Teaching a lesson using diigo – part 2


The second lesson using diigo gave me an opportunity to consolidate what had worked well the first time I’d used it with a class and also to try and provide more of a framework to make sure students used the features on diigo to give them a challenging learning experience.

Students were to look at three different websites, each containing a different poem by W.H. Auden. On each site they would be required to highlight and explain a different piece of information from the poem. They would then be required to synthesise the three seperate explanations they had given about the poems into a conclusion on the overall message contained in Auden’s poetry, which they would post on the forum on our diigo group’s homepage.

Students had one lesson’s prior experience of using diigo and got on with the initial part of the lesson quickly. I had to remind them to select the ‘share with mr.w’s lit group’ option when writing their post it-notes, otherwise they would have stayed private on the students’ diigo accounts, but this was the only time I had to verbally remind students of something to do with the ‘using diigo’ area.

The quality of annotations

One thing that’s been fantastically exciting about watching my students interact with diigo is the ease at which they engage with writing about the poems I have asked them to look at. The class I teach is not particularly unusual and its certainly not particularly unusual (as other English teachers may well sympathise with), to ask people to have a discussion about a poem they’ve just read, only to be greeted by hesitant silence, until the teacher encourages and starts teasing things out. Why? I guess poetry can be an intensely personal thing, and I think sometimes our kids find it hard to open up about it.

Here are just a few examples of some of the feedback they left:


There is a good combination of analysis here, some from a personal response, others more based on reasoning

Even if I didn’t want to explore other aspects of diigo than just poetry, I’d be very happy with this, because I’m always looking for students to feel more comfortable in sharing their opinions and it seems clear to me that in these responses they have. 

Posting in the forum

The post I created on the forum which gave instructions for how students should complete the final part of the lesson.

The post I created on the forum which gave instructions for how students should complete the final part of the lesson.

 Students then assembled their various annotations and were required to look at them together. They would find me forum post that (hopefully) gave them clear instructions on what they needed to do to synthesise the informations together into a conclusion about Auden’s poetry. Having the forum linked to the main site worked well because students have a ‘base’ that they can keep coming back to (and easily get hold of the annotations they’ve got, without having to go back onto the website). If there’s anything I’d like to see in the future, its an extension of the group home pages, maybe even a wiki-type level of editing possible to the homepage itself – maybe the creation of different students pages, based on the research they’ve done?

Time was the only slight problem here – students did work at different rates, one finishing ten minutes early (but I was able to immediately review his post and suggest other areas of discussion) and a few only just finishing. I’d attribute some of this to getting used to the technology, but I will also monitor this more closely in future lessons and see if there is any kind of pattern to it.

 Key points to take forward:

  1. Would be nice to begin to use the posts that have been generated to encourage discussion  between students – currently they are sharing bookmarks, but not necessarily the feedback and thoughts they are giving on them.
  2. Will need to examine more closely how students are finding the timings I am giving on tasks.
  3. Annotations are encouraging the students to speak their mind more about the poetry – a fantastic plus.

3 thoughts on “Teaching a lesson using diigo – part 2

  1. diigo is one tool that I am registered for, am a member of quite a few groups, but I have not used personally. So I will keep this post tagged as it is time that I do use it. I find delicious so quick and easy but can see that diigo offers different elements. My delicious tags go into diigo.
    I like the way you have used it with students.

  2. Pingback: Diigo 在華語教學上的妙用 « Jung Ying Lu-Chen

  3. Pingback: Diigo 在華語教學上的妙用 | 中文园地

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