Nota – Great Alternative to Glogster

Nota is a web-based  graphics tool that allows users to build a “canvas” of multimedia content. You can add text, video, audio, images and, of course, web links to design a canvas that communicates your ideas.   It also allows a high degree of collaboration. You can set who can be an editor and whether to allow comments. Educators can use Nota to create unit plans complete with relevant images, web links and video files. In addition, it enables you to add widgets like Google Calendar and Maps and even a message board. Access photos and other content from Flickr, Picassa, Wikipedia and other sites.

Nota provides the ability to create several pages which can be linked from the “home” canvas. This feature allows educators to easily differentiate instructions. There could be a home page that introduces the topic and then points to other pages specifically designed to meet the needs of different learners.

There wasn’t a close match to any of the “product” tools on the list we originally reviewed but I suppose Voicethread comes closest to Nota’s capabilities. Voicethread is also an interactive multimedia presentation tool but it doesn’t support the same degree of collaboration or the same level of interactivity. You can force a collaboration with the comment tools in Voicethread, and outside links can be added to the description of the project but they cannot be embedded into it’s body.

Another big difference between the two applications is that with Nota, all the content can be placed on one page. With Voicethread, the same content would have to be housed on separate pages. The ability to embed widgets and to add web links directly on the canvas clearly distinguishes Nota from Voicethread but they are both worthwhile tools for engaging students. It makes sense to have the goals of the work determine the best tool to use.

Has anyone successfully used Nota in the classroom? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

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