Diigo: A Tool for All Classrooms

Review Overview

A. Instruction - 8
B. Design - 8.3
C. Engagement - 8.3


Diigo: A Tool for All Classrooms

Summary : Making Digitalizing Article Annotations

Diigo is a Google Chrome Extension that allows users to save, annotate, notate, and share articles. To begin, users must install the Diigo extension to their Chrome browser. Next, the Diigo logo appears on the top right of Chrome menu, and users can access Diigo by clicking its logo.

To begin using Diigo, users should navigate to a website of interest. Next, they can click the Diigo logo, and choose an option. The “Save Bookmark” option lets users add the website to their library and they can add tags to it, which allows them to search it easily from their library. To access their library, users will need to click the Diigo logo, click the “Double Down Carrot” icon on the bottom right of the dropdown menu, and then click the “My Library” button. A new tab will open on their browser that shows all the content they have bookmarked with Diigo.

To annotate a website, users must navigate to the website, and click the Diigo logo. They can click the “Read & Annotate” option. To utilize these tools, users must highlight specific text on the website, and a menu will popup. They can hover their mouse over the colored dot and choose the color for their highlights. They can click the “Dialogue” button to add a comment connected to the highlighted text. They can click the “Pages” icon to copy the text to their clipboard.

Users can click the “Annotate PDF” and then drag and drop a PDF into the browser. Users can then access Diigo’ tools – highlighting, annotation, and copying functionalities – by highlighting text on the PDF. The PDF will then automatically be added to their library.

Diigo also allows users to capture and annotate anything they are viewing using the “Screenshot” tool. To engage this tool, users need to navigate to a piece of content of interest. Next, they must click the “Annotate Screenshot” option. A cropping cursor will appear, and users must drag the cursor around the content they wish to capture and then release their mouse. At this point, Diigo will take a screenshot. They can then use the menu to add shapes, text, and arrows to the screenshot. If they make a mistake, users can click the “Undo” error, and when they are ready to save the screenshot, they can click the “Disk” icon. After saving it, users can access their annotated screenshot in their Diigo library.

Please note: The features described in this review are for the free version of Diigo. If users upgrade, they will be able to access additional features.  

Instructional Ideas for Diigo

  1. Teachers can direct students to an online article or PDF and use this tool to identify the who, what, where, and when by annotating each “W” question in a different color. Teachers can then have students compare responses in small groups before sharing with the entire class.
  2. Teachers can choose a topic that is trending in the media, such as a current event. Teachers can then have students read multiple articles and websites about the same topic and have them annotate similarities they identified that appear across articles and websites, identifying the differences they see in specific articles. Students can share their answers in small groups before having a larger discussion about the articles and topic with the entire class.
  3. Teachers can direct students to an article online, website, or PDF and have them read it. When students come to words they do not know, they can annotate them and add the definition for each word using the comment feature.
  1. When reading an article or website about a controversial topic, teachers can have students annotate statements that they agree with and statements that they object to. Teachers can then have students share their annotations in small groups before moving to a whole-class discussion. In addition, teachers can frame the discussion as a point, counterpoint debate where students state their opinion and are required to make a connection to an annotation from the article. Another student will follow-up with the next point that will affirm the previous point or counter it.
  2. When reading an article that has a process, procedure, or chronology, teachers can have students highlight and annotate each step, sequence, or time period in a different way or color. That way, students will be able to visualize the different components of the process, procedure, or chronology.
A1. Rigor
A2. 21st Century Skills
A3. Conn. to Future Learning
A4. Value of Errors
A5. Feedback to Teacher
A6. Level of Material
A7. Cooperative Learning
A8. Accom. of Individual Diff.
B1. Ability to Save Progress
B2. Platform Integration
B3. Screen Design
B4. Ease of Use
B5. Navigation
B6. Goal Orientation
B7. Information Presentation
B8. Media Integration
B9. Cultural Sensitivity
C1. Learner Control
C2. Interactivity
C3. Pace
C4. Flexibility
C5. Interest
C6. Aesthetics
C7. Utility

Screenshots of Diigo