Jeff, I think Diigo is doing some amazing things in making research with small groups very interactive and technology based. I encourage you to apply for an educators account. It allows you to add all of your students to a group.
Even for beginning students they can bookmark research sites and add comments to the bookmark they share with their group. After they bookmark the site they can go in and highlight sections/quotes/important information and add comments/synthesis/make connections and Diigo will help them keep all of that information str8.
Good luck. I would love to hear more about what you are trying to accomplish with your project; always on the look out for good ideas. Thanks for starting the thread.