Tag Archives: middlespot.com. bulletin board

Mashtabs: a virtual bulletin board

Save, annotate, organize, and share

Middlespot.com‘s mashtabs tool allows you to save and organize your online research on a borderless dashboard to create a mulitmedia e-bulletin board.

The technology (or what are my powers?)

Registration for the basic service is free and allows you to place the “Middlespot Me” button on your browser.  Once you find a Web page that interests you, you simply click on the button to add the page to your dashboard.

bookmarking a page to your dashboard

You can manipulate and modify items on your dashboard, as shown in this YouTube video.

The mashtabs tool allows you to  annotate images of your  Web pages as you bookmark them. You can also select an image on your dashboard and annotate it there by clicking on the  icon that looks like a wrench. You can resize and move images of Web pages around to cluster related items together. You can zoom and pan on different areas of the dashboard to focus on items of interest.

Additional features provided by the mashtabs tool include:

  • the ability to upload files such as images and pdfs from your hard drive to your dashboard
  • the ability to embed HTML codes, allowing you to add media, like videos
  • the same embed feature also allows you to embed functional widgets on your dashboard

Instructional strategies

You can organize information on your dashboard  to demonstrate relationships between items you place there. You also can annotate items, which can help you become a more reflective reader. The multimedia capabilities of the dashboard additionally allows you to present multiple perspectives on a topic as you share information with others. You also can add tools like polls and quizzes via linked Web pages or widgets to make your dashboard interactive.

The mashtabs dashboard is designed to foster collaborations. There are a number of sharing tools readily available at the top of your dashboard, allowing you to post a link  to such platforms as Twitter, Facebook, delicious, Diigo, and many others. Those with whom you’ve shared your dashboard will see a read-only view unless you send selected users an email link and open your dashboard for collaboration. In that case, users can add and/or delete dashboard items.

You also can bookmark mashtabs dashboards, which means you can create higher levels of organization using other bookmarking tools that are better suited for this purpose. For example, I bookmarked a mashtabs dashboard I created on health literacy to my Diigo list on teaching medicine or health.

A portion of this dashboard is shown here.

Conclusion

There are many Web page organizing tools out there, but the ability to collaborate with others to present shared multimedia resources is one of the interesting value-adds of this particular tool.