I came across the delicious bookmarking site a few years ago, probably through reading the Guardian’s Technology pull out on a Thursday. (Sadly this is now only available online). I signed up for an account, saved a few bookmarks into it and probably didn’t really see the point. In the last couple of months I’ve revisited it, having seen its use on various educational websites.
If you’ve not used delicious before I’ll try to summarise what it does. It is a website which collates bookmarks for you. You need to install the delicious bookmark widget into your browser, or install the bookmarklet into google chrome. Once that is done any site you wish to bookmark can be bookmarked by clicking on the tag button (or bookmarklet in chrome).
Once this is done a window appears and you are invited to add tags to your bookmark. Tags are keywords which relate to the website your bookmarking. They are more flexible than just putting a bookmark into a named folder as they not so restrictive. For example a website about algebra and problem solving for upper juniors could be tagged as ‘algebra’ ‘ks2’ ‘maths’ ‘upper’ ‘juniors’ and ‘problem_solving’. This means that by searching for any of those tags the site can be found. I find that on my browser based bookmarks that link either goes in an overburdened ‘maths’ folder or either algebra or word problems but not both.
A further advantage of using a browser based bookmarking system is that your bookmarks are easily accessible on any computer you use. Until about 4 years ago I only had a web connected computer at home, so I didn’t need to access my bookmarks in school on a different machine. With the advent of school laptops this changed and for a while I found myself e-mailing links to my g-mail account for me to ‘find’ at school. Now I just need to log into my delicious account and all my bookmarks are there.
The ability to share links between computers opens up the possibility of having a school delicious page. This would mean that rather than put pieces of paper on the staffroom noticeboard with good links on, people can save their links onto the school account and then other members of staff have access to them at school and at home and don’t have to type in a fiddly url. Using a similar idea, it is possible to create a page of links for classes and for children to then use at home for projects/revision etc.
Finally (for my delicious discoveries so far) it is possible to add other users to your delicious account. This means that you can view and use the links that other teachers are using for various ideas around the UK and beyond. When you are on the delicious site, you can search your own bookmarks, your networks bookmarks or the whole of the delicious network to find what you are looking for. However, when you are logged in you can decide whether you want to share all or some of your bookmarks with other people or not (this means that my Derbyshire Cricket links can be hidden away!!).
As ever, the best way is to have a look at the website itself, make an account (if you have a yahoo account you simply sign in with that) and have an explore.