Playful Annotation in the Open: Part 3

This post is the third in an ongoing series about playfulness in open web annotation. Here’s Part 1 and Part 2. Hope you enjoy. – Remi


A central observation in my previous post about open web annotation was that through playful expression – such as a reader’s experimentation and sarcasm – it is possible for the practices of digital annotation to appropriate (con)texts. That is, through open annotation an attitude of playfulness can imbue a context not intended for play (like a graduate course or asynchronous online discussion) and also a text not intended for social annotation (such as a video or medical research). Moreover, such playful appropriation creates something new – a (con)text, or a liminal and hybrid space:

somewhere between social networking and academic inquiry, somewhere between close reading and distributed commentary, somewhere between content consumption and media(ted) production.

Since writing last week about two qualities of playful annotation (experimentation and sarcasm), I’ve had – and no surprise here – the pleasure of furthering my own learning about open annotation. I’ll begin by sharing two complementary perspectives on open annotation. I will then utilize these perspectives to share two additional qualities of playful annotation in the open that I have experienced as graduate learners in INTE 5320 Games and Learning annotate their course readings.

A Play on Appropriation

In describing open annotation I have made repeated reference to Miguel Sicart’s (2014) qualification of playful as an attitude that results in the appropriation of a context not intended for play. Sicart’s definition prompted this Hypothesis annotation from Enkerli, quoted in full:

My own (playful) pun, which I’ve been using for a while (long before this interview), is that appropriation is about making something our own and making it appropriate in a context. Was told (by an English teacher) that it wasn’t “what appropriation means”. Been prefacing it more since then. But it’s a way to distinguish the concept from the negatively-loaded “cultural appropriation” while keeping the same principles as drivers for a different kind of change. Been especially interested in technological appropriation, overall, and now in technopedagogical appropriation.

Enkerli’s playful pun seeks to (re)frame “something” – an action, someone’s speech, perhaps a comment in the margin –  descriptively; appropriate is now an adjective. Here, appropriate describes a “something” that is suitable and relevant within a given context. For example, Gene Kelly signing and dancing in the rain is behavior that not only appropriates a street at night (a context not designed for play), it is appropriate given his character Don’s experiences (falling in love with Debbie Reynolds’ character Kathy – “From where I stand, the sun is shining all over the place.”). Irrespective of the police officer’s condescension – his stern gaze brings this improvisational playfulness to an end – Kelly’s actions are (to him, and to us as viewers!) entirely appropriate.

Consider another aesthetic example, though one with a bit more bite. The street artist Banksy not only appropriates contexts (such as buildings, streets, and parks) with provocative visual commentary, the content of this art further underscores a subliminal argument – it is appropriate, perhaps even necessary, to reimagine the Queen, or to resist occupation, or to reconsider where (and how) dreams come true.

In contrast to stereotypes of play as superfluous and inconsequential, Enkerli reminds us that playful activity – like open annotation – can appropriate (con)texts, and that in doing so such activity may be entirely appropriate (if not imperative) across those (con)texts.

Annotation as Social Reading

In the past week I have also seen open (that is, web and/or digital) annotation referred to – and on multiple occasions – as social reading. First, my friend and colleague Noah Geisel referred me to his blog post about Authentic Student Collaboration Through Social Reading. Noah’s post reviews three annotation platforms (Subtext, Ponder, and Genius), with a bent toward pedagogical affordances for K-12 classroom teachers. Preferring the term uptexting to social reading, Noah concludes:

all of three of these tools (and others that surely exist or soon will) offer teachers and students a valuable communication device to share with parents, colleges and employers. Student’s annotations can be displayed as a part of their portfolios, serving as powerful artifacts that are the evidence of a child’s learning.

And earlier today, Mia Zamora wrote for DML Central about Reading as a Social Act. As I have done with this blog, Mia highlighted the open annotation platform Hypothesis and noted the ease with which Hypothesis “invites communities of readers into an extended (and asynchronous) close reading conversation.” Whereas Noah discusses the specifics of pedagogy, Mia attends to the political implications of open annotation-as-social reading. As she observes in her conclusion:

A collaborative reading environment seems to me a fair foundation for dynamic and thoughtful interaction, which, in turn, holds the potential to mirror the kind of rich and complex dialogue we aspire to in a working democracy.

