Owl Eyes: 12 Ways To Use Digital Text Annotation

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Owl Eyes: 12 Ways To Use Digital Text Annotation

by TeachThought Staff

Owl Eyes asked us to let us know about their (free) digital text annotation tool they created for mobile reading. So what is it?

Owl Eyes was designed to offer an improved reading experience for students, teachers, and everyday readers. They wanted a clean, smart eReading and annotating tool, and when they couldn’t find one we liked, they created their own. Their mission is to bring reading to life and to to create the best tools to help people read and learn–and enjoy doing it.

The premise is minimalist and easy to use–read on any device while adding annotation, or viewing those created by others, while also providing a library of texts for use in the classroom. They also have free classroom assignment tools to support teachers, allowing educators to create a virtual classrooms, add students, and assign annotation, reading, and quizzes.

Below we’ve offered 12 ways to use digital text annotation (a form of marking the text, another strategy we love at TeachThought). These strategies are best suited for middle and high school (as is the Owl Eyes library), but could be used in an elementary school classroom with some modification–maybe reading excerpts from Huckleberry Finn?

You can check out the text annotation tool here.

Owl Eyes: 12 Ways To Use Digital Text Annotation

Basic Text Annotation Strategies

1. Assign a reading to students for make-up work, extra credit, or as extensions for gifted and highly motivated readers–or let them select a text themselves.

2. Have stronger readers read ahead and annotate higher level vocabulary in the text with definitions paraphrased in student-friendly language.

3. Create reading groups within a classroom–different groups reading the same book, or different groups with different books.

4. Have students create quizzes for self-assessment. Self-assessment is especially useful because rather than simply focusing on the accuracy of the responses or the quality of the writing, self-assessment focuses on the quality and depth of the questions students ask.

5. Assess student understanding of vocabulary with the quiz feature.

6. Annotate the text with !/?/–> for surprising/confusing/connected ideas.

Advanced Text Annotation Strategies

7. Have students read in a Literature Circle format with specific roles created that can be carried out by highlighting and marking digital text. These can include Text Questioner, Vocabulary Detective, Creative Visualizer, and more.

8. Have students keep double entry journals based on a given criteria–passages they like, sentences they feel are important to the theme, dialogue that allows the reader to infer a character’s motivation, etc.

9. As the teacher, before key text events, annotate texts for different reading levels with questions, insights, vocabulary, etc. This can take a lot of time, but used selectively, can make reading more personal and accessible for students.

10. Create custom bookshelves for individual students.

11. Question the text through annotation, where students mark phrases or passages that make them curious or confused by adding questions. Teachers can then use these questions not only to asses comprehension, but to use select questions for classroom or group-based discussion.

12. Have students annotate the text by highlighting key events that drive the narrative in fiction, or supporting details that develop the main idea in non-fiction text.

About Owl Eyes

Why “Owl Eyes”? Owl Eyes is a character in The Great Gatsby, whom Nick discovers in Gatsby’s library. Owl Eyes is poring over Gatsby’s large collection of books, and is amazed that they are real (and not fake books designed to create the illusion of knowledge). We hope Owl Eyes will inspire you to read…anywhere and on any device.

How Much Does Owl Eyes Cost?

It’s free!

How to Read

  1. Sign in to Owl Eyes or just browse our library and begin reading a book.
  2. Choose from a selection of hundreds of works. Dive straight in with “Continue Reading” or “Add to Your Books” to move the work to your own personal Owl Eyes Library where your progress will be saved.
  3. To view annotations, click on the page icon to the right of the text, and click again to select the annotation you want to view.
  4. To skip from chapter to chapter, choose a book in your library and make a selection from the Table of Contents.
  5. Happy reading!
Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated us via payment, gift, or something else of value to write it. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we use personally and believe will be good for our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Owl Eyes: 12 Ways To Use Digital Text Annotation