I Annotate Berlin 2016 Logo

Annotation in the Education Space

Brian Johnsrud and Daniel Bush
Stanford University
Sarah Frederickx
ETH Zurich
Anthony Pinter
Penn State
Remi Holden
University of Colorado Denver
Jeremy Dean, Moderator
Heiner Ulrich, Moderator
Der Spiegel

Date: May 20, 10:30am - 11:50am
Duration: 40 mins
Location: Microsoft Atrium, Berlin


Of all the possible applications for social annotation, the educational one has perhaps seen the most widespread adoption. There are a variety of tools on the market available to both teachers and students who would like to take notes on digital texts, make public marginal comments or collaboratively annotate in small groups.

The education use case is especially compelling: students have been writing in their books since the book was invented; and as books and other texts studied in schools migrate online, these marginal notes can become media-rich and shared with others. In face-to-face, online, and blended classrooms, collaborative annotation combines traditional literacy with more emergent understandings of the types of skills students need to develop to be successful in school and beyond.

Some educational annotation projects have been around long enough at this point to produce significant data, quantitative and qualitative, about how students read and write and interact with texts and each other online. Two such projects, out of Stanford University and HarvardX, will be sharing their work as part of this panel. Both projects are based in AnnotatorJS. Lacuna Stories works with brick and mortar classrooms at Stanford University, while HarvardX, as part of the edX consortium, works with life-long learners from around the world in massive open online courses.

Three of our presenters, a professor, a teaching assistant, and an instructional designer, have been working with the Hypothes.is platform in their classrooms over the past year. These projects showcase different pedagogical potentials for web annotation from asynchronous discussion of course readings to personal and communal review of lecture notes. They’ve also illuminated pedagogical and technological obstacles to implementing web annotation in education.