Two Additional Qualities of Playful Annotation

So what happens if we mash together Enkerli’s playful pun with Mia and Noah’s concern for social reading? And how do these perspectives help to identify – and explain – additional qualities of playful annotation? If open annotation appropriates (con)texts, then certain annotation qualities, like sarcasm and experimentation, are not only appropriate, they are socially acceptable among a given community of practice.  I’ll now discuss two additional and socially acceptable qualities of playful annotation that I have seen appropriate – and emerge across – (con)texts associated with the teaching and learning activities of INTE 5320.

1. Uncertainty

Open annotation appropriates (con)texts through uncertainty. It can be terrifying to publicly acknowledge uncertainty or ignorance – and whether for kindergarteners, graduate learners, or educators (including professors!). In the too-frequently sanitized forums that pass for the trappings of interactive online discussion, learners rarely – if ever – admit to public not-knowing. Because so many online discussions rely upon a question-and-answer-with-evidence format, a recognition to one’s learning community of confusion is an admission of defeat. “Go ahead,” such a response would read, “Subtract this week’s points.” And what a wasted opportunity. Why not learn more about people who are learning? Why not grapple with emergent not-knowing? Why not embrace ambiguity and curiosity?

And yet uncertainly can – and does – emerge as a distinctive quality of open annotation. The last INTE 5320 cycle examined two topics related to games and learning – GamerGate and neuroscience. Having previously shared examples of sarcastic and experimental annotation atop GamerGate texts, I’ll highlight an example of uncertainly associated with Bevelier and colleagues’ (2012) lauded article “Brain plasticity through the life span: Learning to learn and action video games.” In a passage that explains the elements and demands of a player first acquiring and then adapting her “neural architecture” to successfully play a game (like soccer), two INTE 5320 learners – bjauw and Hoffmaca – voice their uncertainty about “representations that are invariant to irrelevant internal limb motions.” Yes, it is a wordy – and confusing – passage:

uncertainty

bjauw begins by offering a “translation,” suggesting this means a player is learning how others are moving during game play. And then bjauw qualifies – in parentheses, as if distancing and yet still owning – the contribution: “I think… I might be wrong on this one.” This public uncertainty elicits Hoffmaca’s response, equal parts interpretation and skepticism: “I’m not really clear on the ‘internal’ part. Otherwise, I’d just say that they’re cutting out some of the ‘noise’ with mental models, yes?” Rarely have I seen such close reading as candid confusion shared in the threaded discussion forums of an LMS.

Hoffmaca and bjauw’s social reading – their conversation with one another, with Bevelier and colleagues, and publicly before their peers – interjects uncertainty as an appropriate response to the playful appropriation of (con)texts.

2. Honesty

Open annotation also appropriates (con)texts through honesty. Annotations have – at times and under certain circumstances – expressed candor atypical of more prescriptive (online/asynchronous) course discussion. I wonder if the honesty present in playful annotation reflects the fact that I am not formally assessing learners’ annotation. As I have previously written in response to questions about assessment:

…no, I have not mandated a quantitative frequency for annotation – whether of a given text, or throughout a two-week reading cycle. And no, I did not create an a priori rubric to assess either a single annotation, or a reader’s annotation practice… And no, I had little expectation about the emergent semiotic qualities of annotation.

