Hypothes.is & Digital Creativity

A few weeks back we published two blog posts at hypothes.is related to our social annotation research.  The first was a piece where I wrestled with the tension of whether or not to annotate with students (from pre-seeding a text to real time engagement). As part of that piece, several members of the research team chimed in, offering their pedagogical insights and views. Then as a kind of complement to that, Remi Kalir, who is essentially a co-PI with me on the study, offered a post providing some of the early data about the study: 1000 total participants, 20,000 annotations, and the like. I kicked in some insighst into the top annotated texts that post kind of sets stage for what we are dealing with.

But as we have been working through the development and deployment of this study, a key component to our work has been to also create professional development opportunities. Up until last week, these had been primarily IU facing, with our workshops covering not only the basic guides of making the tool function, but more recently offering insights on “vet moves”: from grounding distinctions between Hypothesis annotations versus canvas discussions, guides for integrating the tool into one’s pedagogy, strategies for using Hypothesis to engage students in course discussion, tips on responding to / evaluating social annotation activities, and the like. However, last week I was out at Hofstra University delivering a public lecture and a series of workshops. One of those workshops focused on Hypothesis, and so working with three different classes in one large lecture space, I offered a hybrid social annotation and digital literacy workshop.

It was a version of an active learning strategy I call Think-Pair-Make-Share, where I had students annotate a short reading, respond to the annotations of their peers, pair up to discuss the text and annotations, identify a key take-away as a pair or group, and then as a pair or group create an image representation in Adobe Spark Post and embed or add the link to the image creation in the annotations. Then we used the images to move through the text, with students explaining what they made as the way to facilitate our discussion. 

It was the first time I had done that version, but it was a really engaged experience for the students, instructors, and myself. I’ll definitely be running that back in other spaces. And a big shout out to the folks at Hofstra University for letting me share what I do and try out a new workshop approach with their students. 

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