Monday, August 15, 2011

Using Diigo: Web-based Annotation

One thing our students do on a very regular basis is read on the web. Teachers at our school have spent time helping kids annotate printed text, and now there are some pretty cool tools to help kids annotate web-based text. If annotating is a strategy you use with students, you may want to extend that activity for web-based content.

The tool that we "push" the most here at SHHS is Diigo. If you want your students to be working in groups, sharing web pages, and/or annotating those pages (in addition to highlighting), Diigo.com is well worth your time. It has a lot of features and a lot of potential. Not only can you highlight and share page annotations, but you can collect them in one place and have online discussions. Teachers need to create an educator account ahead of time, but we can bulk create your student accounts for you before using the tool with students.

So how does this relate to comprehension? When working with web-based reading, we can guide our students in not only highlighting but also adding sticky notes to explain their choices or adding sticky notes with questions that they have as readers. They can then share that with the world, if they want, and see what others have annotated. It's a great way to help our students learn how to work with electronic text in ways similar to printed text.