Students in Roberto Rey Agudo’s Spanish III classes read a total of eight texts throughout the term, but in the Spring of 2014, Rey Agudo wondered if he could adapt assignments he had already created and used in this class to Annotation Studio. “I wanted to see how I could incorporate it into what I was already doing.” Rey Agudo explained. “I did not want to have to change radically what I did. I just wanted to see how Annotation Studio could help me enhance what I was doing in class.”
Accordingly, Rey Agudo adapted two pre-existing assignments so they would be more relevant to the digital texts, but he did not go out of his way to adapt his lesson plans. For the first assignment, Rey Agudo had students read “Esquina Peligrosa” in Annotation Studio, tasking them with finding instances that would corroborate one of three pre-determined interpretations of the story. Students had to find passages in the text that they thought were indicative or justified their interpretations, write a comment, use a tag to identify it, and read what other students had written as well.
For the second assignment, using the reading “El Episodio del Enemigo,” students had to look for specific information in the text, to look for synonyms to expand their vocabulary, and predict the ending. On the following day in class, they shared their predictions and checked them against a video version of the story. Afterwards, they worked with the text in Annotation Studio, doing live annotations in groups to find evidence in the story that were hints to the ending.
One of the reasons Rey Agudo was keen to adapt the tool was for its interactive nature. Ultimately, he was very happy with the results of this aspect of Annotation Studio, for in the application, the students were not just interacting with the text, but also with each other and himself. “The assignments that I had them do on Annotation Studio always involve students reading other students’ comments and discussing what they’ve found out about other students so we bring their readings and comments into the class discussions,” Rey Agudo explained. “This is something I would normally do, but now I know before I go into class what students are saying, what the problems are.”