Annotations as a Complement to the Classroom

I used to think that it was blasphemous to write in another person’s book.  This way of thinking probably came about because in elementary school we would get in trouble if we wrote in our books.  When I got to college I bought MANY used books; sometimes they had words highlighted or occasionally they had notes written in them.  As I encountered this I originally thought that the process of discovering relevant passages had been taken from me.  Our annotation flash mob assignment concerning Dewey’s “The School and Social Progress” has changed my opinion.

I was working at the time, so I was not able to take an active part in the flash mob, but I did go back, read, and add my own notes.  My appreciation for online annotation has grown significantly.  I LOVE the fact that I can read an article first then click annotations on so that I get insight into what sparked other readers’ interest.  I read through everyone’s annotations and felt as if I was in an actual class discussion of the text.  Leaving my own responses to other readers’ questions made me feel like I was not just passively learning but actively contributing to the understanding.  I had a definite feel of belonging to a group of communal learners.  Thanks to everyone who contributed!

Incidentally,  I do now write in some of the books I own, but only those that I know will remain a part of my permanent library.

Thanks for reading!

-Eric L

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