Monday, August 24, 2009

News from Diigo

This is potentially some EXCELLENT news from the folks at Diigo. You may remember that a while back Kevin Jarrett and a few of us met online to experiment with the teacher-student roles in Diigo to really explore it. In that experiment Kevin discovered that students were able to see some of the groups that non-teachers had created, and some of those groups were less than appropriate for school. Teen love, etc.

Since that time both Kevin and I have been in contact with Maggie Tsai and her team of programmers there at Diigo as they worked to create a solution to this issue. Well, I'm very happy to announce that I just received an email from one of the programmers who stated that the issue is now resolved, and that students are only able to see other groups that had been created by teachers.


Now, I've not gone in, as yet, to experiment, but I'm confident that this is the case, and I again feel ready to promote Diigo as THE TOOL to help students and teachers manage the information that they find when researching the web.

Of course, Kevin, I'm sure, will be putting the changes to the ultimate test very soon (when he gets his labs set up ;-) ) but for now, I'm quite pleased with the announcement by the programmers.


1 comment:

Kevin Jarrett said...

Hi Jim!

This is indeed good news.

I am logged in as a student right now and poking around. "Romance & Relationships" groups are still visible in the directory, but are blocked when the student tries to access them. NO GROUPS are available to any student (apparently other than those the teacher creates). So this is helpful. Teachers should realize however that the groups listing could itself be cause for concern, but, in many districts, the same thing works with search engine filtering: offending results can come up, but the linked site will still be blocked.

The other issue is the 'friends' capability. It is presently unrestricted as far as I can tell. I searched around a bit and did find some inappropriate users and was able to click on their profiles, for example searching for 'porn' in the user name field. I think this is something less of an issue than the groups but educators (and Diigo) should know about it. Perhaps there's a way to restrict 'friends' like they did for the groups?

The elimination of the adult groups makes Diigo viable in the classroom in my opinion, but people need to know about the user search issue as well, so they can decide if it's a problem for their district or not. I think there will be schools on both sides of that fence.

Good work, sir!