Maybe it is this lack of summative assessment that motivates, in part, instances of honesty in open annotation. Or maybe not. Whatever the case may be, I appreciate those moments when honest commentary serves as both annotation means and end. One example appeared as a complement to our reading of Ian Bogost’s article Gamification is Bullshit. In response to Bogost’s claim that “gamification is reassuring,” LisaDise and SusannahSimmons participated in a conversation about the connections among gamification, faculty professional development, and digital badges. Here’s the exchange, also pictured below:

playfulannotation2

To summarize, LisaDise is discouraged by social and technical limitations associated with the use of digital badges in faculty professional development activities that she helps to facilitate. SusannahSimmons’ question – “Do you think the faulty sees the badges as meaningful?” – identifies core concerns with gamification, like internal versus external motivation, the role of rewards, and whether meaning-making is possible or even valued through such learning. The forthright question elicits a revealing response from LisaDise: “Honestly? I don’t think they care.” This exchange utilizes honest questioning and assessment to appropriate the (con)texts of:

  • Course annotation-as-discussion, given SusannahSimmons’ role as the annotation facilitator;
  • Gamification, as the text content and a familiar (and critiqued) strategy; and
  • Faculty professional development as the site of LisaDise’s professional practice (and a context not intended for play).

I hope this observation of honesty is not misrepresented as conveying naïveté about the role and prevalence of honest conversation in learning – whether in a classroom, online, as guided by various pedagogies, and as critical to many fields of study. Rather, I am pleasantly surprised that open annotation as social reading so seamlessly affords honest expression as acceptable.

And so I’ll leave it there, at least for now. Open annotation, as a form of social reading, can be playful. As playful learning, open annotation appropriates (con)texts not designed for play – whether neuroscience research, GamerGate media, or faculty professional development. And various socially acceptable qualities describe such playful annotation in the open – including sarcasm, experimentation, uncertainty, and honesty.

 

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Playful Annotation in the Open: Part 2

This post is the second in an ongoing series about playfulness in open web annotation. My comments are exploratory, driven by curiosity, and rooted in the experiences of INTE 5320 Games and Learning. I am grateful to the graduate learners of #ILT5320 whose annotation with the platform Hypothesis has greatly challenged my practices and conceptions of learning. – Remi


Playfulness as Appropriation

I’ll begin where I concluded in my first post about playful annotation in the open. I drew upon Miguel Sicart’s book Play Matters to emphasize the distinction between play, as a practice, and playfulness as an attitude. As Sicart observes: “Playfulness assumes one of the core attributes of play: appropriation. To be playful is to appropriate a context that is not created or intended for play” (p. 27).

What does Sicart mean by the “appropriation” of a context? A few examples are helpful, as there are many everyday contexts – that is, contexts not specifically designed or intended for play – that are regularly and stereotypically appropriated by the physical, psychological, and emotional attitudes of playfulness. Here are a few: Stickball and various expressions of street play. Skateboarding and parkour . Graffiti on a wall. The use of an “icebreaker” to begin a meeting. That time when grocery shopping became basketball. And guerrilla theatre… to name but a few. While the idea of a “playground” likely conjures images of protected space, often with grass and perhaps defining a park, with swings, slides, and other colorful equipment or “play structures,” a playful attitude – and whether expressed individually or shared socially – can appropriate a street, the city plaza, a building facade or foyer, a store, or an office as a playground. It is as if inanimate objects and everyday settings contain a form of potential energy, some latent capacity for agency, and it is our attitude that then transforms action into play, and environment into playground.

Open Annotation and Appropriation

Open web annotation provides a distinctive perspective on the appropriation of context. Platforms like Hypothesis afford readers the ability to augment online resources – with their own written commentary, with embedded media (images, GIFs), and with connections to other ideas and networks (through hyperlinks to anywhere/one/thing). In this respect, open web annotation comprises a repertoire of practices that both contribute to – and also expand – conversation. Unlike the commenting feature of a blog, and more substantive than a tweet, open web annotation is a more democratic pathway for deep reading, reflective interaction, and layered discourse. Such expression may not only appropriate contexts unintended for play, like a graduate course, or debate about current events; such annotation also appropriates (con)texts.

By appropriating (con)texts, playful annotation in the open presents readers, learners, and educators with a “both and, and also” dynamic. First, playful annotation appropriates both texts (see our readings) and contexts (such as ILT5320’s current discussions about GamerGate and neuroscience). And second, playful annotation also appropriates a hybrid (con)text that exists somewhere between social networking and academic inquiry, somewhere between close reading and distributed commentary, somewhere between content consumption and media(ted) production. There is simultaneous engagement with text, context, and (con)text. Playful annotation is a pathway into, among, and beyond laminated and multimodal discourse.

