Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Annotating on the Web

One of things I have always struggled with as a student was reading online.  Yes, I know I teach all about technology and digital tools, but one of the reasons I like to print out EVERYTHING is because I really need to annotate the heck out of something.  I've heard of annotation tools that let you mark up web pages, but on initial investigation I noticed there was a cost of some sort.

But today I discovered free annotation tools that enable one to mark up, circle, annotate, you name it.  I've only tried out two of these five tools so far, but they were indeed free, and pretty easy to use.

I like markup.io because it's so simple to use.  I wouldn't use it for heavy annotations, but maybe to simply circle or box an item, and to put a few comments in.  Think of this as annotating for elementary or middle school.  This is an especially useful tool if you have a computer and a projector but no smartboard. This even lets you save the annotated page as a link.

Another tool that is particularly useful is called bounceapp.com  This is a little easier and more useful for annotation as the text is a bit smaller, so there is more room for commentary on the page.  Think of this as capturing a screen shot.

There are a few other free annotation sites on the link above.   Check them out and feel free to comment.  I especially find these useful as a former student, but they could be very useful in education as the teacher could mark up specific parts of a website and even share these annotated pages as links.

Friday, February 3, 2012

For PA Educators and Pre-Service Teachers

If you are currently teaching ELA in PA, or if you are a pre-sevice teacher with ideas and/or research you may want to consider presenting at the PCTELA conference on Oct. 26th or Oct 27th.  PCTELA, the PA Council of Teachers of English Language Arts is a professional organization promoting and supporting PA ELA teachers and pre-service teachers.  Every October they hold a 2-day conference with outstanding speakers from the field, multiple breakout sessions, a bookstore, and plenty of opportunites to network, share and exchange ideas, and what I think is highly important---rejuvinate! I can't tell you how inspriring I find confereneces. Lots of folks with the same interest, tons of ideas, research and meeting new people are some of the many benefits of attending.

This fall, the conference is being held in Lancaster, PA. If you are interested in presenting, click here to download a conference proposal.  PCTELA accepts proposals from all ELA teachers, no matter what level.  I would certainly suggest both practicing and pre-service teachers submit a proposal.  The conference is a nice size, and intimate, so it's not too overwhelming.  I hope I see you there.