Once upon a time not so long back, (try 2006), it was relatively easy to keep up with new tools as they were released but these days unless you really have a broadly based network that has eyes everywhere it is soo easy to miss some great opportunities. One of those that has passed me by until now is the Nota which is a real pity as I can see lots of classroom applications for just such a tool. So what’s Nota?
According to the team behind the space, Nota
means “perception”……., a blank canvas to express your imagination.
What this means in practical terms is a online collaborative whiteboard like space into which can be added text, lines and shapes that can be modified and manipulated. More than that you can also insert and annotate a range of other things including images from a range of spaces and sources such as your computer, Flickr and Picassa. Youtube movies that play from within the Nota space can also added as can images of Google maps and entries from Wikipedia. The latter can be edited and modified if needed. There also three gadgets, a message board, Counter and Webcam that can also be added to the Nota space.
The Nota Pages can be made public or private though only public ones can be embedded and each Nota can have up to 50 collaborators working within the space, (though things may come a little crowded :)). Be careful in selecting the public or private setting as at the moment there is no way to switch between these options once you have chosen.
Getting started with Nota is as easy as signing up for an account and click the “Create New Notebook” button. You can then give your notebook a title and set it as public or private and begin to create. You can also elect to allow others to add comments or not.
Interestingly, Nota recognizes their applicability to education with an example page of possible education uses. Below is a screen pic of the Nota screen though as WordPress.com strips all but a few embed codes I am unable to embed the actual Nota pad, (if you click on the pic below you will link to the online notebook). You can find an embedded version here.