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

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Virtual Post-It Boards-Pinside

Even though I've posted about a variety of note-taking and note posting web 2.0 apps, as of this writing, I have a paper sticky note attached to my laptop screen.  Maybe old habits do die hard or sometimes I like the simplicity of text-only handwritten in pencil or pen.  Some of the easier online services are Wallwisher, Corkboard Me and PinDax (to name a few).  I have posted about each of them; they have subsequently upgraded their features.

A newer choice which has come to my attention through Twitter from posts by Richard Byrne, educator and blogger at Free Technology for Teachers, and Heather Moorefield, Education Librarian at Virginia Tech and former chair of the committee for the selection of the American Association of School Librarians Best Websites for Teaching and Learning,is Pinside.  Pinside is free to use for posting text and images.  Boards can be private (for you and selected board members) or public for all to see.

When you initially access the site, you can sign up or sign in, learn more about Pinside or visit the official Pinside board.  The first board lists what it is, options for use and explains notes and comments.  Contact information, a review of the site and information on the iPhone app are available on the second board.

To sign up enter in your email address and create a password.  Your account is immediately accepted.  A new screen appears with a prompt to enter in a title for your board.  From that screen you can also access the official Pinside board, enter in feedback, contact Pinside, change your password, read a short Privacy statement or logout.

At times when I am waiting for a new title to arrive or get the opportunity to read and review one I already have on hand, I will see points of interest or resources I might like to include in my review.  These items might be scattered between my Twitter favorites, Facebook news feed or timeline or browser bookmarks.  It's only after I've posted a review, I discover I've neglected to add something important.

I've decided to create a board titled Stephen Savage in anticipation of writing a review of his new title, Little Tug.  I entered in his name as the board title and pressed the enter key to begin the board.  What appears is the name of your new board with the option to create yet another underneath it.  To add notes to a board you need to click on that specific title.

To begin select the New Note button.  Type in your text or add an image URL.  To create another note you must first click "add" on the previous note.

When a URL is added to your text it will create a hyperlink which is definitely beneficial. (PLEASE NOTE: At this time I've discovered that once the board is made public the links do not remain active.  I have sent a question to Pinside.) To make the board public click on More... at the top of the screen.  At this screen you can also add specific members who can participate in this board.

Once a board has been made public, click on Public View at the top of the screen to open up another window which shows the opportunities for sharing, embed HTML code, a URL link, Twitter and Facebook.  Also if you wish to have a paper copy of any of these notes move your mouse next to the name of the note creator (You) and click on the tiny print icon.  You can also delete the note from this area by clicking on the "x".

Here is my board titled Stephen Savage using HTML code.  Here is a URL link to the board.

For comparison's sake I also took notes in Corkboard Me, Wallwisher and PinDax.  It will depend on the user as to which they prefer.  In order to actually read the notes in PinDax they need to be opened.

Here is the link for Corkboard Me with the Stephen Savage notes.  Corkboard Me cannot be embedded unless you upgrade to a paying account.  Here is the embedded Wallwisher of the Stephen Savage notes along with a QR code to the board.  Here is the URL link for the Stephen Savage PinDax board.

For simplicity I do not think there is a better web 2.0 app than Pinside.  As I toggeled back and forth between the others testing out the similarities and differences, the ease of use is a real stand-out.  For younger students it would be perfect, providing a first step into the note-taking and note posting online apps. The only thing that would be more helpful is to have an FAQ or basic help section.  Some of the steps for use in this post I learned by trial and error.

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