8 Ways to Annotate Readings, Websites and Online Articles with Examples

“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.” – John Locke

One of the most important skills for our digital learners is inspecting the information they consume with a critical eye. The challenge is to turn this into a habit students do outside the classroom. One idea is to get students to annotate their readings regularly. Many free mobile apps and web tools allow students to digitally markup, highlight, and jot down quick thoughts about what they are reading. They can do this collaboratively with their peers or by themselves. Below are examples from my students using the free Grackle Marks add-on for Google Docs and the paid pro version of Newsela. Getting students to inspect what they read habitually is one of the key topics in my new book, Hacking Digital Learning Strategies with EdTech Missions. For more resources, check out my article, Critical Reading with Digital Devices, posted on ESL Library. Below are a list of additional free web tools and apps for annotating texts.

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