Annotation Studio is a free document editing tool that I learned about a few weeks ago on Larry Ferlazzo’s blog. This afternoon I finally gave it a try. The best way to describe what Annotation Studio offers is to think of it as Google Docs commenting if Google Docs supported videos and pictures in comments.
On Annotation Studio you can create a classroom in which you share documents. You can create documents from scratch by using the Annotation Studio text editor or you can import a Word document or a PDF. Once you have created a document you can share it with your class or you can make it public for anyone to comment on. The best aspect of Annotation Studio is that every annotation you add to a document can include videos, pictures, text, and hyperlinks.
Applications for Education
Annotation Studio could be a great tool to use to help add further explanation to documents. By using the video option in your annotations you could highlight and illustrate a point for students. For example, you might highlight a part of speech in a document then add a video explanation of that part of speech to the annotation that you create.
Annotation Studio does require students to register in order to use the tool. That could be a limitation for use with younger students. The initial set-up of Annotation Studio wasn’t a terribly intuitive process, but once I got the hang of it I found it to have a lot of potential for future use with students.