Be Yourself - Stand Out with Edutagger
Feb 14, 2008
Commentary by Stephen Downes
Judy O'Connell points today to edutagger, a social bookmarking service intended for K-12 teachers. She doesn't cite her source (tsk tsk) but it could be Marian Thacher or Tech4Teachers, which cites from an unreferenced announcement by founder Mark Schumann from the MITIE usergroup (the MITIE links provided here are unresponsive). But I didn't know this when I read the O'Connell post; it sends me only to the edutagger site itself, which aroused my curiosity by not containing any information about the site's owners or motivations.


A whois lookup led me to Mark Schumann, which in turn led me to the other sites. It also led me to Schumann's extensive campaign to publicize the site, which included announcements at the Moodle Forum, TeacherFocus, and Academic Commons, as well as word-of-mouth on 4teachers, Jaiku and Twitter.


Of course, sites like this for educators have been launched before, such as edbloggernews, which essentially collapsed into a pit of irrelevance. Another recent initiative is edtags, which is a Harvard research project. You can follow the edtags blog to keep up. More here.


The difficulty with such sites is that it's very hard to keep them focused on education. They are quickly overwhelmed by advertising or politics or whatever. And so I discovered as I tried to track down Mark Schumann. His home page is a set of recent edutagger links, but these are links to some very questionable search topics (content warning!!). I think that if edutagger wants to serve the K-12 market, it needs to keep a much closer watch on its own content and to be much more forthcoming about its ownership and intentions.
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