The relationship of this service to the authors should be disclosed somewhere explicitly. Given your work, it wouldn’t be out of line to go a bit more in depth on what it is and how it works as an example within this section. Otherwise it feels like it’s been lumped in here without much context, and I’m saying that as someone who is directly aware of the tool outside of the current text (meaning that unaware readers are likely to be even more lost).
The use of anchor here is odd given that it’s done in a different context/meaning than the new concept of anchored discussion just above. Since the word is a relatively low frequency one from an information theoretic sense, you may be better off using a different verb so as not to muddle things up as well as for better variety.
There are also now digital tools like [Anki](https://apps.ankiweb.net/), [Mnemosyne](https://mnemosyne-proj.org/), and even [Amazon's notebook tools](https://read.amazon.com/notebook) that allow highlights and annotations in books to be transferred into digital flashcards to be used for spaced reviews of knowledge and information. I suspect that even students that heavily highlight their textbooks are rarely reviewing over those highlights after-the-fact, and have generally found this to be the case when asking those I see actively doing so.
Spoiler alert in the footnote!
One also has to question for pedagogy’s sake why the new professor of the course continued the adoption of that text which was patently “off” in its recipes to the point that a student who had the corrections and better descriptions (via those annotations) excelled while others were only passable?
I feel like there is also research that indicates the quicker the feedback is given and consumed, the more effective it is as well. Perhaps this is a more useful thing with digital feedback which can be done in near-real time.
I’ll also note that many of the top writing programs in the country (Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars and Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop) rely on written and aural annotated feedback from entire classrooms of students on others’ work.
This may be the first time I’ve ever read his name and it didn’t include his middle initial J.
I’m also reminded after having recently rewatched the movie Quiz Show that Adler released a revised edition of this book with Charles van Doren in 1972.
I found this paragraph frustrating to lead because it seems like a list of teacher names and one line of what they did. I was hoping for more details that would help someone who has never annotated or used it in class to imagine how they might use it
I am sorry… I did not find this very useful. I think you are trying to say how learning is about a skill you did not have, then you develop building blocks for it, then you can do it. I don't think of learning exactly that way, but I also think if you want to focus on learning then you can weave in more of the content/context aspects (e.g. you may know how to read and pronounce a word but if you do not understand the context or have never seen it, you won't *understand* it, or you may misunderstand it because of cultural context or such). You also briefly mention attitudinal aspects but not deeply. For example, a child may become passionate about reading *about robots* but not read any fiction. A child may enjoy social reading with a parent but not like reading alone, etc. I say these things because annotation can influence how much agency a learner has over making reading more or less social, by annotating privately or publicly - because annotation is an extension of their learning through reading, an active, potentially visible engagement
I am not comfortable with repeated use of voila here :) Especially in the social aspects, as reading can be seen by some as a private activity and they may feel uncomfortable doing it socially, no?
here, I have a small problem. You are describing reading as a set of concrete technical skills. You learn the shape of the letters and later put them together to form words. You learn the sounds connected to letter combos. This is the instrumental/technical reading. But fluency in reading is something else and is not technical or instrumental but something more, a process of connecting to reading material, you know? And a book club allows social connection to reading, right?
i was honestly expecting something more like a lit review here, but it's ok if this isn't it. I do wonder if you want to tie things to educational philosophy or curriculum theory. How you decide that something enhances learning, how you do that research to show it, differs by paradigm. For example, as an interpretivist/critical researcher I would never even attempt a correlational study on this, it would be absurd to the type of research question I have. I would also focus on the nuances of how each student used it in each context and whether finding annotations or responses by others demonstrate (or feel to the learner) learning- and tie it to what happens in class before and after, building on the annotation exercise. For example.
and for PARTICULAR learners. In the same assignment, some learners may benefit more than others, but perhaps a well-designed assignment in a suitable context will be beneficial to more learners. It would be interesting to look at learners’ own individual choices to annotate (e.g. graduate students doing research) and how they use this, how it helps. I find it infinitely more accessible and organized than note cards which I have never used since my understanding freshman writing/ composition courses
This feels different from annotation in the sense I thought this chapter was about. This feels like feedback to a person which can be given orally or textually (and often I read about learners preferring oral, more holistic feedback than the kind using red markers. Though I do see its usefulness in language teaching
This is interesting to me because most of my schooling, I did not own my books, and had to return them to school, WITHOUT marks on them. Only a few situations existed where we were allowed to do this. In university, I did buy my own books, but often borrowed from the library, again books I could not (in all conscience) annotate. Only when I started to get second hand books with annotations I became interested in seeing other people's annotations
And public? Most social annotation in classrooms is still circumscribed to private groups. It’s a whole different thing when students annotate publicly and for the public good.
monkey see, monkey do has always been one of the most powerful forms of learning…
This is key for me: social annotation provides a way to teach these practices that I think wasn’t possible or at least wasn’t easy before.
