Unparalleled Information access and exchange has reshaped our expectations and processes in regards to how we make meaning of the world. In particular, the interconnected and open nature of the web (and here we mean all of its tentacles, many of whom owe their Genesis to the web, Twitter, Instagram, etc) has greatly increased the dimensions, sources, comparisons, remixes, etc., that we process as information in our (re)making meaning of the world. Our tools and frameworks for these kind of multi-modal, contextual, productions of knowledge and meaning making, school based reading comprehension and critical engagement skills being the most primary site of these occurrences, however, are still largely one dimensional and only put into conversation with other articles, authors, videos, sounds, interaction, in separate activity spaces, if at all.

The Animated Annotations project, using Audre Lorde’s seminal piece “The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action,”attempts to remedy this by building in animated annotations which allow the ‘creator’ of an interactive text module, let’s take a teacher for our example, to put the source material in conversation with the rest of the world. The Animated Annotations framework lets ‘creators’ add interactive and contextual material directly into passages of the text. Users can access each contextual module by clicking on the analogous passage, which will “flip” around to reveal its annotation module on the back. Alternately, as shown in this demo, ‘creators’ can choose an accordion animation, where the contextual module will reveal and hide itself in an accordion style instead of the default flip. Types of annotation modules that are used in this example are listed below, however in theory anything could be used as an annotation module. Demos available in the Audre Lorde demo are:

– Contextual primary source video of the author

– SVG animations of overall themes

– User input text boxes for answering questions, taking notes, and many other modules aimed at participatory critical engagement

– A fully ‘paint’ style art space

– Interactive activities connected to the source material