Data Tagging

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What is data tagging?

Data tagging allows users to organize information more efficiently by associating pieces of information (websites or photos, for example) with tags, or keywords. What is a tag? According to Wikipedia, "a tag is a non-hierarchical keyword or term assigned to a piece of information (such as an internet bookmark, digital image, or computer file). This kind of metadata helps describe an item and allows it to be found again by browsing or searching. Tags are chosen informally and personally by the item's creator or by its viewer, depending on the system."


Two popular ways to use data tagging are social bookmarking and photo sharing.

With the social bookmarking site Delicious, you can save and organize your bookmarks online and share them with others (hence "social" bookmarking). Watch this short Common Craft video and read Educause's "7 Things You Should Know About Social Bookmarking" to learn more about social bookmarking with Delicious.

The photo sharing site Flickr allows users to upload photos, organize them by tagging, annotate them, and share them. It's also works great as a storage space to backup your photo collection. To find out more about Flickr, watch the Common Craft video and read Educause's "7 Things You Should Know About Flickr."


Here are some ideas for using data tagging applications in the classroom:

  • create a central storage place for course-related bookmarks with Delicious
  • find authentic photos for use in the classroom by exploring Flickr tags and saving photos you like as favorites
  • share travel photos with friends, family and colleagues back home
  • find users with similar interests and keep in touch by adding them to your network (Delicious) or contacts (Flickr)
  • keep track of images for use in teaching through tagging, making them easier to find



Where can I get started data tagging?

Flickr - a popular image hosting site; basic accounts (up to 200 photos) are free

Flickr:Places - browse images by geotags to find interesting photos taken in a particular location

Picasa - free image editing software from Google that allows tagging and sharing

Introducing Picasa 3 - watch this to see the features Picasa has to offer

Delicious - a social bookmarking website that helps you store, organize, share, and discover bookmarks

Diigo - another social bookmarking website with emphasis on annotating for research purposes

Diigo V3: Highlight & Share the Web! Social Bookmarking 2.0 - a demo video for Diigo


Where can I see how others are using data tagging?

Teaching With Flickr - presentation with lots of great ideas on how to use Flickr, especially in language teaching

Teaching With Flickr wiki - the companion wiki to the presentation above

Teaching and Learning With Flickr - great collection of links from Lee Davis related to using Flickr in teaching

Using Flickr For Language Classes - lesson plans

What Can We Do With Flickr? - uses of Flickr

Edie Furniss's Flickr photos - photos from Russia

Delicious and Teaching - informative blog entry about how one teacher used Delicious to organize course readings

Discovering Versus Teaching Principles of Social Information Management - more uses for Delicious

Edie Furniss's del.ici.ous bookmarks - Bookmarks for sites related to Russian language and culture and using technology in teaching

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