Annotation interactivity

For the latest addition to my free tool, I was once again occupied with annotations. And I realized how long this topic has engaged me already.

  • In 2019, I wrote an importer when I participated in an event about Engelbart’s famous text on Augmenting human intellect;
  • In 2005, I wrote Stepchild Annotation, and there I pointed even further back, to this:
  • in a 1994 circular to history librarians, I likened email quote comments to the margin notes used in monastery libraries.

Moreover, annotations also played a role in descriptions like The Zoo of collaboration/ personal productivity tools (2006, comparing them to comments in text processors’ Review function, in blogs, social bookmarking etc.) and Cogged PLE’s (2010, about a collaboration on a wiki where we indented them just like added list items).

Piece of a placeholder text, and a handwritten nonsense annotation.

Then there is another kind of annotations: those which are anchored in an image or a map. These occupied me when I tried out the H5P framework which makes educational resources more interactive and engaging (see a demo Connected H5P hotspots and an app feature Export some interactivity, 2020).

However, the interactivity of H5P does not mean something like the students’ activity of creating their own annotations. Rather, it mimics the dialogical interaction between teacher and student, with questions and answers. And the annotated image can be exploratively consumed by clicking on hotspots.

The reason for the limitations is probably an old doctrine which demands that annotations need to be close to the items they are referring to. (This has occupied me e.g. here Cmaps and the “Split Attention Effect”, 2018, and here Intelligent textbooks, rejected, 2020.)

But now I bought “Annotation” by Remi H. Kalir & Antero Garcia, and I am looking forward to learning more.

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1 Response to Annotation interactivity

  1. Pingback: Annotation. 2021 | x28's new Blog

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