Annotating websites can be an incredibly useful ability for students to demonstrate reading strategies, just as sticky-notes can do the same for reading on paper. There are tons of tools that provide that feature, but most require some kind of download or bookmarklet, which is problematic in many schools.

There are far, far fewer web tools that provide that capability and without downloading anything and, in fact, those sites tend to die quick deaths. I keep a very close eye out for them, and my Best Applications For Annotating Websites has become shockingly short as more enter the “dead pool” every month.

Today, Genius (formerly Rap Genius) announced a feature that lets you annotate any webpage by just putting “genius.it” before the web address.

That sounded exciting (and similar to other tools on the previously mentioned “Best” list), but then I tried it and found that in order to use it, you needed to register first at the Genius.com site. That requirement makes it useless for schools because no content filter is going to let Genius.com through, as I wrote in Rap Genius Expands Service, Changes Name, Adds Education Features – I’d Still Be Surprised If Teachers Use It.

But, then, as I was cleaning-up that “Best” list and surfing the net for new annotation sites, I discovered Hypothes.is. And it looks good.

Here’s a video about it that’s a lesson in over-hype, but it does provide an introduction to it:

Let me know if you know of other tools I haven’t already blogged about that might fit the bill….