By Grant Schubert
The internet has become a constant in our lives, and more importantly in our students’ lives. The internet’s omnipresence has posited many theories about our minds and even how it may affect our bodies; mortality aside, it is important to begin to grapple with how our students interact with the web in their academic transactions.
One tool I have embraced in my classes is digital annotation; more specifically, a tool called hypothesis (h. if you’re nasty). They have a neat little video that plainly describes the functionality of their software — which can be utilized as a Google chrome extension, or as a prefix for a website –:
They also provided some skills and strategies for the classroom here. The ideas are pretty simple and almost old fashioned: by marking, digging, linking, and highlighting electronic text it parallels our haptic interactions with antiquated books. Many of us remember the days of making a text our own with notes and scribbles and h. becomes that tool for our students: an electronic vessel to interact and possess online text.
The software also allows for private annotations specific to each class section. Here is a screenshot of one of my section’s pages:
So for this class our annotations become our own and we can have discussions based on annotations made only by that section. It also streamlines the grading process for each section: just click view recent group annotations and every annotation from the group will populate.
Overall, h. has been an amazing tool in my classroom.
If you have any questions about the software I would be happy to assist: firstname.lastname@example.org.