So if playfulness means appropriating a context not intended for play, and if playful annotation in the open appropriates (con)texts, then what might curious people – whether annotators of this post (see you in the margins!) or researchers – glimpse of such playful appropriation? In other words, what are some qualities evident in the appropriation of (con)text?

Two Qualities of Playful Annotation

In the remainder of this post I’ll describe two qualities of playful annotation. These are only two qualities, not an exhaustive accounting of all possible expressions of playful annotation. And I urge readers to consider these qualities not as practices – or intentional strategies, utilized across various platforms, and to achieve specific goals – but rather as my initial attempt to name some characteristics present in ILT5320 annotation. In future blog posts I’ll describe others. The two qualities I’ll first describe are sarcasm and experimentation.

1. Sarcasm

Open annotation appropriates (con)texts through sarcasm. Perhaps sarcasm emerges because the technical affordances of Hypothesis – and the social conventions of annotation – encourage short, perhaps messy, even off-the-cuff and witty commentary.

Consider one recent example. In the current INTE 5320 cycle, graduate learners are reading about the GamerGate controversy. We have annotated a Rolling Stone interview featuring Anita Sarkeesian. At one point in her interview, Sarkeesian says: “GamerGate is really a sexist temper tantrum.” To which susanvlaws has remarked: “Feminists are ruining everyone’s fun and gamers’ rights to be immature, obnoxious and harmful.” And kdhicks2 has also responded: “HA. Right. Darn feminist. If only we could just live in a world with only men seen and heard publicly. How sad would that be?” Now, if you don’t know susanvlaws or kdhicks2… well, I suppose it is hypothetically plausible to read these annotations as advocating misogyny. However, my interaction with both individuals – alongside the collective whole of their annotation commentary, both of this interview and other texts – strongly supports the assertion that this annotation is decidedly sarcastic.

Below is an image of these annotations appropriating simultaneously the (con)texts of peer interaction, Sarkeesian’s interview, GamerGate, and social criticism.

playfulannotation1

Following the lead of susanvlaws, kdhicks2, and others, I have also begun to experiment with sarcastic annotation, primarily in my response to student blogging and through the use of images and GIFs (here’s one example and another). I appreciate sarcasm as a quality of playful annotation because:

  • First, these contributions are easily read in reference to the broader and ongoing conversation, and not as a dismissive or rude slight;
  • Second, such annotation adds levity to more rigorous discourse, and whether about controversy like GamerGate or conceptualizations of learning theory; and
  • Third, sarcastic annotation reveals certain personality traits of a reader-writer.

2. Experimentation

Open annotation appropriates (con)texts through experimentation. In this respect, I am not referring to the ways in which learners may be “playing with ideas” (though yes, that is a wonderful sentiment). Rather, there is an experimental quality to the means employed by learners to author – quite practically – their annotations.

Here’s another example featuring Anita Sarkeesian, though in this case the given text is a video of her 2014 XOXO Festival address. Despite knowing that Hypothesis (only/currently) supports the annotation of written text, a few INTE 5320 learners were eager to somehow annotate this video on Youtube:

In this instance, both Lisa and Kirk are experimenting with their annotation given the technical affordances and limitations of mashing together Hypothesis with YouTube. And here’s what happened:

playfulannotation5

Lisa utilized Hypothesis’ page commenting function (which attaches annotation to an entire webpage or text, rather than a specific location within a given text), and added multiple annotations that she then marked with video-specific timestamps (i.e. 2:45, 3:15, 7:45). For example, she watched Sarkeesian’s video and added this page comment: “2:45 – 4chan, it’s like the bottoms of the internet. Completely anonymous, a lot of hated. I don’t recommend every [sic] visiting the website unless you have a deep, unsatisfied curiosity; and then [be] prepared to be disappointed in the human race.”

