NOTE: First, Wallwisher, the popular virtual “corkboard” or “bulletin board” Web tool changed their name — they’re now known as Padlet (though all their old links using the Wallwisher name work fine). Now, Corkboard.Me, a similar tool, just announced they’re changing their name, too — they are now known as NoteApp.
Wallwisher was the first online application that let you easily place virtual post-it notes on a virtual corkboard or bulletin board, and allow you to post text, images, and/or videos on them.
This kinds of apps have many uses. I particularly like them for easy social bookmarking (my students, for example, post their favorite language-learning games on them so their classmates can try them out. I also have students use them to supplement inductive data sets (a series of pieces of information about a topic( they have categorized in the classroom. Once they categorize the information, they write a summary sentence about each category and find an image that goes with it. You can see many examples on our class blog of how they used Wallwisher to create one of these on Nelson Mandela.
Several similar sites have followed in Wallwisher’s wake, and they have been helped by periodic technical issues Wallwisher has seemed to have (recently, though, they seemed to have fixed them). I thought I’d make a list of these newcomers. I have not included any that do not allow inserting of photos or video, though. Without that ability, I don’t really think they bring much value-added benefit, but leave a comment if you think I’m wrong. I also have not included any services that charge for creating more than one bulletin board.
Here are my choices for The Best Online Virtual “Corkboards” (or “Bulletin Boards”):
Wallwisher, the granddaddy of this kinds of apps, lets you, with very, very minimal registration, create a “wall” where you can place virtual sticky-notes. You can allow others to also place notes on the board, or keep it so that only you can do so (which is what I would recommend for students). The sticky-notes can include images you grab off the web, videos, or websites, and you can add text to them (you can also just include text without adding anything else). Each sticky has a 160 character limit for text.
NOTE: New Development: Wallwisher, the great virtual “corkboard-creator” tool, has just announced some nice improvements. They include making it even easier to create a corkboard and having immediate real-time collaborative abilities by seeing what people you invite are doing on it as they do it. They say there is more to come in the next few days. I’ve tried out both of those improvements, and they work very well. They’ve also changed their name to Padlet.
Wallwisher went through a period when it was very buggy, but they’ve come on strong over the past year to become a top-notch tool.
Corkboard Me is a Wallwisher-like tool. The site has just announced the ability to embed your virtual bulletin boards, which you are unable to do with Wallwisher. Other features include real-time collaboration and a chat room for the people collaborating. You can post images, but not videos. You used to be able to use it without registration, but changed that so now you do….
Popplet is like Wallwisher on steroids. You can make an online “bulletin-board” with virtual “post-its” (called “popplets), just like in Wallwisher. And, except for the fact you have to register to use it, Popplet is just as easy and, in some ways, easier to use with a lot more functionality. With Popplet, you search for images and videos on the Web directly within the “popplet” instead of copying and pasting the url address (as you need to do in Wallwisher). You can draw within the “popplet” and it doesn’t appear to have an limit on the number of characters you can use. You can connect the “popplets.” You can also embed the whole thing.
Spaaze is similar to the others on this list, with registration is required. Everything is free now, but they say after they move from beta that they will charge for more than one bulletin board. So, I don’t know how long they’ll last on this list.
Several readers have suggest linoit. It has many of the features that the other listed ones have, though you have to register in order to use it. I didn’t include it originally on this list because the only way you can post photos from the Web is by adding a bookmarklet, which can be problematic in some school sites. But because of the obviously positive experience some readers are having with it, I’m adding it now.
Group Zap joins a long list of online virtual “corkboards.” It has some nice features, including the ability to convert your board to a PDF and being able to “drag-and-drop” images and documents from your files. You can’t add photos by their url addresses, unlike some other similar sites, and there’s a limit in the number of photos and files you can upload for free.
I just received my invitation to join Mural.ly, and am very impressed. I’d strongly encourage you to register for one. It lets you drag and drop images and links (and the links appear as thumbnail images on the screen);it lets you write on it or add speech bubbles — it’s basically a super-duper-duper Wallwisher.
RealtimeBoard is an online whiteboard that seemed like a decent tool for real-time collaboration. It’s easy to use, and lets you upload images from your computer or by its url address. They offer free “Pro” accounts to educators.
Read about eduClipper here.
Like the best of the other sites, you can create these bulletin boards easily without registering and you can collaborate with others to create them.
Two features, though, that Stoodle has but, as far as I can tell, others do not, are:
* the ability to search and find images on the Web within the application itself. With the others, you have to find an image in another tab and then paste the url address into the site. Stoodle gives you that option, too, but searching within the site makes it a lot easier.
* The chat feature between collaborators is text and audio. I don’t believe any other similar tool as the audio chat feature.
The only two negatives that I see are:
* unlike Padlet, you can’t embed a Stoodle board.
* Using Stoodle the first time isn’t as intuitive as Padlet. It would be nice if they had a short video or just some screenshares identifying how to use the icons. One can figure it out in a minute or two by playing with it, though. Just note that in order to move around the virtual “post it” notes, you have to first click on one of the icons on the left.
Feedback is welcome.