Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Monday, March 28, 2011

Let's Compare Notes

Spring is in the air (except for the winter storm warning currently in northern Michigan 3/23/2011) and so is the writing of research papers.  

Searching for online note taking applications that can be used by middle and elementary school students with ease and that are not limited to them by their age has been somewhat time consuming. 

Yahoo! Notepad meets the ease of use requirement but in order for most of my students to use it their parents would need to create a Yahoo! Family Account if they have not already done so. 
Yahoo! Notepad can  be accessed from any computer anytime.  By clicking on the Add Note button text can be entered and saved an a folder.  Notes are organized by putting them in any number of folders that the user wishes to create.  Folders are listed on the left side in alphabetical order.  Users have the option of saving, cancelling or deleting a folder.  Notes can be saved, printed, cancelled or deleted.  Notes can be edited by clicking on the folder where they are stored and opening them up.  Folders can be renamed in the same manner.

Another which is not limited by age and is very easy to use is Quicklyst.  To register for this free online app simply enter in an email address or username along with a password.  To begin taking notes after logging in click on Take New Notes.  Add a title to your notes and start typing away.  Bullets will be created each time you press the return key.  Notes can be deleted, added to your queue, removed from the queue, shared via a URL or printed.  If in taking your notes you want to search Wikipedia(DuckDuckGo) type in a question mark followed by the search term.  If you want to use a dictionary(Merriam Webster) type in a colon followed by the term.  Quicklyst also supports LaTeX for inserting equations.  Kelly Tenkley in her blog, iLearn Technology, on January 18, 2011, talked about Quicklyst.  A student had emailed her about his creation.  This senior high school student, Shantanu Bala, knew what students needed and kept the KISS principle in mind.

Worth mentioning yet again is the simple Corkboard Me.  It is free.  There is no registration or log in.  New features have been recently added.  Once a user clicks Create One Now they are given their own URL to each corkboard that they create.   Sticky notes can be added anywhere with a click, if an image is on the Internet it can be added to its own note by entering in the image URL.   Now chatting, collaboration and mini-maps are available as well as the ability to embed your corkboard into a web site, blog or an app that honors that html code

For older note takers EverNote is a good choice followed by the more sophisticated Zoho Notebook

My two favorites for collabortive, mind-mapping are still Popplet http://popplet.com/app/#/12808

and Stixy http://www.stixy.com/guest104625  (Xena).

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