Over the past few days, I have been tinkering with some technology tools that my students may want to use for their class projects. One tool is Nota pages. The picture on the right is a Nota page I created in just a few minutes. My students used them last year and loved them. Nota pages are easy to create with a ton of possibilities. They are collaborative, so more than one student can edit at the same time. Imagine creating an online posterboard with the ability to add text, shapes, flickr images, personal images, maps, movies, wikipedia information and more. One feature I find really useful is the ability to add sticky note comments that allows me to give instant feedback for editing purposes. Nota pages can be embedded into Blogger and Wikispaces. I use them to make my Wikispaces pages more appealing. One of my Grad students D. Bennett created an amazing diversity collage using Notaland that incorporated video, images, and quotes. That is the beauty of Nota pages, students of all ages can be creative using the available tools.
With all the snow we are expecting, I decided to set up class blogs so my students can do some writing if we have more days off. Some of my students will also be using them for the Civil Rights project we are currently working on. I chose kidblog for several reasons. First, it’s free and we all know teachers love free. Secondly, I can set them up so all postings and comments are approved by me before they are made public. Another reason is the user-friendly interface. I set up my classes in about 20 minutes. I assigned usernames and passwords, a great feature in case my students forget theirs. I think my students will enjoy using the kidblog features. They will be able to add pictures, music and videos in their posts. We have not used blogs in my classes yet, but I am excited to get started. I am hoping that giving them an authentic audience will entice them to write more.