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Annotate PRO: Roadmap and May – July 2017 Goals

Posted by on Apr 27, 2017 in Annotate News, Blog, Roadmap | 0 comments

Annotate PRO: Roadmap and May – July 2017 Goals

Alright! You’ve found this cool tool, Annotate PRO, and you get what it’s trying to accomplish: fast access to a library of comments you can quickly use to provide personalized, detailed feedback.

And there’s a lot to like.

But what about…

  • Can I please SORT my own Comments, please?
  • Can I add new CATEGORIES of Comments please?
  • Can I please add NEW Comments, not just use the ‘slots’ you provide?

Believe me, we get it. But at the risk of grandiosity verging on insanity, we’d like to remind everyone that the first iPhone shipped without Copy/Paste capability or 3G cellular connection speeds.

Rule 1: Ship product (that works) and learn from real customers.

Rule 2: Iterate your A$$ off…:)

Here’s what we’ve accomplished with Annotate PRO in 2 months:

  • Microsoft Word 2016 Add-in approved and available in the Office Store.
  • Google Chrome Extension brought to parity with the new Word 2016 Add-in, particularly full-text Search.
  • Integrated Google Translate for easy translation of comments (either direct translation or ‘dual,’ meaning the original language plus a translation is provided.
  • Optimized Annotate PRO for Google Chrome for Google Docs, Dropbox commenting, Box Viewer, Crocodoc commenting (for Blackboard and Canvas users, especially).
  • Continued to improve the ‘plumbing’ to make saving and updating faster.

Here’s what’s up next (in no particular order):

  • Making the sign-in process for Chrome users match Microsoft Word, to make it easier to use your Annotate PRO library across Microsoft Office and websites.
  • Publishing Annotate PRO to the iOS App Store for Microsoft Word 2016  (on iPad) users.
  • Adding the ability to create new comments and sort them (yes!).
  • Simplifying the process to provide clients with custom libraries of comments.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on our future…please use the big button below to complete a quick survey and get on our list of beta testers and trusted reviewers…we may even have your portrait painted and hang you in our ‘hall of heroes’ – reserved for the wonderful users who invest time and energy helping us get better.


Professor Heather Baxter presenting at SEALS Annual Conference

Posted by on Apr 2, 2017 in Annotate News, News | 0 comments

We’re very excited to announce that Professor Heather Baxter, of Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, will present the new Annotate PRO at the SEALS Annual Conference in Boca Raton, FL this August.

SEALS is the Southeastern Association of Law Schools…

She’ll be presenting on the use of technology in law education, in general, but focusing on her use of Annotate PRO to provide detailed feedback to students much more quickly than any other approach…

Find the conference schedule here.

And the detailed description:

Using Technology to Entice Students and Enhance Teaching

This panel discusses using a wide range of technology in the classroom. Panelists will present information about interactive, online books; broad-ranging platforms such as Blackboard and TWEN; commenting software such as Annotate; polling tools such as PollEverywhere, etc.; messaging platforms like Slack; and game-building options such as Kahoot!. Those who attend the session will leave with ideas on how to incorporate technology into their teaching repertoire, in order to entice their students to learn and to enhance their teaching.

Moderator: Professor Dustin Benham, Texas Tech University School of Law

Speakers: Professor Heather Baxter, Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law; Professor Diana Donahoe, Georgetown University Law Center; Professor Ezra Goldschlager, University of La Verne College of Law; Professor Lori Johnson, University of Nevada, Las Vegas William S. Boyd School of Law; Professor Jennifer Romig, Emory University School of Law

A Poster Child for Persuasive Speech: Pharrell Showcasing Rhetoric on The Voice

Posted by on Mar 14, 2015 in Blog, Writing Assignment Ideas | 0 comments

A recent episode of NBC’s The Voice, featuring Pharrell and Xtina battling for a contestant, showcased rhetoric in a compelling and relevant way.

After 16-year-old Koryn Hawthorne killed her audition, Pharrell and Xtina went back and forth, trying to win her to their team.

You can check out the March 3rd episode here. Jump to about 13:00 to see her singing and then the coach’s debate.

Pharrell’s argument starts out focused on her technical virtuosity. He then shifts to her “old soul” and argues that she’s “pulling from a stream of consciousness.”

Xtina admires Koryn’s “emotion and power” and shows humility by saying she’d be “honored” to be Koryn’s coach.

Pharrell follows up by emphasizing the old soul argument, then articulates Koryn’s talent in a very specific way. He says that she has “something different from her friends” but that she still stands there “with humility.” He says that people “will line up to see her” not just for her voice, but for this admirable humility.

Pharrell, like many comedians talking about their craft, has a fantastic way of parsing talent and performance.

When we ask students what they thought of a movie or a story or a piece of music they often grunt, “good.” They don’t necessarily have the words to express their thoughts. And that’s frustrating, at some level. The Voice is a great, relevant example of how these complex subjects can be broken down and discussed.

Xtina finished with a plainspoken statement about emotion and encouraged Koryn to “follow [her] heart.”

Koryn chose Xtina without much hesitation, itself a good example that pathos often wins over logos (if you even accept that Pharrell’s argument was more compelling).

Scoring the rhetoric of the coaches…even though contestants often make decisions on more than rhetoric (for instance, perhaps idolizing one of the coaches for much of their life and hoping beyond hope that THAT one picks them…the choice therefore a foregone conclusion)…could be a fun classroom activity.

If you can put up with all the commercials on NBC’s website.

The auditions are posted to YouTube without commercials, but they don’t include much of the debate after the performance.

Congrats to Koryn. We’ll be rooting for her.