Sunday, August 24, 2014

Two Great Extensions for Highlighting and Annotation

As teachers and students access more information in digital forms, the need for highlighting and annotation increases. Common Core and the "new" assessment tests place a stronger emphasis on reading, interpreting, and problem solving in digital forms. A heavy emphasis is put on "close reading" in professional development, but not as much on how that looks in a digital or web first world.

I will focus on two extensions; one for webpages Yawas, and another for PDF's - Notable PDF.    

Yawas for Google Chrome lets you highlight web pages in multiple colors and all your highlights are stored automatically in your Google Bookmarks.

While there are other web-based highlighting services available, Yawas' no nonsense approach and ability to keep highlights within the Google ecosystem is a big plus.

All a student or teacher needs to do is select text, choose highlight color from context menu, and they can access annotations any time from Google Bookmarks.

Notable PDF has been a favorite of mine for going on a year now. It allows you to open any PDF to;

- Highlight
- Underline
- Strikethrough
- Post comments and notes
- Add texts

Notable PDF integrates completely with Google Drive if one is on a Chromebook or traditional computer. Any time I click on a pdf link it opens up Notable PDF. In Google Drive itself anytime I open a pdf it opens in Notable PDF with all highlights. One even has the option to share the annotated PDF with others teachers and students.

Many schools have documents cameras and projectors. Some schools even use the Mondo curriculum which come with pdfs. Notable PDF could be a great way to complete a close reading of a particular PDF as a whole class. With older students the teacher could share the annotated PDF with the class after the lesson.

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