Windows into Teaching and Learning Through Social Annotation Practices
Several applications of the HyLighter online social annotation system in undergraduate and graduate teacher education broaden and deepen instructional experiences for both students and the professor. Interactive reading and commentary on articles and case studies facilitate comprehension, memory and transfer as students learn from and with each other and the instructor. Collaborative concept mapping integrated with social annotation enables students to synthesize and link course concepts and materials reflecting the big picture of the course. Hypermedia-enhanced and collaboratively developed lesson plans provide an enriching, culminating, collaborative experience which integrates social annotation with course theories, online video and print resources and technology-enhanced, pedagogically sound lessons across the curriculum. These applications are conceptualized using several complementary theoretical frameworks, including Vygotsky’s concept of the Zone of Proximal Development where an online collaborative environment creates a virtual learning community which provides scaffolding so that learners reach higher levels of performance. These social annotation practices promote student and teacher metacognition in addition to meaningful learning and transfer. They also enable authentic assessments of student achievement. Students’ and teachers’ reflections on their own and others’ perspectives provide insights which improve both learning and instruction.
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