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Jan – July 2018 Retrospective + Fall 2018 Goals


It has been a wild ride in 2018!


  • We have begun to implement our larger goals for Annotate PRO (AP) via Comment Histories, building deep integrations with Canvas SpeedGrader in particular.
  • We implemented a payment system so admirers could purchase Annotate PRO directly and positioned our system to support many available Libraries of expert feedback – a sort of App Store for great feedback. We launched our Contributing Author program and are actively seeking experts in languages, technical and business communication, algebra – any learning field that benefits from personalized, specific feedback – to expand our current offering of content.
  • We launched The Feed, Forms, and built analytics around feedback.
  • We made Annotate PRO free for individuals to create and use an unlimited number of personal Libraries.
  • We consolidated editing of content in AP to our web editor, regardless of what app (Word or Chrome) you are using, which will help us go much faster and simplifies our development world considerably. You’ll notice the difference when you click Edit in Word or Chrome and a new webpage opens and automatically logs you into your AP account.
  • We added ‘fancy’ editing and made AP smart enough to know when to add comments with bolditalics etc. and when to insert plain text.
  • We kept all of our original clients (thank you!) and ran pilots with a number of traditional and non-traditional EDU organizations, learning a lot in the process.
  • We became a formal Canvas Partner.

We also built out our Q for Success student-solution with the help of a large online university, integrating it with the Canvas LMS. Students can log in through Canvas (like using Google authorization for SSO), then see their course info and other Canvas goodies appear inside Microsoft Word alongside a curated list of academic resources like library research, tutoring, library chat, writing center etc. Our goal is to dramatically increase student utilization of resources already in place by removing friction and simplifying access.

Q is free to all students now, and we continue to pilot customized Q solutions with a number of institutions to prove out our approach to curating academic resources and bringing them inside the solutions students use to think and create: Microsoft Office and Google Apps/Chrome.

So what are our plans for September – December 2018 and beyond?

  1. Improving the editing experience in AP: moving Comments and Groups, deleting content.
  2. Onboarding and learning from new clients and many individual teachers who will discover AP is free to use, do a quick backflip of joy, then create their own wonderful content for use in Google Docs, Bb, Schoology, Word, Canvas, Brightspace, Moodle etc.
  3. Building more admin features as we learn more about the ways our solutions are used. Like blocking the use of AP on domains other than ones specified by the client (yes, some of our clients are building deep IP into their content and they would prefer it not be used in places they don’t approve).
  4. Building a deeper integration with Moodle to facilitate our History and Analytics approach plus speed document commenting in the Moodle Doc Viewer experience.
  5. Integrating AP with Google Drive to bring our History feature to Google Docs users.
  6. Developing first versions of our Active Feedback approach, turning ‘feedback’ from a largely passive, one-way operation (teachers push criticism at students) into a vibrant dialog with accountability for both teacher and student. So the feedback we provide isn’t the equivalent of lemmings off a cliff…but something more lasting and impactful (did you know that lemmings don’t actually commit mass suicide and that the whole legend began when Disney Studios faked the story in their 1958 film, White Wilderness?).
  7. Running more Q for Success pilots, firming up our approach, and building a front end so clients can easily edit their own content for students to access.

We’ve also learned that everything takes approximately 2x in time what we expected, so are cautiously optimistic about getting a good chunk of the above done by 2019…