Some limitations in the Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy model

I keep seeing this retweeted and it’s doing my head in a bit.

Digital Bloom's Taxonomy

It’s a derivation from Bloom’s Taxonomy, which I guess every teacher (certainly every HE teacher) has come across if they’ve done a teaching qualification. The diagram maps Web 2.0 tools onto types of learning outcomes, to show which tools you can link to what objectives.

Basically my problem with it is that it suggests restrictions on uses of things, that are a bit detrimental. Consider Wikipedia first of all. Here it’s stuck in understanding, but it’s also a great tool for evaluating (getting students to consider sources, think through complex issues about authority to publish, etc.). Seen as a platform to publish not read, it could also be creative; it could be used in an exercise to synthesise (a level that is placed on some of the Bloom models) a great deal of information and produce an authoritative encyclopaedia article.

Evernote seems most suited to remembering, and delicious could just as easily move up the pyramid as a site of analysis around the way we organise personal data through tags, or to demonstrate a student’s understanding through the way in which they annotate their links.

So it’s interesting as a marker, to show how some of these tools can be used in the classroom, but it’s very limited and possibly a bit misguiding to teacher’s who might follow it too strictly.

Image is copyright © 2010 University of Southern Indiana – original here:

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Jon Hickman

Hi, I'm Jon. I teach and research digital culture, social media and new media practice at Birmingham City University. Find out more about me with this lovely CV: Find out about my work at the Birmingham Centre for Media & Cultural Research:

  • Samantha Penney

    The original link for this is no longer valid; please check out the new link at

    Also I am the creator of this pyramid. I also agree with you. Many of these tools are useful across the levels of the pyramid. When categorizing the tools I was limited in space and went with the most common use of the tool as I perceived it.

    Thank you for your thoughts on the tool. 🙂


  • Jon Hickman

    Many thanks for prompting the updates to the post. I’m glad you took the critique well and even agreed with it a bit.

  • Danny

    Hey Jon,
    How you doing, was looking through your posts, and Ive seen some really nice content you’ve got there.
    I was wondering if you know any good Social Media Text books / literature that I can read and look at. As I’m researching on Social media impacting Sales and customer services, I havent found anything substantial as yet…



    • Jon Hickman


      There are plenty of books on social media and sales and customer services around, lots of blogs too.
      Wouldn’t know where to start really as it would depend on what you need.
      Ummmmm… ok for stuff around customer services some of the case studies in this book are pretty good