Hypothesis and Scalar Lesson Plan
Amanda French and Quinn Warnick
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA
Access this document at http://j.mp/hypo-scal-lesson
- We’ll be teaching you a bit about Hypothes.is, a tool for annotating content on the web, and Scalar, a content management system for writing interactive multimedia “books.”
- Both these tools were built (and are continuing to be developed) at the behest of humanities scholars who are particularly interested in challenging subordination, hierarchy, and linearity on the web: both tools enable critical commentary of existing web content.
- If you haven’t already, please create an account for Hypothes.is at http://hypothes.is and install the bookmarklet in your browser of choice. Later, if you use Chrome, you might also install the extension.
- If you haven’t already, please accept the invitation in your email to join the VT DH Hypothesis group.
- If you haven’t already, please create an account for Scalar at http://scalar.usc.edu. Those of you who have already created an account have been added to our group’s test Scalar book.
- You were recently using Medium -- what’s unique and interesting about it?
- Why use Hypothesis? To add a non-hierarchical critical layer to anything on the web at an even more granular level than Medium, even when comments aren’t enabled. Hypothesis can also be used as a “notebook” where you can store quotations from things you find on the web for your own personal use.
- Read more about Hypothes.is and annotation generally in the recent NYT article: http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/11/12/skills-and-strategies-annotating-to-engage-analyze-connect-and-create/?_r=0
- Some key terms:
- Extension / add-on / plugin - a small piece of software designed to “plug in” to another piece of software. Hypothes.is is available as a Chrome extension.
- Highlights / Notes - you can highlight phrases or sentences and comment on them, or you can just comment on the page without selecting text first.
- Only Me, Public, Groups - the three levels of access.
- Filter (search), Sort, Share - more or less self-explanatory.
- Demonstrate adding a highlight and note to the Scalar site “The Nicest Kids in Town” at http://nicestkids.com/nehvectors/nicest-kids/share-your-memories and sharing it with our Hypothesis group.
- View the highlight and note added in the demo.
- Highlight something, add a note, and share it with the group.
- Play around with filtering annotations, sorting them, and sharing them. Raise your hand if you have questions.
- Scalar 2 User Guide: http://scalar.usc.edu/works/guide2/index
- Our test Scalar book: http://scalar.usc.edu/works/quinns-class-book/index
- What’s a Content Management System (CMS)? Anyone remember? You’ve studied WordPress and Omeka -- what are some of the differences between those tools, and why would you want to use one rather than the other?
- Scalar is a CMS as well, a very sophisticated and powerful one, and has certain features that WordPress and Omeka do not, namely:
- Non-linearity - all objects (pages, media, paths) exist on the same plane as one another: they are all undifferentiated relational objects
- Integration with existing multimedia repositories (including the Internet Archive, the Shoah Archive, and YouTube)
- Built-in visualizations, which can be used as navigation
- Scalar is a platform that came out of the seminal multimedia journal Vectors, also out of USC.
- Note that there are two versions of Scalar: Scalar 1 and Scalar 2. We will be using Scalar 2.
- Note too that Hypothes.is and Scalar have partnered: you can now enable Hypothes.is on your Scalar site.
- Let’s explore these sample Scalar sites -- what features (or content) do you see that you like?
- Key terms:
- “Page” - everything in Scalar is a page, even things you don’t think of as pages, like media objects, annotations, and paths.
- “Layout” - the kind of page you want to create, and what it looks like.
- “Import Menu” - the menu that allows you to import (really, embed) media from partner digital archives and digital archives with APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).
- Demonstrate importing a video from YouTube and embedding it on a page using the Import Menu.
- Demonstrate annotating the video by going to Dashboard → Media and clicking on the media file’s page, then clicking the Annotate button (marked with the paper clip icon) in the top menu.
- Import a video into a page and annotate it.
- Raise your hand if you have questions or need help.