Create social, interactive, online posters with Nota

I was recently asked about the use of social poster software like Glogster for professional work. After visiting Glogster, you may agree with me that while the tool lets its users create fun, creative, interactive posters, it may not be the best avenue for more professional efforts (see also: MySpace vs. Facebook or YouTube vs. Vimeo). What’s more, Glogster is blocked my some school districts, limiting its use in education. There is an alternative, though–Nota, a “dynamic whiteboard wiki,” lets you collaboratively create online, multimedia-rich posters. Read on to learn more about Nota.

333326FA-34C0-4631-A368-7F594086D991.jpgNota’s interface is fairly intuitive, especially if you’re comfortable using software like PowerPoint, Keynote, GIST, or Inspiration. You can add text, shapes, and colors; not to mention media such as images and video. Those of you familiar with GIST will recognize a similar feature My favorite feature is the built-in media search tool. Keyword searches dig into vast repositories of Creative Commons-licensed media–the cat image in my sample came from such a search. The video search finds items on YouTube, like the clip I’ve included of Don Deshler.

My first effort is a little cheesy, sure, but it hopefully gives you an idea of the functionality. Just as important, though, are Nota’s privacy and security settings–you can make your poster public, like mine, or limit access. This may make it more attractive than similar tools if you’re planning to put it to use in the classroom or other professional avenues. This tour of Nota’s features shows how easy it is to create a poster, and their education use cases may help you generate ideas for using it yourself.

Check out Nota and let us know what you think–share links to your public posters!

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Aaron Sumner

Aaron Sumner is the Director of Technology for Research and Development at the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. He has worked in web development and instructional technology since 1994.
  • Julie

    I wonder whether we could use this for some products from the SIM conference this summer–Affinity group results come first to mind. Would it be easy to set up a “conference” group to restrict access, if we wanted to do something like that? I’m also wondering about whether we can pair up experienced PDs with first-time attendees before the conference and generate some “good to meet you” interviews/posters/products so folks arrive in Lawrence already feeling like they’re part of something special.

  • Julie

    I wonder whether we could use this for some products from the SIM conference this summer–Affinity group results come first to mind. Would it be easy to set up a “conference” group to restrict access, if we wanted to do something like that? I’m also wondering about whether we can pair up experienced PDs with first-time attendees before the conference and generate some “good to meet you” interviews/posters/products so folks arrive in Lawrence already feeling like they’re part of something special.

  • http://www.lovetoreadtutoring.com/ Mandy Horton Walker

    Dear Aaron,

    Thanks for this example! I did put together a glog on Glogster, which I found to be very easy, but have not completed my Nota yet. Is Nota a newer app? It does not seem as easy to use as Glogster, but I definitely prefer the general appearance of the Nota community. Thanks for exploring this for us!

    Mandy

  • http://www.lovetoreadtutoring.com Mandy Horton Walker

    Dear Aaron,

    Thanks for this example! I did put together a glog on Glogster, which I found to be very easy, but have not completed my Nota yet. Is Nota a newer app? It does not seem as easy to use as Glogster, but I definitely prefer the general appearance of the Nota community. Thanks for exploring this for us!

    Mandy

  • http://stratepedia.org/ Aaron

    Hi Mandy, I’m pretty sure Nota is newer but i’m not sure when it got started. I got the hang of it after about 15 minutes of playing around with adding different media types. The biggest learning curve for me was figuring out the built-in media search, which turned out to be really powerful. Also, I had better luck getting it to work with Firefox (I’d tried Safari first.) Overall, the way you create a page with it reminds me a lot of how you create something with GIST. My suggestion is to play around with adding different types of content–text boxes, images, videos, etc.–just to get a feel for it before creating something you’d want to use in a real situation. You can always delete your practice files.

  • http://stratepedia.org/ Aaron

    Hi Mandy, I’m pretty sure Nota is newer but i’m not sure when it got started. I got the hang of it after about 15 minutes of playing around with adding different media types. The biggest learning curve for me was figuring out the built-in media search, which turned out to be really powerful. Also, I had better luck getting it to work with Firefox (I’d tried Safari first.) Overall, the way you create a page with it reminds me a lot of how you create something with GIST. My suggestion is to play around with adding different types of content–text boxes, images, videos, etc.–just to get a feel for it before creating something you’d want to use in a real situation. You can always delete your practice files.

  • http://stratepedia.org/ Aaron

    Hi Julie, good question–I don’t think Nota supports “groups” the way we typically think of them in the Stratepedia apps, but we may be able to get creative. We might also consider something like the Powerpoint-like tool in Google Apps; it may have more support for sharing with groups.

    Generally speaking, though, I think those are good ideas for how we could use tools like these.

  • http://stratepedia.org/ Aaron

    Hi Julie, good question–I don’t think Nota supports “groups” the way we typically think of them in the Stratepedia apps, but we may be able to get creative. We might also consider something like the Powerpoint-like tool in Google Apps; it may have more support for sharing with groups.

    Generally speaking, though, I think those are good ideas for how we could use tools like these.

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