This week in class we were expected to read a piece of literature (John Dewey’s “The School and Social Progress”) and annotate the piece as we read. Many of us had the opportunity to do this through a Connected Learning lens, as there was a chance to meet up online and annotate together as a class. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the live annotation session, but despite being absent, I was surprised at how connected I still felt to the whole event.

I annotated the piece the night before the live group annotation, and though I was not near my computer at the time of the event, I loved getting e-mail notifications in real time on my smartphone when someone responded to one of my annotations. I felt like I was part of the real event in that I was getting updates in real time. It was so hard to not be a near a desktop to respond to those that made comments about my annotation, but it was really fun to watch people respond to my thoughts via my smartphone and e-mail.

I really liked the concept of live annotating and it is something I definitely want to use with my students in class. I love that, like GoogleDrive, using a system like Hypothesis allows many students to be reading the same piece of work and commenting and addin g their thoughts all at once. When I have my students read things in class, they are often all making their own notes on their individual hand-outs. I like the idea that they could interact with each other via an online interface, and see what others in their class are thinking about what we are reading. It is often too hard to get to everyone’s thoughts during a class discussion, so I think that doing group annotating is a great way to have everyone be accountable and engaged in a piece of literature.

I also like the idea of Hypothesis and group annotating for the fact that it does not have to be done all together at one time (though I think that’s a really neat idea!). Using a platform like Hypothesis made it possible for me to still feel connected to my classmates and get their thoughts on what we read, even though I couldn’t be there during the live event. For adult learners, and even just students with busy schedules, I like the idea that students can annotate on their own time and yet still be able to see what their colleagues and classmates are thinking in a connected online format.

Overall I really enjoyed this group annotating experience and it is something that I definitely plan to use with my students during the second half of the school year!