I have become numb to the messages, tweets, blog posts, and other social media summarizing “the top x tools to do y with technology.” The x is a number that is way too large… if you are pro-porting to be an expert by going public with your recommendation, then tell me *the best* tool in the group. The y is some task that can be accomplished with technology. Please notice I am avoiding contributing to that problem by posting about one tool… that is very useful.
First, the y in this case annotating web sites or PDF files. This is a very useful task. For me, I want to make some notes on a file or a page to indicate my questions, extensions, or challenges to what is there. These might be for my own purposes or they may be for the public or they may be for a group of colleague or students who I invite.
Second, the x in this case is Hypothes.is. With this tool, I can add the extension to my web browser and then I can open the annotation tools at any site, log in to my Hypothes.is account, and add annotations. If I create a group, them members can see my annotations, and we can reply to each others’ annotations. BY adding a few lines of code to my site, I can ensure others can annotate my site as well.
Teachers are going to have a little extra time in the coming months. My suggestion for those who want to explore and gain experience using one digital tool that will be most useful for your classes starting in the fall: install Hypothes.is… create an account…. use it this summer… you are sure to start your students using it in the fall!