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Online Tools for Teaching and Learning is an online social annotation tool. It allows users to annotate openly on websites, blogs, online journals, and news articles. allows users to create groups to share online text, resources, links, and annotations. It can be used as a private note-taking and critiquing tool or a collaborative annotation tool. Using the Chrome Extension or bookmarklet (bookmark with JavaScript), users can annotate directly on a webpage or online text.

Using, traditional annotation activities (typically done in isolation) are transformed into collaborative knowledge-building activities. With public pages, students can see annotations and comments by other individuals, including their peers and even experts in the field, and add their own annotations and comments that build on what they learned from others while reading a digital text (see examples of public pages). Online class materials can be annotated in advance to lead to deeper, richer discussions during class time. A really exciting way to use is to organize a “flash mob annotation” for topic of interest. This establishes a community of practice driven by interest and curiosity. During a flash mob annotation, participants meet online at a specific time, and simultaneously annotate a document or image, creating an exciting conversation.

Institutions can integrate with their Learning Management Systems (LMS). For the duration of 2020, in support of institutions confronting the Covid-19 crisis, fees are being waived.

Keywords: Annotation, Connectivism, Learning Management Systems, Social Constructivism

Image preview of a YouTube video
Watch on YouTube

Tool Snapshot

Price Free for individual use. Paid plans for institutional use.
Learning Social constructivism, Connectivism
Ease of Use ★★★★☆
Privacy ★★★☆☆
Accessibility ★★★☆☆ (VPAT Report)
Class Size Not Applicable
Login Yes
ISTE*S Knowledge Constructor, Global Collaborator
Yes, when a LMS  (Learning Management System) app is used. No, when a non-LMS version is used (for personal use).

Ease of Use

The user can quickly learn how to use the tool with relative ease. There are tutorials and FAQ information available if the user runs into an issue with the tool.


The user has to share some personally identifiable information (e.g., email address, name, location) when creating an account. The privacy policy clearly states how the information is used or shared. However, when the application is used through an institution’s LMS, the system is COPPA and FERPA compliant. Overview Video

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Video Transcription & the SAMR Model

Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model offers a lens for examining how technology is adopted in a classroom. As you strive to incorporate online tools into your classroom, we encourage you to use this model as an analytic tool.

Here is an example of how might fit within the SAMR model:

Learning Activities



English/Language Arts

Social Studies



How to Use

Go to (Note: Hypothesis is only available on a computer) and click “Get Started.”Animated GIF. User clicks on the Get Started button

Create a new account.

Animated GIF. User clicks Create a Free Account

After your create the account, install the Chrome extension. (Note: If you are not using Google Chrome, install the “bookmarklet.”)

User clicks Chrome Extension to add Hypothesis to the browser

You are now ready to annotate. Start by visiting any website and by selecting any text, and then by clicking “Annotate.”

User highlights the text then clicks Annotate

A window slides out from the right side of your screen to input your annotation comments.

A window slides out from the right side of your screen to input your annotation comments

That’s it! All your annotations, highlights and notes are now saved to your account. You can find them by visiting anytime.


Bonn, M., & McGlone, J. (2014). New feature: Article annotation with Journal of Electronic Publishing, 17(2).

Kennedy, M. (2016). Open annotation and close reading the Victorian text: Using with students. Journal of Victorian Culture, 21(4), 550-558.


This page was created by Constance M. Cook and Sai Satish Gattupalli.


CC BY-NC: This work is released under a CC BY-NC license, which means that you are free to do with it as you please as long as you (1) properly attribute it and (2) do not use it for commercial gain.

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