As an alternative approach, Kirk was able to annotate specific moments (i.e. 0:39/16:23 and 1:20/16:23). Though he encountered some difficulty, ultimately he succeeded in contributing an experimental annotation to the various (con)texts of a course assignment, the history of video game development, and gender inequity in gaming: “‘For several decades the gaming industry catered almost exclusively to a straight white male demographic’ [Kirk quoting Sarkeesian]. I don’t know where there is evidence to back up ALL of this claim, but, a Wikipedia entry for ‘Women and Video Games’ cites ‘historical prevalence’ and uses statistics to back it from 1982-present.”

I appreciate experimentation as a quality of playful annotation because:

  • First, these contributions are akin to activity in a sandbox, pushing the technical affordances and social conventions of annotation to an edge;
  • Second, such annotation is rather game-like – a voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles; and
  • Third, like sarcasm, experimental annotation reveals traits of a reader-writer as someone who is willing to try, fail, get frustrated, and share working solutions.

I’m also intrigued by experimentation as a playful quality of open annotation because of my own pedagogical opportunities. Because I’ll be teaching CU Denver’s Learning with Digital Stories course again this coming summer (as I did a year ago), I’ll soon begin to explore how annotation in the open may be complementary to the storytelling practices of DS106.

Coda

Earlier today I had the pleasure of listening to a colleague describe her attempts to build “humble theory” in one realm of mathematics education. She emphasized a “grounded” approach to perceiving – “line-by-line” and across time – the interactions and sense-making behaviors of high school students participating in a rather innovative and dynamic design experiment.

As I think about playful annotation in the open, I resonate with her humble and inductive approach. Like her, my thoughts are guided by theoretical influences – hence, why this post began with Sicart’s framing of playfulness and appropriation. And yes, learning in ILT5320 is neither overtly prescriptive nor entirely free-form. Rather, designs for graduate annotation-as-discussion have created conditions for unanticipated expressions and outcomes. As I read, respond, and analyze, I’ve noticed sarcasm and experimentation as two playful annotation qualities. There are certainly more qualities to observe, and perhaps a typology of sorts is in order. As we continue to play, and as we continue to playfully approach our annotation in the open, I am eager to name the many ways in which learners creatively engage amongst text, context, and (con)text.

 

(Re)Marking upon #ProfChat

This past Tuesday evening’s #profchat discussed open annotation in higher education. I had the honor and pleasure of serving as moderator. How come? I volunteered to moderate based entirely upon my rather nascent experiences learning with Hypothesis this semester in INTE 5320 Games and Learning. And in an effort to open – that is, to make public, transparent, and participatory – my facilitation as chat moderator, I wrote a welcome blog post last Sunday that described my rationale and goals, and that also shared the chat questions in advance of our discussion.

Tuesday evening arrived and #profchat commenced with conversation that brought together practitioners, learners, designers, and healthy critics of open and digital pedagogy from various institutions and with varied backgrounds. We discussed prior experiences with open annotation, noted pros and cons, identified useful pedagogy and learning strategies, and shared resources. We even considered the “the future of open annotation in higher education,” including implications for coursework, collaboration, and research (as a related aside, I’m still pondering this question).

And unlike some Twitter chats – which too readily prompt a collective preaching to the choir – #profchat participants began asking about their genuine curiosities:

And unlike some Twitter chats – which too superficially inquire about problems of practice – #profchat participants began parsing with nuance certain taken-for-granted relations:

And unlike some Twitter chats – which too readily position expertise as the distinguishing feature of a moderator, or as the secret code among some in-crowd – #profchat participants turned to a distributed and impromptu collective rich with divergent insight, know-how, and wondering:

Interested readers are encouraged to view the chat Storify, a thread that sequentially captured all #profchat-tagged tweets from the hour-long conversation.

As the residue from Tuesday’s chat lingers, I’d like to feedforth a few observations that will likely guide my own future work – among distributed publics, through various formal and less formal learning arrangements, and with a repertoire of collaborative social practices – as afforded by open annotation.

1. Tool is to task as repertoires of tools are to learning

#profchat reminded me that we learn not with isolated tools (often hyped as silver-bullet solutions), but with repertoires of tools. A repertoire of tools is often cobbled together – across platforms, services, media, and relations that meet authentic needs and that bolster interest-driven practices. And our repertoires are often (re)arranged on-the-fly so as to meet contingent and emergent needs, whether individual or collective.

