Website review by Jennifer Sitkin, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2016

Browser extension adds layer of annotation and discussion to the web

Learning rating
Community rating
Based on 1 review
Privacy rating
71%| Warning Expert evaluation by Common Sense
Subjects & Skills
Communication & Collaboration, Critical Thinking

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Pros: Endless classroom applications; supports active learning and digital literacy skills.

Cons: Student work can't be assessed within the tool.

Bottom Line: Free, user-friendly tool opens up the web to in-context annotation and discussion.

Check out the Education page on the site, which has resources for teachers and students. To get started, teachers should sign up for a free account and review the suggested lesson ideas. The tool can be used across all subject areas to develop close reading and analytical skills. In English, teachers can pre-highlight a text to emphasize specific content for future discussion, ask a question, or point out a difficult vocabulary word. In a social studies course, teachers can share current events articles and have students share their opinions online. In a Visual Arts class, students can add multimedia to a discussion. The opportunities for learning are endless. Teachers may want to create groups for their classes by sending out an invitation with a secure link. The groups allow teachers to more closely monitor student activity.

Continue reading Show less is a free Chrome extension that lets users add annotations to websites and have discussions on websites. While it's not specifically targeted at school use, the developers have encouraged educators and students to adopt the tool. Users can register for a free account and begin using the site immediately. Enabling the extension adds a layer to any content on the web wherein users can highlight, take notes, ask questions, and integrate videos and images. The annotations are available to the public, although groups can be created for more privacy and security. There is a page for educators full of resources for how to get started using with students. The resources include guides for teachers and students, sample classroom projects and testimonials, and a YouTube channel with tutorials. A search feature can be used to find already-annotated web content. makes it easy for teachers to guide students through the active process of engaging with what they find on the web. Annotating pages will help students develop their digital literacy skills and to cultivate their own voices as they engage critically with what they consume. can also be used as a note-taking and research tool, allowing for more collaborative and dynamic study strategy, or as a critical-reading tool with which teachers assign websites and readings to students and have them answer questions or highlight and describe concepts. Note that there's no assessment built into the tool, however, so teachers will need to develop rubrics and/or systems for assessing students that are transparent and consistent. 

Overall Rating


It's not the flashiest tool, but students might enjoy the idea of adding an extra layer to the web. Student buy-in will depend on how teachers decide to use the various features in the classroom. 


Annotating the web will help students develop digital citizenship and web-literacy skills. Using private online groups for discussion and annotation would facilitate collaboration and learning.


The Education section of the site includes teacher and student guides, YouTube tutorials, annotation tips, and much more. 

Common Sense reviewer
Jennifer Sitkin Classroom teacher

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Featured review by
Lauren Z. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Northern Highlands Regional High School
Allendale, United States
Teach your students to annotate the web with
What Works - When the extension functioned properly, students could highlight and take notes on websites, see each other's comments (with a hashtag), and reply to each other. What Needs Improvement - There are several glitches. The extension was not reliably functional. Also, when multiple users annotate a site, the other people's annotations are distracting. There's an "eye" button to turn them on/off, but sometimes they turned on automatically. Most importantly, there should be an easier way to ex ...
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Data Safety
How safe is this product?
Unclear whether this product supports interactions between trusted users.
Personal information can be displayed publicly.
User-created content is not filtered for personal information before being made publicly visible.
Data Rights
What rights do I have to the data?
Users can create or upload content.
Processes to access or review user data are not available.
Processes to modify data are available for authorized users.
Ads & Tracking
Are there advertisements or tracking?
Personal information is not shared for third-party marketing.
Traditional or contextual advertisements are not displayed.
Personalised advertising is not displayed.

Continue reading about this tool's privacy practices, including data collection, sharing, and security.

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