Hasn’t much annotation throughout history essentially occurred in a kind of vacuum? The personal notes readers have left that no one has ever seen?
Yes, annotation has in certain senses always been social, but collaborative annotation does change things up a bit:
By socializing annotation we enact the reality that learning is social.
agreed. I think there is a big difference between annotating for oneself vs annotating for/with others. I guess the difference between constructivism and social constructivism?
Not sure this anecdote works
I’m so glad to see this linked here: Manuel’s talk was one of the most inspiring I’ve ever heard.
Ask and thou shalt receive: Above I anticipated coverage of how annotation can benefit teachers, and here it is.
I love the examples of annotation-powered professional development for teachers, but I also wonder if there isn’t something to say about how annotating with their students benefits teachers? I don’t have a concrete example, but I’m thinking back on Gardner Campbell’s #ianno19 keynote.
I love how a thoughtful human-powered educational process like this can augment the experience of everyone involved, not just the “target audience”. I hope to read elsewhere how annotation can benefit teachers as well as students.
What I love about the SitC example is that it shows how a human-powered, thoughtful educational process like SitC’s annotation and learning lenses augments the experience of everyone involved, not just the “target audience”.
I felt a jump here between the learning to read example, and learning leading to literacy. Obviously they are connected, but I don’t think the transitions between learning to read and reading to learn are sufficiently well marked.
I’d question these commas around “now”. They gave me too much pause ;)
I feel like starting with Adler here sets the tone for annotation in education as a form of argument, when it might also be thought of as an exploration, or a conversation, or a mapped journey, or…
This section strikes me as an example of how social annotation works beyond teacher-student interaction, even so much as to foster the social justice work of R2L. But is it an example of a technology working toward that social justice? Does that distinction make sense? It’s a tool that is aiding people as they do this important work, but the tech itself isn’t proven to “also work toward a broader social, civic, and moral value,” as proclaimed early in this section. I hope that makes sense.
Maybe this is beyond the scope here, but I feel like you’re reaching towards a broadened sense of reader agency here. Am I wrong? Readers are learning via social annotation, but is social annotation also contributing to a grander conceptualization of reader as agent in meaning-making?
Yes! Annotation as practice in feeling empowered to enter broader conversations.
And, I’d add, it’s not just hard to teach reading that makes it a challenge. Our mental models for what it even means to be a reader and to co-construct knowledge alongside the producer/author/designer is missing.
Yes, and not just reading, but readings, as there are so many modes/practices of reading that can maybe not all be generalized to a single, generic reading practice.
Good. Here is where I get hints that you’re looking at reading in far more complex ways than highlighted in the section above (where I noted my concern over reading as a process of decoding).
Yet it’s problematic to me that the pedagogical debates around learning to read seem to end with the decoding process of those early learning experiences (phonetics, basic comprehension, etc…) and fail to account for the ways older readers learn to “read” (beyond decoding).
Yes: merely “massaging the text into my eyeballs”, https://youtu.be/P-uuWcmzpgw, is not the same as the deeper engagement we are thinking above beyond decoding, which we think annotation can assist.
One of the biggest challenges of developing technology is building something that is generalizable enough to be useful as many people as possible. As a developer, customizing solutions to every single use case is something that is difficult to achieve.
This is self-evident, so I am unsure why you need to say anything about generalizability here. What I think you can do (and maybe you have? I am reading linearly here as I annotate) is offer contextualized case studies (so clarify what the course was, for what age group, what size class, what type of learning activity, how annotation was done) and report on how/whether they helped learning, and leave readers to gauge transferability to their own contexts. I don't think you need this paragraph here. You just need to signpost what it is you ARE able to do here.
as a UX note, I really like the way pubpub allows for citation popups.
A clickable link in the popup would be cool too.
