Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

Best Applications For Annotating Websites


'Yellow Annotation' photo (c) 2010, Morten Oddvik - license:

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.).

I thought it would a good subject for another “The Best…” list.

In order to make this list, it had to be available free-of-charge, be accessible to English Language Learners, and not require any downloads of any kind.

Here are my choices for The Best Applications For Annotating Websites (not in order of preference):

Jog The Web is so easy to use. It allows you to easily create a slideshow of websites or images, and you can leave comments on each page.  It’s not possible, however, to physically align your comments with specific parts of the website’s text.  I just have students use a strategy for each paragraph, and then just number the paragraphs in the comments section.

A.nnotate is the newest addition to this list.  Instead of describing A.nnotate in detail here, though, I’m going to suggest you read a very thorough description of it — with screenshots — at The Make Use Of blog.

Rooh It! is the newest addition to this list.  Since the Make Use of blog has written a good post describing it, I’m going to encourage you to read their explanation.

I’d like to highlight a couple of great features, though. One, you don’t have to register for it. And, two, all you have to do is put “” before any web URL address and you can start highlighting and leaving notes about it.

The only negative I see is that it looks a little “busy” — English Language Learners could be a bit confused by all the initial options and text. But a short teacher explanation should take care of that.

Bounce was just unveiled as a new app to virtually annotate webpages. TechCrunch highlighted it in a post. It’s easy to use, and doesn’t require any registration.

MydesignCrit is another simple web tool.

As always, feedback is welcome.

If you found this post useful, you might want to look at previous “The Best…” lists and also consider subscribing to this blog for free.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

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


    • Russ,

      The last time I looked, you have to download a bookmarklet. Is that
      still the case? If it is, most schools won’t allow it….


      • That is the case. I haven’t come across anyone who said that would be a problem in the few sessions I’ve led on setting up Diigo with educators. Not saying it’s not a concern, but — and this is just my personality — if they don’t allow bookmarklets, it would be a great teachable moment for the teacher to go to the adminstrators and work to get it allowed. Diigo even has teacher accounts so you can sign up your students without providing email addresses for those of us working with kids under 13.

        Just a thought. Thanks for sharing all the resources that you find!


  1. Thanks for mentioning Webklipper, Larry.
    Your concerns w.r.t to anyone deleting your comments is not 100% invalid. That is how the app works today. The assumption is these URL’s are not “findable” i.e the only way to reach them is via the URL that Webklipper generated for you. If you have shared it with your friends, they can of course add-to/modify or remove your comments.

    The core idea behind Webklipper is to be able to collaborate on the wepage. You get to see what everyone else is doing on your page!

    Moreover, I have added an experimental feature called “page-versions”. You might find it interesting. Its there in the Webklipper-Blue-Bar.

    Keep the feedback coming.
    Thanks a lot again for the mention even before the launch.


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  3. I use Diigo for social bookmarking; recently they have made a lot of updates. With Diigo you can now share your bookmarks and highlighters and sticky notes with friends and groups. If you have not used it in a while, you will be surprised.

  4. What about icyte Larry? Is that a tool that would fit into this list? I am just starting to use it with my class and it seems handy in helping to see how my students are researching online. I like how you can also share your work.

    • Carl,

      I have it on my “Best” list for creating Webquests, but haven’t thought about it for other uses. I’ll check it out again, thanks.


    • Carl,

      Oops, I confused icyte with a similarly named app. I remember now why I didn’t include it on this list — in order to get a free account, you have to register with an official education related account, and that’s not possible for many students.


  5. Ah, luckily my students have an education related account. They may need to think of a way around that similar to wikispaces in giving free spaces for education. I will email them now :)

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  8. I have been working on my own little project written in nodejs that allows you to take screenshots of websites and comment on ‘em. The website is and still in beta. Feedback is welcomed.

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