The Web at 30: Annotation Unleashed at I Annotate 2019

By Nate Angell | 27 June, 2019

In his remarkable keynote at I Annotate 2019, Gardner Campbell reached back into the prehistory of the web to revive Douglas Engelbart’s metaphor for the new literacies we all need to navigate our complex world of networked digital communications:

“If you are going to be dealing with a hyper-dimensional human record that can be accessed and flown through — in a kind of info space — you’re going to need to not ride your tricycle any more. You may need to learn how to ride a bicycle.”

Throughout Gardner’s talk, he wove through the history of the web to show how he uses annotation in his scholarship and teaching as a “bicycle” to navigate this infoscape, helping students generate interesting, substantive, and relevant contributions of their own. To join Gardner’s scholarly travels, explore Augmenting Human Intellect, his current project “to collaboratively read and collectively annotate” Engelbart’s groundbreaking work. Watch all of Gadner’s keynote, and make sure to stay until the end to hear his compelling answers to audience questions.

Following Engelbart in 1989, Tim Berners-Lee included annotation as a basic capability in his first description of what would become the World Wide Web. 30 years later this May, educators, fact-checkers, journalists, publishers, researchers, scholars, and technologists gathered in Washington, DC to mark how web annotation is now realizing its promise through standards, developing technology, a vibrant community, and growing traction in many fields.

After Gardner’s keynote, speakers delivered 26 more sessions over two days, starting with the first morning dedicated to annotation in research, followed by an afternoon exploring how annotation is used in teaching and learning. Day two focused on annotation in publishing and journalism. The program also offered in-depth, hands-on workshops focused on annotation in education, publishing, and research, and unconference sessions, where attendees took charge of the topics and discussion. Explore the full #ianno19 program, with links to video recordings and slides from each presentation. In the coming months, we’ll be reconnecting with several #ianno19 presenters to go deeper into the examples and ideas they presented in Washington DC. Here’s the full list of recorded presentations:


Browse the full #ianno19 program to find all the videos and presentations from formal sessions.

Day 1

  1. Welcome: Brooks Hanson, American Geophysical Union and Dan Whaley, Hypothesis
  2. Keynote: The Simple Secret of the Note in Us All with Gardner Campbell, Virginia Commonwealth University
  3. Advancing Science with Dynamic Digital Annotation Communities with Lydia Kaprelian, Science in the Classroom, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  4. Tracking Annotations to Tell the Whole Story of Research: The growth of event data (video to come) with Jennifer Kemp, Crossref
  5. Annotation Interoperability with Sayeed Choudhury and Mark Patton, Johns Hopkins University
  6. Annotation Assisted Biocuration for Variant Analysis: A beta test of the utility of crowd-sourcing biocuration with Courtney Thaxton, ClinGen, University of North Carolina
  7. Annotation As Citation Manager and Organizer for Systematic Reviews and Papers with Clark Shah-Nelson, University of Maryland, Baltimore
  8. Annotation for Transparent Inquiry: Innovating on openness in qualitative social science with Nic Weber, Qualitative Data Repository, University of Washington
  9. Panel: Annotation in Education with Jeremy Dean, Hypothesis, Christine Kervina, Northern Virginia Community College, Hunter Hoskins, Georgetown University, and Jessica Matthews, George Mason University
  10. Online Annotations in the Classroom: How, why, and what do students learn from annotating course material? with Juan Pablo Alperin, Public Knowledge Project, Simon Fraser University
  11. Using Web-Based Annotation to Enhance the Teaching and Study of Literature with Jennifer Gipson, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Steel Wagstaff, Pressbooks
  12. Unconventional Annotation Uses with Heather Staines, MIT Knowledge Futures Group
  13. Bringing the History of Social Annotation into the Future with Amanda Licastro, Stevenson University
  14. Web Annotations for Assignments Marking: Challenges and opportunities with Haritz Medina, University of the Basque Country

Watch videos of all the #ianno19 formal sessions.

Day 2

  1. Whither the Web? With Benjamin Young, John Wiley & Sons
  2. Using Annotations to Determine ‘Truthiness’ with Sam Butler, CrowdFact 2020
  3. Media-Mediated Knowledge: Annotating Media Coverage of Protests at The Evergreen State College with Paul McMillin, The Evergreen State College
  4. From Commentrarians to Commentarians with Gabriel Stein, MIT Knowledge Futures Group
  5. Research Square Platform: Annotation & preprints with Marek Laska, Research Square
  6. ASPB Journals: Use of Hypothesis with Jennifer Regala, American Society of Plant Biologists
  7. Annotation As a QA Tool with Matthew Zimmerman, Springer Publishing Company
  8. Finding the Annotation Needs of the Botanical Community in a Digital Library with Marcela Mora and William Ulate, Missouri Botanical Garden
  9. Annotation for More Transparent and Conversational Journalism with Dan Gillmor, Arizona State University News Co/Lab
  10. Annotation for Open Peer Review with Claire Dandieu, HIRMEOS
  11. Fermat’s Library: a platform to help illuminate academic papers with Luís Batalha, Fermat’s Library
  12. Hypothesis Roadmap and Plans with Arti Walker-Peddakotla, Hypothesis
  13. Mark & Listen with Your Keyboard with Juan Carlos Corona Romero, Evident Point Software
  14. Using Annotation As a Blogger with Tom Critchlow, Independent Blogger

Between sessions, attendees took guided tours of the newly refurbished headquarters of our host, the American Geophysical Union, learning how this remarkable “net zero” building captures as much energy as it uses in a year. In the afternoon of Day Two, we were especially thankful to be able to take shelter in the basement, surrounded by earth and space scientists as a rare tornado touched down in Washington DC. Listen to the end of Hypothesis Product Manager Arti Walker-Peddakotla’s roadmap update to see how the tornado warning interrupted our program.

Before I Annotate, Hypothesis held a partner summit, bringing together institutions that work formally with us to offer open, collaborative annotation to their communities. After the conference, a group of folks met in the traditional I Annotate hack day/do-a-thon to collaborate on specific projects for annotation, including focuses on mobile and accessibility.

Planning for future annotation events has already started. If you have ever attended or ever wanted to attend I Annotate, we’d love your input on how to shape future gatherings in a short survey. Subscribe to the I Annotate mailing list and follow @i_annotate on Twitter to hear when and where future events will be and make sure you know when calls for presentations and registrations open and programs are announced.

Give Input

Whether you attended #ianno19 or not, spend just a couple of minutes helping shape future annotation gatherings.

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