Diigo: A Cautionary Tale about Pinterest

With the myriad of social media tools, teachers must be very careful with the one(s) that they invest themselves in, and especially what they ask their students to invest in as well.  This past week Diigo was hacked and its services were down. Many of us are already using Diigo, and I’ve been using it for over two years to help me develop a class list of articles, information, maps, and primary documents (i.e. an online classroom textbook). When Diigo went down, I thought about how much my course, my students and my pedagogy would be impacted. It turns out it would have been a lot. Fortunately, I had done my research in advance, and I knew that Diigo had a critical mass that would mean it was (for lack of a better term) “too big to fail.”  It was restored within two days, and all is well in History again!

However, as we move forward with examining social media tools, Diigo is a cautionary tale for us. Read more about it HERE, and you’ll see that even Diigo realized its own faults, but also its importance as a tool used throughout business, personal and educational realms. This type of self-awareness (as a teacher, student, and professional) is important as we move forward an adopt to new tools.

One of the new tools that is being adopted into the educational realm in Pinterest. It is an image-based, content sharing website that can be used to share information, collect and organize information, and even distribute or push information out.  I have just begun to use it in our current unit, studying the power of narrative and images in History. I’ve used it to allow students to connect to historical images of their own neighbourhoods throughout Toronto, and to get them excited about, dare I say it, our visit to the Toronto Archives. It was a huge success, in part because they ‘spoke the language’ of Pinterest already, and navigating it, using it and exploring it was not an issue.

To see if Pinterest is right for you, here is a great article on its uses in education, as well as some fantastic links to help you get Pinterest started in your own pedagogy. Just remember the cautionary tale about Diigo…

All images from http://www.ohsopinteresting.com/is-pinterest-a-teachers-new-best-friend-in-the-classroom/

4 thoughts on “Diigo: A Cautionary Tale about Pinterest

  1. The ubiquity and ease of access to Web 2.0 tools are the very things that make them so great to use, but at the same time present so many problems. Hacking is only one of them of course, but a serious one for sure. I was pretty alarmed when I found out Diigo was in difficulty as so much of my recent content is stored there.

    The implications of embarking on a purely digital path are mind boggling. At my school we take a tremendous number of photographs of school life and post them on a gallery. In the moment we all understand this content, but within a short period of time this content becomes less accessible. Tagging is a possibility, but folksonomy, in this case, has not lent itself to a usable classification system.

    In our discussions at the face-to-face meeting we alluded to some of the issues with technology, mainly around privacy, but I think you have identified an issue at least as important. The permanence of digital content is in question in a world where hackers can bring down Diigo and companies like Apple or Amazon can make it readily apparent you do not own the content on their devices. I bought a copy of The Hobbit in 1977(!) and still own it. I have the Hunger Games on an old Kobo and I am not even sure the thing works properly anymore.

    In a course I took over the summer a group project involved using Pinterest. Visually appealing for sure, I can see how to use it in my library world. Some group members expressed concern over how the tool links to other accounts like Facebook, but that is all part of muddling through and developing a social software literacy.

  2. On some level we all have to worry about the big “back-up” as we all have data,pictures and important information stored all around the web and on our computers. The Diigo incident was interesting on a few different levels but most of all for me was the way the user community banded together to get the site back up.

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