For quite some time, I have admired that way that Chris Aldrich has built his WordPress website with the aim of posting all of his writing and other content to his own website. One of the most interesting features of his site is how he has incorporated his use of Hypothes.is, the free and open-source annotation tool, into his WordPress site. As someone who also uses Hypothes.is for casual and professional reading and within my teaching, I am trying to see if I can accomplish something similar.
David Shanske helped out by referring me to a Github Gist that registers custom post kinds outside of the Post Kinds plugin directory. This will allow me to retain the custom post kind even when Post Kinds is updated. I made a fork of David’s Gist with some changes to define it as kind related to annotation.
Using Chris’s instructions, I was able to include an SVG icon that will display on my posts and within the Post Kinds metabox editor. Be sure to select the settings for “icon” or “icon and text” so that the SVG icon will display. I used the highligher icon with appropriate permissions from Font Awesome’s Github collection.
As a next step, I would like to customize the appearance of the kind. As a starting point, it might be good to try out the various types of Post Formats that might work well. I am using the
bookmark format at the moment.
- Chris Aldrich’s Annotation posts on his WordPress site.
- Related posts on using Hypothes.is, WordPress, IFTTT, and other services:
- Using IFTTT to syndicate (PESOS) content from social services to WordPress using Micropub | Chris Aldrich
- An Outline for Using Hypothesis for Owning your Annotations and Highlights | Chris Aldrich
- Manually adding a new post kind to the Post Kinds Plugin for WordPress | Chris Aldrich
- Hypothes.is annotations to WordPress via RSS | Chris Aldrich
To get a good paper written, you only have to rewrite a good draft; to get a good draft written, you only have to turn a series of notes into a continuous text. And as a series of notes is just the rearrangement of notes you already have in your slip-box, all you really have to do is have a pen in your hand when you read (Ahrens, 2017, p. 74).
Chris Aldrich shared a great idea the other day in the Hypothes.is Liquid Margins Webinar on November 16, 2021. Robin DeRosa moderated the discussion and featured instructors who had used Hypothes.is with their students to annotate open educational resources (OER) and in some cases to create OER. The chat was lively, fun, and full of great ideas. One of the best meetings of this kind I’ve attended in a very long time.
Recently, I reread a post from Robin DeRosa about her collaboration with students in the development of an open textbook for her American Literature course. If you have any interest in OER, open textbooks, open pedagogy, Hypothes.is, or Pressbooks, you may be interested in this post. Although I have never undertaken a project like this, I am interested and this post is full of useful information. And it’s also full of “you can do this” encouragement. For a project with so many technical, pedagogical, intellectual property, privacy, and other issues to consider, I find myself appreciating the spirit she brought to her post.
During the webinar, Chris made a suggestion that intrigued me and seemed to build on Robin’s excellent post. I’m paraphrasing his chat but basically, he suggested that an instructor could use the approach described by Sönke Ahrens in his book, How to take smart notes with students, over time and in a distributed manner. If the approach to writing a good manuscript could be broken down into the steps below, could the same approach be applied to the incremental, distributed creation of an open textbook or OER?
- Slip-box notes
- Series of arranged notes
- Continuous text
Consider students who are learning about an area for the first time, Mayer’s (2009) Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning, for example. Could the creation of an open textbook start with the production of so-called “slip-box notes”?
Another presenter during the webinar explained how she used Hypothes.is with students to highlight topics, tag them using an agreed-upon list or taxonomy, and the provide some justification for the decision to include said item as part of the collection of resources under that topic. Those students could then discuss whether the decision matched their understanding of the topic. When I think of a first step like this, I imagine replacing the discussion forums in my courses with annotation-driven discussions. And I get excited!
There are lots of other great possibilities to explore. And while I am unsure about the prospect of creating an entire open textbook, I feel much more confident that I can engage students in the process of creating simple notes. And I am grateful to Chris, Robin, and the other speakers and commenters during the webinar the other day!
Ahrens, S. (2017). How to Take Smart Notes: One Simple Technique to Boost Writing, Learning and Thinking – for Students, Academics and Nonfiction Book Writers (1 edition). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.
Mayer, R. E. (2009). Multimedia Learning (2 edition). Cambridge University Press.
Chris, thanks for sharing Andy’s podcast. I really enjoyed listening. You said some things that piqued my interest during the episode. I’d love to hear more about these topics. If not here then perhaps in the upcoming Gardens and Steams session.
Here are a few recommendations for designing a Faculty Learning Community centered around new technologies:
Evolving Outcomes: Begin with clear outcomes for the community, and ask faculty to articulate their own project objectives in their applications for participation. However, keep in mind that there is an inherent openness to this process. Rework project outcomes as needed and provide progress updates at the beginning of each meeting.
Multi-channel Communication: Include multiple types of interactions throughout the term to meet the many needs of participating faculty. Allow the participants to design the format of their face-to-face group meetings. Then supplement these scheduled sessions with one-on-one design meetings, online communications, self-help resources, and triage sessions.
Campus Partners: Use the participant applications to imagine what types of support the faculty might need, and identify the people on campus best able to offer this support. Reach out to these campus partners in advance of the FLC, gauging their interest and availability to offer demonstrations, create online learning tools, purchase technologies, or meet with faculty one-on-one.
Community Building: Remember that this is a community, and build it as such: work to develop a good rapport among participants; listen deeply to each participants’ goals; learn about disciplines outside of one’s own; require a certain level of participation; and bring drinks and food. Good learning environments tend to blend the formal and informal, supplementing expectations and plans with the free flowing nature of discussion and discovery.
I am especially interested in the “Evolving Outcomes” mentioned. How do we go about articulating initial outcomes for an FLC at my organization?
June 15, 2020 at 03:06PM