Games and Learning turns one-month old today. Among many highlights from our first month, in this post I’ll discuss one of my growing curiosities – playful annotation in the open. And it looks something like this:


Curious about what’s happening here? Let me briefly sketch some context. First, INTE 5320 Games and Learning is an online graduate course at the University of Colorado Denver’s School of Education and Human Development. Second, the course is designed so that student learning occurs across networked and open settings and practices; from our use of Twitter (follow #ILT5320), to student blogs (and this blog, too, as our public home), to our use of Hypothesis (an open annotation platform that we use for annotation-as-discussion of course readings). And third, I’ve begun writing about students’ deep dive into the practices of open annotation. As an antidote to the (dying) discussion standards of online education, most students readers have responded rather favorably to Hypothesis. One student recently wrote to me:

This format [Hypothesis] is much better for me as far as encouraging participation. With the old discussion format that listed all the readings then posed questions for group discussion, I felt a bit overwhelmed by the long responses people offered and had a hard time jumping into the conversation. With, I can offer my thoughts as I go, which I find to be much more effective in my assimilation of the information.

Like writing in the margins of a book, I too appreciate how easily Hypothesis allows me to author and share “my thoughts as I go” – and to do so for a broader audience (anyone who installs the browser extension), and through a greater range of expressive representation (including text, hyperlinks, and embedded media). In this sense, open annotation is a means for readers to share spontaneous, messy, and sometimes humorous responses. Given these technical and social affordances, students’ open annotation is be(com)ing playful. As I observe student playfulness – and because I’m a course designer, games and play researcher, and learning scientist – I am now interested in the following question:

What are the playful qualities of learners’ open and socially networked annotation?

… read the full post on my Games and Learning course blog

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