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Annenberg Hotkeys

Photo Credit: Headway / Unsplash

Annenberg Hotkeys is a free, easy to use, distance learning platform that enables students to learn via interactive video.

Designed at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in Spring of 2020 to help train medical students to diagnose and treat COVID-19 during lockdown, Annenberg Hotkeys has wide-reaching applications. The software enables distance learning, such as teaching professionals in traditionally underserved areas, and can be used for any type of education that employs branching logic or response to video stimulus.

While Annenberg Hotkeys can be used to teach over remote conferencing applications such as Zoom, the videos run locally, without an internet connection, which means it can be used in the field and in places without strong connectivity.

Written in HTML and JavaScript, Annenberg Hotkeys uses video modules that can be professionally produced or created with something as simple as a cell phone, giving the end users great flexibility in utilizing localized content.

See Hotkeys in Action


Do you have a project that you think would benefit from the use of Annenberg Hotkeys? To get access to Annenberg Hotkeys and our current modules, please contact us with some information about yourself and your project.

For Annenberg Graduate Students

Physical distancing restrictions secondary to COVID-19 limited the opportunities for in-person education and forced a rapid transition to virtual, online or computerized simulation modalities. Educators and technologists at Penn and elsewhere have developed approaches to deliver equitable, experiential learning using both existing and newly created digital platforms.

The Annenberg School has partnered with physicians at both The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the Perelman School of Medicine to develop and test new distance learning techniques involving both traditional and 360 ("Virtual Reality") filmmaking. Students who are interested in participating as part of an independent study can work with Annenberg staff and CHOP/Penn doctors and have tremendous latitude in designing and performing studies in order to make them useful to their areas of interest.

Studies from all methodological and theoretical backgrounds can potentially employ Annenberg Hotkeys, including interviews, focus groups, surveys, or experiments. Studies may also target a variety of outcomes, including technology's effects on learning outcomes, experiences of trauma in medical trainees, or narrative immersion in 360/VR. Please contact Joanne Murray for an outline of how independent studies would work for Annenberg students.

Annenberg Hotkeys has been used to train healthcare workers and medical students in the diagnosis and treatment of COVID19 and related illnesses, but its usefulness isn't limited to medical applications. We're interested in discovering how it can serve as a platform to facilitate learning in other areas.

For more information contact Kyle Cassidy (


This website and information contained herein is for educational purposes ONLY. Penn has provided the HotKeys platform free of charge for educational uses only. Penn may change the purpose and contents of this site, restrict access to the site, or terminate the site at any time, at Penn's sole discretion.

The Authors of the content, and not Penn, are solely responsible for the content.

All content and information found on the Annenberg Hotkeys Website, including: text, images, audio, video, or other formats were created for informational and educational and training purposes only. The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for formal medical education by a health care professional.

By proceeding, you hereby agree to hold Penn and the Author(s) harmless from any and all liability related to the information contained on this website.

While Penn has endeavored to make sure the information contained in this web site and in the training is accurate, Penn cannot guarantee the accuracy of such information, and it is provided without warranty or guarantee of any kind. The views and opinions of the Authors do not necessarily state or reflect those of Penn or its affiliates.

Links to third-party websites on this site are provided solely as a convenience to you. If you use these links you will leave this site. Penn has not reviewed any of these third-party sites and does not control and is not responsible for any of these sites or their content Thus, Penn does not endorse or make any representations about them or any information or product or materials found therein. If you decide to access any of the third-party sites linked to this site, you do so entirely at your own risk.

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