Let’s Annotate the Web! Meta Digital Writing with Troy Hicks

For this month’s Digital Literacies Collaborative (DLC) social reading, I invite you to read and annotate Troy Hicks’ (2018) excellent piece from Voices in the Middle on “The Next Decade of Digital Writing.” In addition to joining the ongoing discussion throughout the article, I especially invite you to think publicly about your next steps or goals as a teacher of digital writing.

In the article, Hicks reflects on the evolution of digital writing instruction and highlights five educators’ innovative practices. Hicks describes his purpose as follows:

CC-BY 2.0 image by Pete O’Shea modified with permission via Flicker.

Reflective digital writing educators themselves, DLC members should have a lot to say about Hicks’ suggestions for our next ten years of work. October 20 is NCTE’s National Day on Writing, so October is the perfect time to reflect on our digital writing instruction.

**Plus, Troy Hicks will be visiting Drew University on October 25 as the featured speaker to kickoff the #DrewTEACH Lecture Series.**

This is why I’m inviting DLC members (and anyone else interested in technology and/or the teaching of writing) to write about writing with me by reading Hicks’ article and joining the ongoing intratextual conversation (via Hypothes.is).

Using Hypothes.is for Social Annotation

This is not the first time educators have gathered asynchronously to annotate Hicks’ article. I must give credit to educator Kevin Hodgson (aka @dogtrax) for the original invitation to annotate Hicks’ article, which he extended this summer. Hodgson reflected on emerging themes among the annotations on his idea-filled blog, Kevin’s Meandering Mind.

When you follow this link to the article, you will notice dozens of yellow highlighted segments of text. That’s because several readers have already annotated this article and replied to each other’s annotations.

You’ll also find a menu with options on the right-hand side of the page that pops out when you click existing annotations or begin to create a new one.

To create a new annotation, highlight a segment of the text and click “annotate.” (You will need to complete a quick sign-up via Hypothes.is.)

Pro TipTo hide the existing annotations to view a “clean” copy of the article, simply click the eye icon on the right-hand side of your browser. 

View of Hicks’ article with visible annotations.

Ready to Dig Deeper with Hypothes.is?

Once you’ve gotten a feel for Hypothes.is, you might be ready to think about using it in your classroom. Here are two resources to help you do so.

  1. Check out Jeremy Dean’s blog post, “Back to School with Annotation: 10 Ways to Annotate with Students” for loads of inspiring ideas for incorporating annotation in the classroom.
  2. Try out the CROWDLAAERS website that can pull stats on all of the Hypothes.is annotations on a particular site. For example, paste our article’s URL in the search bar (https://via.hypothes.is/http://www.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Journals/VM/0254-may2018/VM0254Leading.pdf) and you’ll see all of the annotations, which can be sorted by user. (For example, you can find annotations by Troy Hicks himself on his article.)

Happy reading and annotating!

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