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Thursday, October 6 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm
hypothes.is: Digital and Civic Literacy in the Age of Web Annotation

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“Annotate” is a word previously confined to the pedagogy of the humanities classroom, but now there is an “Annotate” button on a rap lyric website that allows young people to comment on and discuss the language and ideas of their favorite pop songs. For the 2016 State of the Union, presidential speech writers past and present officially annotated the text of the speech on the White House website, offering their thoughts about rhetorical strategy and social context in the margins of the address. In the informal educational space we know as the Web, we are entering an Age of Annotation. Classroom educators can leverage this technology not only to help students develop digital literacy skills but to empower them to become thoughtful and responsible digital citizens.

For teachers and students in particular there is nothing new about the age-­old learning practice of annotation. Marginal note-taking has been proven to encourage active reading and critical thinking and writing skills. Online, though, this practice becomes social, collaborative, and multimodal. Reading closely means not only paying careful attention to the words of an author but to the responses of one’s classmates. Critical “writing” might take the form of images or videos added in the margins of a text under study. Even as students work together to create meaning, the work of individual contributors can become more apparent: a student might distinguish themselves as having a keen ear for historical context or an eye for graphic design. Further, web annotation enables students to explore independent lines of inquiry more dynamically, leaving a trail of their thinking as they navigate the Internet.

Jeremy Dean, Director of Education at hypothes.is, an open source, non-profit software group developing web annotation technology for the classroom, will lead off this session by giving a practical and historical introduction to the hypothes.is tool. Three practicing teachers, Mia Zamora, Larry Hanley, and Joel Garza, will then discuss the use of the hypothes.is tool in their respective classrooms, ranging from high school to college to graduate education. Finally, the group will discuss the role of annotation in the National Writing Project’s Letters to the Next President 2.0 initiative, in which hypothes.is is being used by teachers and students across the country to discuss the 2016 election and “write back” to the candidates themselves.

We will thus conclude by broadening the conversation about web annotation as simply a powerful teaching and learning tool to web annotation as a means of online civic engagement. While web annotation can and does activate the 21st century learning skills emphasized in curriculums across the country, as a digital technology that is in use beyond the classroom, it has the potential to empower young people as responsible and engaged thinkers in the real world too. Participants will leave this session with a practical understanding of how to use the hypothes.is tool in their classrooms as well how they might incorporate a practice of web annotation into their own intellectual inquiries and conversations.

avatar for Remi Kalir

Remi Kalir

Assistant Professor, University of Colorado Denver
Remi is Assistant Professor of Learning Design and Technology at the University of Colorado Denver School of Education and Human Development. He is serving as editor of the 2018 Connected Learning Summit proceedings, to be by ETC Press in the fall.
avatar for Mia Zamora

Mia Zamora

Associate Professor of English, Kean University
Writer. Educator. Connector. Maker.Associate Professor of English, Director of MA in Writing Studies & Kean University Writing Project; DML blogger.

Thursday October 6, 2016 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Attendees (11)