Post it Plus is a free app from the iTunes Store. This app should not be confused with the plethora of sticky note apps that litter the App Store. This is the official 3M Post it Plus app. Let me get this out of the way right now, 3M is not paying me to write this review. When I like an app, and it could be useful in the classroom I share the app on this blog. In the most basic language Post it Plus is a scanning application.
In my class students take notes in their text books using Post it Notes. This is not a new or original concept, these are school owned books, my students cannot write in these books. Post it notes offer a solid alternative to annotating in a school book. What this app allows me to do is use student annotation as a classroom teaching tool. At the end of each chapter read, I ask my student to copy one of their Post it Notes and affix it to the white board. They can add a question, defined word, or just a comment regarding the chapter. What I now have is a board filled with ideas, some of which I may not have had, and are worth sharing. The Post it Plus app then allows me to share this board with all of my students.
Using the built in camera on an OS device the post it notes can be captured and digitalized for distribution to the students. I can hear the comment, “Why not just take a picture?” “Why do I need this app?” The real difference is that Post it Plus allows the notes to be manipulated. The app turns the photo of the Post it Notes into digital Post in Notes that can be edited and manipulated in several ways. The user can change the orientation of the Post it Note up to 360 degrees. The user can also add or erase handwriting on the note, or add a typewritten component to the Post it Note. The app becomes a simple, effective, Post it Note editor. Next question. “Do I need to take one picture for every note submitted by my students?” The answer is ,”no”. The description of the app claims it can scan up to fifty Post it Notes at a time. However, i have never been able to hit that number in classroom use. Yes, the app can recognize the Post it Note shape, but the writing on the notes is illegible. I normally try to fit six notes into each photo, essentially five pictures per class. In practical terms it takes about five minutes per class. Then I can manipulate the notes as I need to make them more legible. Your success or failure will be based based on the quality of your OS device’s camera (I use and iPhone 6 plus), and how steady your hand is when taking the shots. Six at a time works well for me, you may find it to work better or worse in your classroom environment. Anyone who gets the full fifty into the shot with the notes remaining legible, please comment or email me. I want to know how you did it.
Once all of the Post it Notes are photographed and converted the app creates what it calls a “board”. the screen looks like a bulletin board full of Post it Notes. This board is now a resource that the user can share. I share the Post it Note board with my students via iTunes U and Remind and ask for comments and replies. Students can put their names on the analog Post it Notes and take credit for their ideas, or share anonymously. What is crucial here is that student ideas are being shared among the class. These Post it notes are the equivalent to colorful ideas bubbles that the class can share or as i refer to it a collaborative idea board I also merge my classes so ideas can be shared regardless of class period. The class discussions are no longer limited by temporal limitations.
I find this a app useful in an English classroom. My students are comfortable with the Post it Note format of note taking. This is not something new and technologically daunting for the students regardless of their skill level. Sharing ideas and peer review are crucial skills our students need to learn prior to college. I teach high school, but I am sure the resourceful K-6 teachers out there could find some very creative uses for this app as well. One other thing, this app is FREE! warning though there are some editing features that you can unlock with an in-app purchase. The purchase 99 cents. I think it is worth the money, but read the description, and decide for yourself. Finally, on a side note, generic versions of the Post it Note do work with this app. So if you are providing your students with the Post it Notes you may want to move to a cheaper alternative. In my use of the App I find that most square cut pieces of paper work well during the capture process.
What you get:
Post it Plus is a free app. It is also an app that is simple to use and effective in the classroom. The processing and editing of Post it Notes within the app is quick and intuitive. Finally, export options are very good. Users can export the board as a Post it Plus file, PDF, Excel, Power Point or as images in a zipped format. This is one of those applications that is limited only by the imagination the teacher using it.
Link to the app: https://appsto.re/us/6Ja22.i