Ah, Spring Break. Breathe it in. Feel it. It’s here. Feels nice, right? However, even during this week of rest and relaxation I still have worries. I worry about my students leaving for exotic locales. I worry about them not doing the reading work I required. I worry deeply about articles being lost in airports, poems being left alongside SkyMall magazines, or, worse, novels being dropped in the pool or getting ruined with Banana Boat deep tanning oil. Therefore, this year I’m going to provide my students a better alternative: giving them links to websites that contain the text they need to read. This way there is no excuse. As long as students can access their class webpage (which many now can do through their cell phones) they are able to get links to the material to read while sitting on a plane or driving in the car or in the sun.
Yet, the links they are provided aren’t mere websites. Instead, thanks to the Awesome Highlighter, I am able to annotate the articles with notes and a virtual highlighter to make my students’ reading more analytical and engaging because, let’s be honest, they’ll need some help getting focused on reading during Spring Break. This website allows me to make the text interactive by highlighting which words and phrases I think are of extra importance.
The process is fairly simple and even the most novice of technophobes can use it. All you need is access to the web and some platform (for my students I use Blackboard and Schoology or email) to disseminate the links to your students.
To begin, locate the URLs of the websites that contain your content. Any website works. You might use poems from Bartleby or find an article from the New York Times you would like them to study over break. Develop your list of content, websites, and what you would like to highlight for your students. Tomorrow I will describe how to use Awesome Highlighter and provide a few samples for you to try.
Picture from shyb