Published by: Gabriela Grosseck on Apr 01, 2008
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10/28/2013

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 THE ROLE OF DEL.ICIO.US IN EDUCATION:CREATING SIGNIFICANT LEARNING EXPERIENCES
senior lecturer
Gabriela GROSSECK
, Ph.D.University of the West Timi
ş
oaraFaculty of Sociology and PsychologyDepartment of Social Informatics4 Bd. V. Parvan, office 029300223 Timisoara, Romaniatel: +40-256-592266, fax: +40-256-592320email:ggrosseck@socio.uvt.ro
 
 
Abstract
“Surfing the net, which is more and more complex, has become one of the main obstacles inefficiently using the network. This is mostly due to the disorganized nature of the Internet, incollections of sites and documents whose quick and exponential growth rate leads to difficultiesusers have to face in order to find their way out of the online informational maze. There are two possibilities of coping with this complexity: either the structure of the Internet is reorganized, or every user is offered the ability of systemizing an individual perspective of the network. Althoughthe first option would probably bring more benefits on a global level, the second is easier to achieveand has immediate advantages for the individual user or for a group of users.”
These lines can be found in a paper from September 1994, published by Michigan State University
1
. Almost a decade passed until the dream of the American University teachers materialized in theemergence
2
of a revolutionary way to organize the informational content available online, accordingto individual needs and interests, offered by social bookmarking applications. This paper exploresthe use of social bookmarking with del.icio.us as an instructional tool in an online classes, withstudents from the University of the West, Faculty of Sociology and Psychology. A first structureand a first frame for using del.icios will be presented, including questions for further research.
Key words
: del.icio.us, social bookmarking, teaching and learning
 
 Before starting to structure the observations regarding the educational opportunities of the most popular social bookmarking application, we have to make a few remarks.
 
Firstly, “bookmark” literally means “something you put between the pages of a book so that you can find that  page again quickly”. As far as del.icio.us is concerned, “bookmark” means favourite (preferred/of interest)link (site/resource). Because it’s a lot easier to identify it in its original form I shall use it as such.
 
Secondly, from a technical point of view, all references made in the article hold true for the FireFox v2.0browser and its extensions (of course there are alternatives, like IE or Opera for example, but I prefer  Mozilla’s browser because it is “faster, more reliable, and totally customizable to your online life”
3
).
 
 And thirdly, because the space allotted to the article is limited, I have chosen to include a minimum number of  figures / screen captures.
 
 INTRODUCTION
It is generally believed that a
bookmark
is a copy of the URL of the computer on which wework (in the folder Bookmarks/Favorites of the browser), and that it designates a virtual placewhere resources of any type (web pages, media files, or any other online entity) can be lateraccessed/downloaded.
Social bookmarking
is an online means of storing, classifying, localizingand sharing these Internet resources, according to individual needs and interests
4
. However,
del.icio.us
has become very popular (especially with non-technical users) because it represents asimple way of identifying, organizing, classifying and sharing sites. In addition, it is free and can beaccessed anywhere in the world where there is an Internet connection based on an account whichrequires only basic information to be created (user name, password, and email).
Del.icio.us
(http://del.icio.us
 
) is a free Internet social bookmarking service, a specialsoftware for identifying, organizing, storing, finding, classifying and, at the same time, sharingfavourite web resources, not only among browsers and work places, but also among people. The siteappeared at the end of 2003 and now belongs to Yahoo (but any Internet user can still resort to thesystem).In 2001,Joshua Schachter, the wall Street analyst (considered the youngest innovator of theyear 2006 by theTechnology Review magazine
 
) realized he had a big problem with his onlineresource collection, initiated at the beginning of 1990 and called MemePool, because it comprised20.000 items. So, he designed a small MuxWay application which allowed him to classify links byattributing short one-word descriptions to resources. Soon after, a thousand users had alreadyvisited his site, which determined Schachter to consider developing the application in the bestinterests of Internet users. Thus, in December 2003, MuxWay was replaced by del.icio.us, one of the few services which managed to metamorphose the information on the Web: from a merecollector of links, del.icio.us turned into a resource organizer.The name of the application was chosen to underline the need for using a simple andefficient instrument to organize web pages, but also its American identity (the last two letters .
us
 stand for the first rank Internet field, just like we have .
ro
).Since Yahoo bought it in 2005 (for approximately 30 million dollars, according to rumoursin the press at the time), the number of users has rapidly increased. For example, only betweenJanuary and July 2006 (according to HitWise), the traffic increased by 122% (but it had a slightdecrease in the following period
5
).Without any publicity the site reached, in March 2007, aprox. two million users (accordingto statistics on the compete.com – see figure 1
6
). Thus, only three years after it appeared in thevirtual space, del.icio.us managed to convince users of the advantages of being included in such acommunity. Data from June 2007
7
show that del.icio.us occupies the fourth position in the top 25most visited social bookmarking sites.
Figure 1 del.icio.us traffic
(timeframe: 01/2007 to 01/2008)source:http://tinyurl.com/2ubgnl 

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