Last year I started an account on Delicious for the Family Case Study, my main responsibility in Cardiff's undergraduate medical course. I used it to save links which I shared with students through Blackboard, particularly in the dicsussion forums there. But I was also keen to have them join a network with me.
I was a little bit frustrated by Delicious because of
- not knowing who students were... they tended to use their Cardiff Uni ids which I didn't know.
- not knowing what students looked like... no avatars on delicious
- not being able to send them a message, to say thanks or query how they might use a resource
2010 rolls round, and the next set of students are about to start the project. I was going to record a screencast explaining delicious, but realised that I couldn't bring myself to ask them to sign up for a Yahoo ID. So I decided to look at the Diigo account again.
Diigo Educator Accounts
These allow educators to set up private areas for their students. I had the choice of generating accounts for all students or inviting them to join by email.
Accounts can be generated by uploading a .csv file - infortunately the link which specified the format of the file Diigo would like was broken, so I uploaded just names. This generated 320 accounts and passwords, which I guess I could have put on Blackboard, but it didn't seem a great option. So I set about deleting those accounts to try a different way.
Inviting by email
220 of the 320 students told me their preferred email address when completing a google form last December. For some reason it wouldn't let me copy and paste that many email addresses in to the box. And there was not the option to upload email addresses from a .csv file. But it was possible to import contacts from an emai account. So, I set up a new gmail account. Imported the email addresses from a .csv to the gmail account and then imported the contacts in to Diigo. The complexity of this sequence makes me think that I must have been doing something wrong!
What happened next?
So far 6 (six) students have signed up in the first few hours. The very first student tweeted about the sign-up and I found her when searching twitter for diigo! Another of my students has sent me a message on twitter too which makes me wonder if it is worth trying out the twitter account I registered for the course.
Then... I wondered what the sign-up experience was like for the students. So, just as I had with google docs I invited myself. That's the next post......