If you still bookmark webpages, then this is a good way to ease into the modern era of social bookmarking. I’m going to skip all the technical jargon and break it down. So, bookmarks are typically saved to your computer and you need to be on that computer in order to access your bookmarks, and unless you’ve been hacked, you can’t share those bookmarks except by pasting them into an email or social network post. [Yes, for those very bright users out there, some web browsers allow you to set up a cloud account to access bookmarks and settings anywhere you log in.] I often come across articles that I feel might interest students who are choosing topics for my Composition II course, so I wanted a way to easily capture the dozens of websites I find in a semester and share them with students. I didn’t want students to have to log into anything or even need special knowledge figure out how to access the shared web addresses. I also wanted the list to be up to date every time they access the collection of links, even after they finish the course. Thus, BagTheWeb was my answer in 2012 and I still use it. [Note: Yes, I’m hunting for better options and will post my findings to my blog eventually.]
Goal: easy way to capture Internet addressed of websites for students to easily scroll through
- Once the account is set up, the “bagging” is easy, especially with the tool bar button. (When on a website you want to save, there is a toolbar button that opens a box allowing you to choosing the “bag” to put the website under.)
- Once you’ve created a bag, you can use social media buttons to share it.
- It’s automatically set to open the clicked link within a bag in a new tab, so users aren’t taken away from the bag when opening a link.
- If choosing to have the videos load in the list, it delays the loading of the entire list (so the screen skips around a bit).
- It isn’t as popular as other methods of sharing Internet research, such as Pinterest or Zotero, which is not the fault of the tool, but may impact your “cool” factor with students.
- The page listing the websites is a bit cluttered and unattractive. Not a big deal for me, but I’m trying to get students to read through the suggested sites and click those of interest.
- Further sorting or organization within a bag is not possible.
- Firefox and the BagTheWeb browser button are quirky, where you click the browser button to bring up the dialogue box to save the website, and the box either doesn’t load all the way or won’t go away when you’re done. Wired.com generally doesn’t play well with the BagTheWeb browser button.
Insider View: It’s boring to just provide a link to my “bags” within the classroom, so use the embed link to post the bag in my classroom. Students see the bag (webpage with my links) rather than needing to click the link to reach the bag. To get the embed code, go to the bag you’ve created, and look below the graphic of a paper bag towards the top left. There are three icons: a suitcase, a cloud, and a “don’t” sign. Click on the cloud icon; the page takes a moment to load, but if you scroll down, you’ll see a variety of options to embed your bag.
Final Thoughts: Once the “bags” are set up, adding links from websites is easy. There aren’t many bells and whistles, but sometimes simple works just fine.
I chose the embed code for a blog post (go figure) to share the sample below. You can click on the links to go to the sites I’ve shared.