Back in January, Maha wrote about her use of Hypothes.is, a collaborative web annotation tool that works within your web browser. As Maha explains, this tool gives readers who are all assigned the same readings a choice: they can “do these readings in isolation, or they can read them in asynchronous collaboration with others who had read and annotated them beforehand; they can learn from what others have been saying about those reading.” Hypothes.is has a great many potential uses for educational and research environments.
Yesterday, Kris Shaffer, of the University of Mary Washington Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies, announced that he’s created a Hypothes.is plugin for WordPress. (Long-time ProfHacker readers know that we’re big fans of WordPress here.) In his announcement, Kris explains that his new plugin, called Hypothes.is Aggregator, “will allow WordPress users ― bloggers, teachers, and students alike ― to collect their own annotations, annotations on a topic of interest, or annotations from/about a class, and present them in a page or post on the WordPress platform.” The instructions couldn’t be simpler, and the possible applications look promising:
Many instructors already use hypothes.is by assigning a reading that students will annotate together. Hyopthes.is Aggregator makes it easy to assign a topic, rather than a reading, and ask students to find their own readings on the web, annotate them, and tag them with the course tag. Then Hypothes.is Aggregator can collect all the annotations with the class tag in one place, so students and instructors can see and follow-up on each other’s annotations. Similar activities can be done by a collaborative research group or in an unconference session.
I’ve yet to give Hypothes.is a try, though Maha’s post from earlier this year heightened my interest, and Kris’ new plugin is giving me ideas for class activities next semester. I plan to spend some time this summer experimenting.
How about you? Have you been using Hypothes.is? Are you going to give this new WordPress plugin a try? What’s been your experience? Do you prefer other web annotation tools? Let us know in the comments.