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):
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. One new change, though, is that you now have to register in order to use it.
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 “roohit.com/” 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 off-line for awhile, but is back and works very well.
Back to School with Annotation: 10 Ways to Annotate with Students is by Jeremy Dean.
Skills and Strategies | Annotating to Engage, Analyze, Connect and Create is a great new resource from The New York Times Learning Network.
— NYT Learning Network (@NYTimesLearning) November 20, 2015
eMargin is a free tool developed by Birmingham City University in the United Kingdom. You can upload any text and have students annotate it, and the same text can be annotated by a closed group. In addition, you can “upload” a web address and annotate it, as well. The lay-out can be a bit funky with websites, but it’s still workable.
NowComment seems like a good tool for students to use when annotating online documents and they can see the comments of others, too (teachers can create private groups). The only way you can annotate a website is by copying and pasting it, and I’m not sure if that’s legal or not.
Diigo is a superior bookmarking tool (I use both diigo and delicous to back-up all of mine). My grip against diigo has been its requirement for a downloaded bookmarklet in order to annotate saved webpages. Recently, however, you can now annotate saved webpages without installing anything — you can highlight, make comments and share them. It’s a great development.
As always, feedback is welcome.