As we continue to develop Owl Eyes to best meets the needs of our readers, students, and teachers, we’ll do our best to keep you up to date with how things work on the site in order to make sure the process remains as intuitive and pain free as possible.
So, let’s dive into some of our new upgrades: annotation visibility.
Tools for Everyone
Several of the features we have on Owl Eyes are applicable to all kinds of users. I’ll start with the general ones and progress to more specific filters as we go.
First up, the general reader. When you open up a text, you’ll see all of the annotations that Owl Eyes has published. These annotations are written by our staff as well as contributors who have ensured that their content is clean, informative, and (bonus!) connected to a Common Core standard.
You can choose, however, to filter annotation visibility based on what you are particularly interested in. For example, if you want a personal reading experience, choose “My Annotations Only.” If you would specifically like to see annotations about Themes or Character Analysis, simply click the options you want under “Tags.” If you’re interested in looking for annotations related to specific Common Core standards, simply choose them from the list. If you don’t see a tag or Common Core, that means one hasn’t been written yet—feel free to create your own and contribute it to the site!
For general readers, these are the essential tools you’ll need. For those who are participating in classrooms—either as students or teachers, or those who have formed book clubs with their friends—let’s look at the other available options.
Tools for Classroom Participants
As an Owl Eyes user that participates in a classroom, you have several options related to how you see other people’s annotations and how you want others to view your own. Let’s briefly revisit creating annotations and the options available to you:
If you are participating within a classroom context, then the annotations you create will be, by default, visible to participants in your classroom. However, if you click the arrow above the “Save Note” button, it will expand into the menu you see above. You can see that you have a lot more choices as your disposal!
*Please note that the option to read within a classroom context will only be available to you if your instructor has assigned the text to your classroom. If he or she hasn’t, then there will not be a choice and you will experience the general reading view.
With that in mind, let’s turn to the visibility settings for reading. For these options to be available, make sure that you select your classroom from the pulldown next to the Owl Eyes logo. If you click the icon in the top right of the screen, you’ll see four choices:
Additionally, when you click on the “Students” filter, you will get a new list that will allow you to view annotations for specific students in the classroom.
Tools for Teachers
With a teacher profile, you have a few more options related to visibility in addition to those outlined above. However, these settings are not found within the reading page, but on the Syllabus page for the text(s) you have chosen for your classroom. To navigate here, please click on My Classrooms and then select the text you’d like to work with. In my example, I’m viewing the reading syllabus for The Cask of Amontillado, and you can see that I have several options listed under the “Syllabus Settings” section.
These settings are fairly self-explanatory and affect everyone who is participating within your classroom. I recommend using these filters throughout class activities. For example, if you want students to create annotations that are unbiased by our editorial content, temporarily disable the approved annotations. On the other hand, perhaps you want your students to create an annotation in response to the approved annotations on the site. In that case, enable them and see what your students have to say about them!
Feel free to keep playing around on the site, and let me know if you have any questions by posting a comment below or sending me an email. We’re still just a bunch of little owlets, but we’re growing up fast—with your help, we’ll be the reading and service website that you’ve always wanted!