Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

Backboard Has Added A Very Good Feature

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I posted earlier this year about an online tool called Backboard.. I thought it was a nice little application, but probably wouldn’t add it to any of my The Best… lists.

They just sent out an email announcing a number of improvements to their site.  One in particular stands-out.

I’m always on the look-out for web tools that can mimc a key instructional strategy I use with students in the classroom — having them use post-it notes to annotate books or articles so they can demonstrate their use of reading strategies (asking questions, making connections, etc.).

Book Goo and Awesome Highlighter allow you to do something similar on webpages and then save the annotation, but I’ve found that they don’t necessarily work on all webpages, or for some reason they don’t always work well on our school computers.

One of Backboard’s new features is that it allows you to literally draw a line to a place on the website and then write a comment — very similar to putting a post-it on a page in a book. It seems very easy to use, no registration is required, and its free.

It may end up having some of the same shortcomings of the other sites I’ve mentioned, but it looks like an excellent addition right now.

I’ll be writing up another “The Best…” list soon called The Best Tools For Website Annotation, and Backboard will certainly be on it.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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