Thursday, July 25, 2019

Two online annotation tools - NowComment and Hypothes.is

Conversation via annotations in NowComment
In the book Words Onscreen, author Naomi Baron cites research that might surprise you: When it comes to reading for school, today’s students prefer reading on paper over reading onscreen. According to Baron, our students may compose copious amounts of digital writing on their personal devices, but when it comes to close reading, students still prefer printing a PDF and annotating it with a pencil in hand.

Baron cites a study from late 2013 whose findings show that 84% of U.S. college students say they prefer print over digital text because it’s easier to bookmark and highlight. Baron readily admits this may change with time: “Annotation becomes easier on digital devices, especially for those who practice” (p. 30).

There’s no doubt that our students will get a lot more practice annotating online. In fact, annotating the Web is nothing new. The developers of Mosaic, one of the earliest browsers from the ’90s, envisioned a Web that anyone could annotate. And there’s no shortage of web annotation tools—Bounce, Diigo, and Genius, to name a few.
Hypothes.is screenshot

But over the past couple of years the two annotation tools that I've used most in my teaching areNowComment and Hypothes.is.

I use NowComment most frequently now. Here's an article I wrote that discusses NowComment's affordances and constraints.

And here's another article I wrote about Hypothes.is.

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