Laura Gibbs

My Favorite Features about Diigo and Canvas

Blog Post created by Laura Gibbs on Jun 12, 2017

Diigo is a fantastic tool for bookmarking and annotating. You can use it in so many different ways! In this post, I'll explain my favorite things about Diigo, and also how it integrates into Canvas. I'm writing up these materials today because I will be talking about Diigo in my CanvasLIVE later this week:

Building a Library of Free Online Books 


So, here are some of my favorite things about Diigo and Diigo-in-Canvas:


1. Library view. Diigo is built for powerful personal use, and it is also built for sharing with others! When you are working at Diigo, you have a view of your bookmarks that lets you archive, access annotation tools, etc., but there is also a library view to share with others which is specifically designed for visitors. As a comparison, here are the personal and Library views of the exact same resources at Diigo. First, my personal view:


user view of Diigo

And now here is the Library view:


library view


See how the URL is a bit different? Your view is "user" while the Library view is "profile" — the rest is the same. Diigo defaults to that Library view for someone accessing either URL when they are not logged in (i.e. when they are not you), but it's also good to be aware of how you can access your own Library view to see what others see at your Diigo site. To access your own Library view in order to see what your visitors see, just choose "Public Library" from the dropdown in the upper right-hand corner.


choosing Library view



2. Tag combinations. As that previous example shows, tags are a feature of Diigo that let you combine and repurpose content in all kinds of ways. I can share with your all my #growthmindset resources,

or just the ones I have annotated,


or specifically the ones on the subtopic of feedback, as in the previous example.


I am sharing those URLs so you can see how it works: the Diigo query line shows clearly how the different tags are being added on. You can also use NOT for Boolean searching. You just type the tags in the box, or click on them from the item displays (notice that Diigo now uses a hashtag symbol; that was part of the Diigo redesign a year or so ago):


diigo tag search

Plus, other people can search your materials using the tags. So, teaching your students about tagging in general and your tagging practice in particular can increase their access to the resources you've bookmarked, while also expanding their digital literacy.



3. Images! At least for my students, text without images just does not get their attention the way that images do. So, especially when I will be sharing the Diigo resources with my students, I try to include at least one image; you can see the images displayed in the screenshots included above. It's easy to add the images! When you install the Diigo extension in your browser, that allows you to hover over any image in an item you have bookmarked and add that image to the bookmark record, or you can right-mouse click to add the image. You can even add multiple images to the same record if you want; I usually just add one image. See the little blue D in the lower right-hand corner? That's what you click to add the image to your Diigo bookmark record.


diigo add image



4. Diigo Linkrolls in Canvas. Diigo supports javascripts that let you automatically display the latest items that you have bookmarked. You just bookmark with Diigo as you are reading and researching online, and the results are automatically displayed for your students in Canvas. Just go to Diigo Linkrolls and configure your script.


javascript in Diigo


Then, in Canvas you have to upload that script as a simple text file into your Files area, and then use iframe to display that in a Page. I've explained in detail how to add Twitter javascripts to Canvas, and it works just the same here with Diigo.  So, here is the javascript uploaded as a Canvas File, and here it is displayed in a page: Canvas Diigo Linkroll.


Diigo linkroll in Canvas



5. DiigoRSS + Inoreader in Canvas. Personally, though, I far prefer using Inoreader to display Diigo items in Canvas. With Inoreader, you grab the Diigo RSS for the feed (any combination of tags has its own RSS feed!), and then display that feed — including the images — in a nicely customizable display. Here's what that same Growth Mindset - Feedback stream looks like in my Growth Mindset Canvas course: it looks so much nicer this way! These are literally the same bookmarks as in the previous screenshot, but with Inoreader-style display instead of a plain Diigo linkroll:



Diigo Inoreader


I've written up specific instructions on configuring Inoreader RSS for Canvas here: Using Inoreader to Bring Blog Posts inside Canvas. It works for any kind of RSS: blogs, Diigo, news sources — anything with an RSS feed.



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So, that's just a little bit about my own favorite Diigo features. There is lots more you can do with Diigo, and if you have questions about any of the specific features I've mentioned here, just let me know! It was thanks to help from friends online that I finally got into the habit of using Diigo, and now I can't imagine doing without it... which means I am glad to return the favor by helping others learn about how they can use Diigo for their own purposes. :-)