Should this be singular if you’re citing a single review of the research?
Can you introduce this quotation by giving more context? Who’s speaking, here? (I’m assuming this is a line in the discussion of the study by the authors of the study in the footnote, but it feels like a bit of a leap to make this assumption).
You’re citing two studies, here. One from 1997 (with undergrad participants), and one with 45 pre-service teachers as participants. Here also, I think you need to contextualize the claims you’re making from the literature.
I wonder, though, if annotation discourages a more holistic discussion of a text by focusing on details…
As a reader, I’m craving more examples of annotations in action. This chapter feels like a literature review, which I appreciate, but I also would love to see evidence of learners’ actual annotations on real texts that show me how annotation itself (as opposed to discussion or even just thinking) can promote learning.
Given that most of these studies examine higher education contexts, I’m not sure you can make this claim about K-12.
I’m not sure if you’re going to keep a digital edition of this book after the review period, but if so, I’d like to be able to copy and paste from these footnotes. Right now, they don’t allow me to do so.
Some of these claims feel intuitive to me (as a literacy researcher and teacher), but do you have any citations to support this? For example, I’m not so sure that the overall trend in schools is to promote digital annotation, or that it is explicitly prioritized/named/valued in school.
Can you contextualize that the first lit review you cite was focused exclusively on higher education students?
and practices? I feel like annotation as a practice (an action) can also lead to empowerment which leads to other forms of action. Is that part of the argument here?
we need all the copyediting help we can get, thank you!
Could you cite these? I know it’s not necessarily a book named at an academic audience, but as a reader, I would get annoyed if you referred to these folks and there was no citation.
I think you need a comma between read and yet. I think.
I agree. Are you diving into science because there is more research in this subject? Can you add a sentence or two explaining why you chose science as opposed to other disciplines? Your examples throughout the chapter have focused on reading and science (which could make readers feel like other disciplines deserve more attention).
What point are you making here? Are you comparing digital annotations to handwritten annotations?
This study is a weak counterargument concerning the relationship between annotations and learning. I would like to see more about the relationship between reading-engagement levels and learning.
This a a bit of a stretch. Reading a research article published in “Science” is difficult for undergraduate students even with the help of SiTC annotations.
What about saying “more easily access and engage with” the scientific concepts by negotiating comprehension in a dialogic way? Sorry that’s a lot of jargon, but I think this helps to not oversimplify a still complex process.
Also, as a side note, I now want to try SiTC with my kid.
Have to be careful here because there is research to suggest that students do not exhibit the same annotative behaviors in digital that they would in print. In other words, we lose some of our reading practices when we shift to digital, despite all the available tools. Print annotation is visceral and has a lower barrier to entry.
Elaborate on this important point. The reason annotation can do this is because it is a cognitive strategy - generative learning. The practice of annotation activates different neural connections with the text than just reading it passively.
Annotation is a humanly natural inclination. We have always wanted to interact with content.
Or, is it fair to say that annotation is a work-around to the natural inclination for dialogic that humans have? Annotation is our only way to make the printed word (a technology that could effectively work to end dialogue, implying that what is printed is the final say on the matter) more dialogic in nature, right?
Elaborate on this point a bit. It is an important one, I think.
Can you cite this more? The two citations you give seem not to “overwhelmingly suggest” the power of feedback, even though I agree with this point.
This conclusion is unlike what you have done in previous chapters, calling directly to the reader.
That is neither good nor bad, but I am just pointing out that it is curious to be addressed directly, as a reader and annotator, at this point so late in the book and in a manner unlike I had experienced before.
Again, I’ve read less than Troy (just chapters 5 &6), and I personally appreciate the dialogic/ dialectic nature of this question, except that I wasn’t sure exactly what you were asking — my experience with annotation & learning (as the handwritten question asks below) or my experience reading this last section of the chapter related to broader social, civic & moral value? Because those are really different questions. And, also, my experiences reading this chapter in terms of that latter question are kinda meh, but my experiences of annotation and its social, civic and moral value (even annotation of chapter 5 with your examples there which resonated more with me because they were grounded in power) are stronger so I think the question itself needs more clarity so that I can have a stronger engagement with it (because it’s all about me….I mean, and other readers like me too)
Do you have another specific example to share? In addition to the Climate Change and Frankenstein examples from earlier, do you have an example that really shows how annotation can both aid learning and lead to social change?