In this respect, Tuesday’s #profchat was not confined to the constraints of Twitter. Some participants began on this blog, then used Hypothesis to annotate my welcome post, then jumped into the Twitter chat and shared thoughts and resources. Others contributed media as a complement to their conversations (thanks again Terry Elliot for your amazing question images, originally embedded via Hypothesis in this blog!), whereas some people traced their participation from ongoing course hashtags (like #ILT5320, #DS106 and #inf155), into the chat, and then out to new networks and social relations. If annotation is a trans-media practice (that is, annotation is writing in a book, and graffiti on a wall, with similar activity and content appearing in each medium), it follows that open web annotation also spans repertoires of tools.

2. Platforms should privilege questioning rather than guarantee answer delivery

#profchat confirmed my bias towards learning technologies that cultivate curiosity. The challenges and opportunities confronting higher education pedagogy will not be adequately addressed by platforms designed to provide answers. How frequently have we practitioners received invitations to adopt a much-hyped LMS, or to attend a skill-building workshop, or – in what must surely be the worst of cases – watch an online tutorial so as to actually use some unintuitive software?

Seldom does a new technical feature usefully mitigate a problem of teaching practice. Seldom does a promised innovation disrupt entrenched power relations or challenge institutional privilege. More frequently is there a need for some type of platform – both technical and social, instructional and open – to afford questioning. Low-barrier opportunities for interest-driven inquiry are far more valuable than high-tech solutions to someone else’s problems. This is why, for example, INTE 5320 moved away from LMS-based threaded discussion forums and into the margins via Hypothesis. And aside from my experiences and those of learners in INTE 5320, the responses during Tuesday’s #profchat are an indicator that Hypothesis has fostered a loyal community that values a responsive platform engendering questioning and curiosity.

3.  From learning in the margins, to learning with and at new margins

Finally, #profchat also showcased the value of translating learning in the margins to learning with and at new margins. Open annotation platforms like Hypothesis can deftly support discussion and reflection in the margins of online text and resources. And in INTE 5320, for example, our discussion-in-the-margins often evidences playful qualities. In other contexts, such discourse is a form of civic engagement. Or conversation buoys informal educator learning. Across these – and other – examples there is a marginal quality to the shared activity; this learning can be a bit raw, unscripted, perhaps even subversive.

Tuesday’s #profchat was also a reminder that consequential learning can occur through the creation of new margins. The chat brought together (sometimes disconnected) K-12 and higher education practitioners. The chat brought together learners from formal course contexts (like INTE 5320) with individuals whose learning is more informal and untethered from institutional requirements. And the chat brought together people with a wide range of open annotation experiences; what some people would call more expert and novice experiences. Operating at the intersection of K-12 and higher education, formal and informal, expert and novice, #profchat created new margins – new conversational creases – for shared activity. In other words, #profchat created the conditions for learning at new margins (and yes, there is resonance here with the concepts of joint work and third space, though I’ll save that level of analysis for future posts). Of course, these new margins were temporal – they appeared in-the-moment, they were fleeting, and they eventually disappeared. And yet there remain traces of interaction, glimpses of expression and engagement that occurred largely because of these emergent margins.

So there it is… a rough summary and some rougher thoughts as I (re)mark upon Tuesday’s #profchat about open annotation. See you in – and with – new/emergent/hybrid margins.

 

#ProfChat about Open Annotation

March 8th Update: Here’s a Storify from tonight’s #profchat about open annotation in higher education. I’ll dig into thoughts, questions and resources in a forthcoming post. Thanks for all who joined this evening!


Most Tuesday evenings at 8 pm EST, a thoughtful group of higher education practitioners gathers together on Twitter for #profchat. As organizers Rusul Alrubail and Paul Wilson note at the beginning of each chat, “This weekly Twitter chat is for Higher Ed teachers who are interested in talking about teaching practices at the Higher Ed level.” I enjoy participating in #profchat and usually do so a few times a month. I have also previously moderated #profchat conversations about game-based learning in higher education, as well as teaching and learning across settings.

