The Simplest and Most Awesome App Ever: Post-it Plus

Most of us, staff included, have led a workshop or class where participants walk around and add Post-its with thoughts to a large piece of paper. Each piece of paper usually has a different topic or question written at the top. Afterwards, ideas written on the post-its are shared by the instructor or via gallery walk by the participants. The extent of use usually ends there, because, at the end of the workshop, you must decide what to do with those large pieces of paper. You don’t want to throw them out because you may want to reference them later. But, they are large and awkward to store and the Post-its usually lose their stickiness and get all mixed up shortly after.

With Post-It Plus, not only do these problems disappear, but, there are also so many more cool things you can do with these same posters later on. Let me explain. Post-It Plus takes a picture of your large papers and scans each Post-It note separately. Therefore, your external poster has now becomes a digital platform to interact with the post-its as if they were still paper. You can reorganize them, categorize them and even combine Post-its across topics.  Therefore, an entire room of people can be using the same sheet of post-its on their iPads or iPhones and be reorganizing and grouping based on their own perspectives.

See It In Action

Here are some screenshots from the Post-it Website that shows some of the cool things you can do with it.

 

 

Not only can you name your boards and subcategories, you can then reorganize the Post-its based on these changes.  You can add new notes with many colors to choose from and you can draw or type. You can also pull notes from other boards and add them to new boards. Finally, you can save it as a .pdf or as an image to save for later or turn in!

Here is a screencast of me playing with the app. I don’t have a poster of Post-its to take a picture of so I did the demo version where it pretended to upload a picture.

Ideas for Use

I have a ton of ideas for taking the old lessons we have all done and taking them a step further with the app:

  • Make words or sentences using mixed up Post-its. Mix them up on the board. The students scan the board and go back and sort at their desks.
  • Write equations and number sentences. Students could make a number sentence, mix it up and then trade iPads and solve each other’s problems.
  • Annotate a book with post-its. On each post it, put the page number and the quote, thought or question.  Students can leave them inside the book and at the end they can curate their thoughts by scanning the post-its and categorizing them. Keep the notes for future writing assignments and to study for tests!
  • Trace the routes of a famous explorer, traveler/ human migration patterns. Students can use Post its to mark their path and then scan the post-its to see the shape.
  • Create a timeline using a Post-it for each event. Students organize in order.
  • Re-sort Post-its based on new categories they come up with or you give them.
  • Students can add two more Post-its/Take away ones that don’t ‘fit’.
  • Organize them (example: from least to greatest importance.)
  • Respond to one post-it in a reflection, speech, or persuasive essay.
  • Save as .pdf and submit to teacher/presenter to serve as a formative assessment.
  •  Tie it to one of Harvard Project Zero’s thinking routines! See below for ideas for a few of the routines. Click on the link to be directed to the Project Zero website and see the routine explained in full.
    1. What Makes You Say That? -students could choose one or two post-its on the sheet to question. Students find the author of the two Post-its and asks “What Makes You Say That?” This will further the conversation and get students to think deeper about their ideas and opinions.
    2. Circle of Viewpoints -after writing down various viewpoints of a topic on different post-its, students can scan them, sort the viewpoints into categories and create questions they have for the various perspectives. This would be amazing for a pre-persuasive essay activity or speech/debate prep.
    3. I Used To Think….,But Now I Think -This could be done as a culminating activity. Pull out the KWL  post-it chart from the beginning of the unit; students can scan it (or scan it at the beginning of the unit and save for later) and analyze how their thinking has changed.  Likewise, it could be about hot-button current event discussion. They could start with their preconceived opinions and after research and a structured class discussion like socratic seminar, students can revisit their early opinions and reflect.
    4. Compass Points -This would be great as an introduction to a self-driven project, Genius Hour, or even as an introduction to the class service-learning project.  Students could make their own virtual poster filled with Post-its containing ideas for projects. They can organize their ideas into categories. Then, do the Compass Points thinking routine to narrow down ideas.

The Nuts and Bolts

  • Travis has added this to Self Service for the 7th, 8th and faculty iPads. He has sent the app to Library, the Hayden cart, and 3rd and 4th grade class iPads. So they should be there when you need them! #thankstravis
  • It is recommended that you use a dark colored marker or felt-tipped pen when writing on the Post-its so they are most likely to show up when scanned.
  • This app works best with regularly-sized square Post-its.
  • Make sure the Post-its are not overlapping and are about 1/8inch apart from each other. This will make scanning much more seamless.
  • You can take numerous pictures of the same board if the board is too big. After you have captured one “board” you can hit the plus sign to add another photo to the same board.
  • Unfortunately it doesn’t let you collaborate with others within the app. But, you can export it to another device. What I mean is, you can send it via email and open it on someone else’s Post-it app for further organizing. When you export it, just save it this way. (see below)  So, this way numerous people can edit the same file as long as it is one-at-a-time.

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 3.40.13 PM

Happy Post-it-ing!

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