I think the ability to annotate webpages — the equivalent of making notes on a written text — is absolutely critical for students to develop their reading skills. Using “post-it” notes on text to demonstrate the use of reading strategies is a key teaching and learning approach I use in the classroom. I am always searching for web tools that will allow students to do the same on Internet pages, which is why I created the The Best Applications For Annotating Websites.
There are some good tools on that list, but Blerp, I think, “trumps” all of them.
Once you register (which is extraordinarily easy and doesn’t require activation by email), you type in a webpage address, click on “post” and you can type on a virtual post-it note and place it anywhere on the text of the page and you are then given the page’s url with the notes. It’s extremely user-friendly.
But that’s not all.
It also allows you to see what other readers of the same page have written. All those virtual post-it notes are listed on the side of the page. All you have to do is click on a note and it magically appears at the location on the page where it was placed.
I believe a lot of the things many web tools allow you to do are neat, but don’t necessarily provide much “value-added” benefit to doing the same task using non-tech tools. Even the other tools on the “website annotating” best list only let you do the exact same thing you can do with hard copy.
With Blerp, however, after students have completed demonstrating their reading strategies, they can then see what everybody else has written, too.
Now, that’s what I’m talking about in terms of a way technology can enhance learning.
A big thanks to Mashable for the tip.
Obviously, I’m adding Blerp to the previously mentioned “The Best..” list.