Push this one step further and, again, answer the “so what” question. What about this is important for us, as educators, trying to understand what we are teaching and what students are really learning?
I don’t mean to intrude on the authors’ intent here, but as with any digital media, the data underlying digital annotation can become unmanageable for manual analysis.
Analytics tools are an aid for combing through large amounts of data.
Could you pull, from at least one of these examples, a specific annotation/dialogue amongst educators that you think highlights how powerful this form of PD really is?
In short, show don’t tell here. An example would go far to accentuate your argument.
I like this suggestion. A real-world anecdote / example would help here.
Interesting that, among all the openly available options you have mentioned so far, that you now mention a commercial product. Why have you chose to do that here?
I think it makes sense to talk about any annotation technology. Maybe an appendix guide to the tools discussed would be good, or maybe beyond the scope of this work.
This is useful, and I wonder if you might offer other “learning lenses” that would be particularly helpful for annotating literature, historical texts, infographics, videos, and other modes/media?
I once remarked on the evolution of scientific journal article titles and am surprised that they don’t mention visiting popular science journalism as a means of entering some journal articles from a broader perspective before delving into a journal article itself? They don’t always exist for all articles, but for those with interesting/broad impact they can be a more immediate way into the topic before getting in to the heavier jargon of a scientific article itself.
OK, so as a reader, I can “take” all of them. Then what?
What do you want me to learn about annotation (and the teaching of annotation practices) from this list?
Right now, it is a list of people using annotation on certain content, but not a list of specific intellectual tasks (ala Blooms) that these teachers are inviting their students to aspire toward.
Help us see, clearly, what happens when students annotate. In other words, answer the “so what?” question rather than just providing a list of examples.
A clear concise list of these themes would be helpful.
I need a “like” button for many of Troy’s comments.
And, at risk of sounding cynical, are you going to offer some specific recommendations for how educators can “systematically promote annotation as a cognitive strategy”?
As an educator, it would be very helpful to see the ways in which we can teach these annotation “moves” to students, explicitly.
Also, seeing how we can do these same moves with digital tools… that would be particularly useful.
Where is this list? Why not mention it earlier, and elaborate on the findings?
I agree with this. There’s a lot of lead up and I would like evidence up front and then an unpacking of it throughout the chapter. It’s just hard for me to stay bought in when you keep referring to “overwhelming evidence” & “considerable research” and then I have to keep reading to find it.
Good to acknowledge the counterpoint. Again, do you have evidence to suggest that, empirically, annotation does improve learning?
Hoping these studies are referenced later in the chapter, but I’m wondering the same thing as a reader at this point.
OK, I believe you.
Yet, this is a “trust but verify” moment.
Do you have some citations of research (read: experimental/quasi-experimental) studies that proves, empirically, that annotation aids learning?
I am also waiting for the same and am 90% sure I read something at some point that said digital reading is not deep enough unless you annotate it. If I find the link I will come back and share.
And, this speaks to the power that the teacher had… what questions was he expecting Derrida to answer?
What was Derrida himself aiming to do with these writings/annotations?
Yes, students could do this.
Are they being taught to do so, explicitly? And, even if they are doing so, are they engaging at the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, or are they stuck at the lower levels?
When you are able to do so…
Sorry, I am harping on this. But, I fear that you are taking a very optimistic view toward the ways that students are taught (if they are indeed taught at all) to annotate.
I think that some students do annotate, and do it well. Most, I am afraid, do not annotate at all (or do not do it well).
Even if they are doing it well, are they really doing it in deeply dialogic ways?
I don’t know. I’m going to respectfully disagree with Troy on this one. I think that your citation of Adler is his advocacy, not necessarily your own at this point (but Troy’s read more of the book than I have) and I also think that annotation, even when done poorly, if done on one’s own (i.e. if not copied from someone’s else’s — like a teacher’s annotation) is an important step in dialogism.
Going back to the concerns I expressed in the first chapter, this tweet could be read in very positive — or very negative — light.
Is “understanding” the only goal for reading? Moreover, are you really “understanding” it, or merely going through the motions to demonstrate that you have marked up the text?
This example deserves some unpacking.
The negative reading reminds me of Gallagher’s Readicide. Are teachers inadvertently damaging students’ love of reading by forcing them to highlight/annotate/post-it/journal it to death?