Using to annotate the web

Throughout the course we will be annotating readings as a class.  We will be using web annotation tool

This brief video introduces the idea of web annotation and intended goals of


Traditional annotations are marginalia, errata, and highlights in printed books, maps, picture, and other physical media. Web annotations are an attempt to recreate and extend that functionality as a new layer of interactivity and linking on top of the Web. It will allow anyone to annotate anything anywhere, be it a web page, an ebook, a video, an image, an audio stream, or data in raw or visualized form. Web annotations can be linked, shared between services, tracked back to their origins, searched and discovered, and stored wherever the author wishes; the vision is for a decentralized and open annotation infrastructure.

Many have tried over the years to establish web annotations. The lack of standards has been one of the key things holding these efforts back. February 23, 2017 the W3C, the standards body for the Web, standardized annotation.

Some of these prompts may help you get a sense of how web annotation can be used in this course:

  1. Annotation as question: Did you read a phrase or word that you just can’t understand?  Highlight this phrase or text and ask your question.  Someone in the class will be able to clarify or discuss it with you in the too.
  2. Annotation as ‘Close Reading’: Are there textual elements and contextual elements you can expand upon by annotating a selection so it links to other online resources to extend understanding.
  3. Annotation as opinion: Have you read something that piques your interest or raises concerns for you?  Annotate with your opinions on topics/issues.
  4. Annotation as Multimedia Writing: Are there images, audio, or video you could add to an annotation to help expand understanding and insight?
  5. Annotation as Creativity: Consider annotations as a form of web publication and explore possible creative, experimental uses.

What to Do

We will be using to explore and annotate examples of open pedagogy.

  1. Sign up for a account
    Like many web-based services requires you to have an account and be signed in to use the service. accounts require minimal information: username, email, and password.
  2. Review the Quick Start Guide for Students
  3. Visit one of the Required Readings in this course.  Once it loads, your will see a small panel in the top right-hand corner of your browser display.
  4. Open the panel and review the ‘How to Get Started’ information.
  5. Start highlighting text and adding annotations to your required readings for the week.