Pre-Workshop Assignment


  1. Please read How the E-Book Will Change the Way We Read and Write. You can either read it online or print it off and read, whatever you're more comfortable with. As you read the article (please note that it was written two years ago), please keep the following essential questions in mind:
    • Is reading a "fundamentally private activity" as the author states it has been? Consider how you would answer this question 20 years ago, today, and 20 years from now.
    • What changes to your classroom might you consider making based on your answer to the first question?

    Please complete #1 above before moving on to #2 and #3 below.



  2. Now I'm going to ask you to create an account with Diigo (if you already have a Diigo account, you can skip this step). It's safe, and you can always delete your account later if you don't want it.
    • Go to Diigo and follow the instructions for creating an account. (While not required, once you have a Diigo account you may want to apply for the free educator upgrade.)

    • As part of creating that account it will probably asking you about inviting friends. While you don't have to do this, it's going to eventually be helpful to have at least two Diigo friends (it uses friends as a proxy for determining that you're human). You can invite others who will be attending the workshop, or you can invite me (search for Karl Fisch) or Sean Nash (search for, well, Sean Nash), you can access your email address book to look for folks you know who are already on Diigo, or you can invite other folks you know by entering their email address. If you get a friend invitation from someone else you know, go ahead and accept it. If you don't want to do this or can't find anyone to invite, don't worry about it.

    • After you've finished creating your account and inviting friends, please install the Diigo toolbar in your browser of choice. It's safe, and you can easily uninstall it later if you wish.

    • Once you have your Diigo account created and the toolbar installed, make sure you're signed in to the Diigo Toolbar. You'll probably automatically be signed in but, if not, the toolbar will say Diigo - Sign In. Click on it and enter your info, then please continue on to #3.

  3. Now, bear with me, but I'm going to ask you to read the same article you read in #1 above a second time, but this time at this link. If you have Diigo installed correctly (and you're signed in), you should notice that there is some highlighted text on that page and, if you rest your cursor over the number at the start of the highlighted text, a "sticky note" will pop up with some annotations from various people. (see images below)


    .........................................screenshot1.jpg..............................screenshot2.jpg

    As you read please do three things.
    1. First, every time you come to some highlighted text please make sure you rest your cursor over the text and read the annotation(s).

    2. Second, please add your own annotations to the text when you have a comment or question to add (this is the part that may require you to have at least two Diigo friends to leave public annotations - don't worry about it if you can't). You can either add to existing sticky notes if you'd like to comment on the same text or respond to what someone wrote, or you can highlight and add sticky notes to additional text that has not been highlighted and annotated (please make your sticky notes public so that everyone can view them).

    3. Third, as you complete this activity, think about the following questions:
      a) How is reading and annotating this article online in conjunction with others the same as reading the un-annotated/printed version (and think about printed material in general), and how is it different?
      b) Does this alter your thinking any about the two essential questions you addressed above when reading this the first time?
      c) What are the implications of this for teaching and learning, and for your classroom?

Update 5-25-11: Debbie Sisco shares some thoughts after reading the article - take a look.

Update 6-5-11: Click here to join the "Saint Joseph School District" public Diigo group.