When I saw a request yesterday to facilitate #profchat this coming Tuesday, March 8th, I jumped at the opportunity to share and deepen a conversation that is increasingly defining my own teaching:

As readers of this blog know, my graduate course INTE 5320 Games and Learning is publicly and creatively playing around with the social practice of open annotation. We’re using the platform Hypothesis to mediate our annotation-as-discussion of course readings. And as we read, and as we annotate, I have begun to share observations about students-as-readers’ initial annotation practices, the playful qualities of their open annotation, and my contingent solutions to learners’ concerns about open annotation.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the more I write about annotation in the open, the more meaningfully I connect with other higher education practitioners who share similar interests. Within the past week, encouraging responses – such as those below – indicate a willingness among thoughtful practitioners and designers to further discuss the intersection of open annotation, pedagogy, and social practice in higher education teaching and learning.

I’m thrilled that #profchat this coming Tuesday will serve as a forum for people to discuss open annotation in higher education. I hope regular #profchat participants are joined by folks who come for the first time because of our given topic. However, I’m also aware that various everyday realities – whether time zone differences or dinner plans – will prevent wise thinkers from contributing in-the-moment. Thank goodness a solution is so easily enacted:

 

Well then, here we go.

First, for regular #profchat participants who may be less familiar with open annotation, and specifically the platform Hypothesis, I highly recommend starting with Hypothesis’ Education resources (and directions for installing and beginning to use Hypothesis are included at the end of this post). Second, consider exploring various learning activities that either utilize, or reflect upon, open annotation as a social and networked practice. Examples include:

I also highly recommend Howard Rheingold’s recent DML Central interview with Jeremy Dean – Annotation, Rap Genius and Education.

Finally, this post serves the practical purpose of inviting readers to utilize Hypothesis, to annotate this post, and to refine, perhaps reject, and certainly to remark upon my questions for Tuesday’s chat. Whereas some Twitter chats are more free-form (such as monthly #digped chats, and the recent #profchat I co-moderated with Anna Bartosik about reflective practice), #profchat typically structures the hour-long discussion through a sequential question-and-answer format (e.g. Q1/A1).

Here are my draft questions, accompanied by related thoughts about why these may be useful questions to discuss. Readers will invariably use Hypothesis to comment upon – and begin discussions about – the following, and I will synthesize contributions and alter my chat moderation plans accordingly.

Q1 What are your experiences w open annotation in teaching, learning? And/if none, what are your curiosities abt open annotation? #profchat

This question allows the chat to start with “where people are at,” and recognizes that while some people may have extensive experience with open annotation, others may be learning about open annotation for the very first time. And irrespective of prior experience, everyone likely has curiosities to share, providing (ideally) a rich set of subtopics and tangential questions that can help sustain conversation.

Q2 What are pros and cons of open annotation in #highered teaching and learning? And how best to promote & also address concerns? #profchat

This question builds upon Robin DeRosa’s request and my subsequent response. All tools, platforms, and teaching practices have advantages and limitations. By surfacing these qualities early in the chat, we can hopefully return to and build upon these throughout the discussion.

Q3 For teachers, what pedagogy helps you facilitate open annotation? And for students, what supports help you to annotate in open? #profchat

Students are always welcome participants in #profchat. This question seeks to address pedagogical strategies associated with open annotation from multiple perspectives.

Q4 What is the future of open annotation in #highered… in courses, civic engagement, institutional collaboration, and research? #profchat

Participants in #profchat often play multiple roles in their higher education worlds – as teachers, designers, researchers, and provocateurs. Let’s do some agenda-setting and consider the varied implications for open annotation across higher education settings and purposes.

Q5 Let’s crowdsource open annotation resources! Who are the people and what tools, networks and texts should we know about & why? #profchat

We’ll conclude with some crowdsourcing of people, ideas, and resources.

Thanks for helping to refine – and to begin discussing – questions for this coming Tuesday’s #profchat. Please join us at 8 pm EST (6 pm MT, 5 pm PT).