Notes from Teaching Literary Reading through collaborative annotation

Google Doc link

  • Do students respond to peer pressure?
  • What do you do about students’ need to “grope for meaning” (privacy)
  • Disappointment with available texts (not enough editions available authoritatively annotated)
  • Can students embed their research in a text?
  • Can students refer back to their own annotations? Others’ annotations?
  • Check out H20 from Berkman center — legal texts, casebooks
  • Is a “commonplace” book the same as annotation?
  • Annotation of objects — 3d models at MetaLab (eg for museum collections)
  • SocialBook — works well — community lacking?
  • Annotating library catalog records perhaps?
  • Digital Public Library of America — example of the effort to make resources accessible
  • We might need a taxonomy of kinds of annotations
  • To build that into the tool or not? (Annotation Studio’s approach is not to build-in this sort of pre-determined interpretation of annotation activity — Jamie)
  • Link to Annotation Studio website (explanatory context) Link to Annotation Studio public demo version (let me know if you’d like help getting set up)
  • Crocodoc “kind of fun!” — ingests PDFs
  • What changes about our idea of texts if/as we annotate? What does the tool do for us/to us?
  • “Agon of multiple intelligences” within a text — what does that do to our reading?
  • Idea from Best American Essays: students can’t sit alone with a text as easily anymore Garrett Keyser (sp?)
    • Two girls who got through Ethan Frome by reading together via Skype (cool! cool?)
    • Some students are more interested in Drama and Poetry (because it’s performance and/or somehow more social in nature)
  • To have a social reading experience is not just to be distracted, but also to be more connected to other people.
  • Do students still have the capacity for sustained focus?
  • Tension between close reading and just skimming
  • Over-achievers clobber the text with their annotations in crocodoc.
  • “Annotation that kills” (discussion), is not helpful — provides an answer, not a question!
  • We have to teach student these things if we ask them to annotate. Make those ideas explicit.
  • Instructor gets more visibility into the students’ reading of the text.
  • Might eliminate some of the class time spent on locating areas of interest, allow discussion to cut to the chase, as it were.
  • “Motion away from the text” — note-taking as a precursor to analytical activity
  • Collaborative essay writing? Interesting idea. Bold!
  • Micro to macro reading
  • Start with a text that students are annotating, and going to a text that they produced, maybe all the way to an Anthology
  • How would you annotate a video (or other time-based text?)
    • Like tweets during a TV viewing?
    • Soundcloud for audio is a nice example
    • Timeline — visualization
    • Google search/books
    • Internet archive — thumbnails culled from
  • Zeega — annotation of video — very cool!
  • SavePublishing — bookmarklet to locate “tweetable” sentences — interesting proof of concept — it’s not too hard to do some kinds of “computed preprocessing” of text, perhaps as a scaffold to close reading.
  • Voting — thumbs up/down might be a good feature for annotations/documents to locate best notes.
  • Make selection of high-quality annotations a task for students?
  • Overall activity could have as a goal to create a product that is somehow better than the original text.
  • Perhaps collaborative online annotation can “make students aware of the ‘meaning of the screen’” — Great point!
  • A paper-based text is easily annotated, but we can all remember the first time we realized that it was “licit” to make notes in a book — a revelation! A screen-based text is somehow beyond reach until/unless we provide screen-based annotation tools.
  • Same with the screen — power is in play.
Categories: Collaboration, Open Access, Session Notes, Teaching, Visualization, Workshops |
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About jfolsom

I have a background as a foreign language teacher and as a Web Application Developer. At MIT HyperStudio we envision, co-design and develop tools to support teaching, learning and research in the humanities. I am interested in open source, open data and open knowledge. I am eager to learn about and participate in efforts to foster communication and collaboration between developers across projects and teams to accelerate development, increase interoperability, and reduce duplication of effort. I'm currently focused on building on an annotation tool that's in use in humanities classrooms at MIT.