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PopBoardz: a media dashboard for instruction and presentation

So, what would happen if Pinterest and Symbaloo and Blendspace had a baby?  Well, it might look a little like PopBoardz, one of my new favorite options for personal curation and presentation.

PopBoardz allows you to organize the content you need and easily present from your iPad, iPhone or Mac desktop.  For educators, it can be used as an instructional dashboard, whether they sitting a their desktop or walking around presenting from their iPads or phones.

Screen Shot 2015-10-10 at 10.18.26 PMSimply drag and drop PDFs, JPEGs, videos, notes and websites, as well as anything in your camera roll, your Google or iCloud Drives as tiles onto a board. Each board allows you to collect 16 tiles.

You can easily rearrange your tiles, add images or text to your thumbnails, drop in your own logos or backgrounds, copy and paste tile contents, mashup new Boardz from existing ones, or share Boardz or import or export them to and from your Cloud solutions.

CEO and co-founder, Peter Stougaard, a former studio executive for DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox, developed PopBoardz out of frustration with existing linear presentation software.

I developed the application for me to have the ability to jump to the right thing exactly when I need it. During a critical meeting, you’ve got to be able to react, sometimes like your life depends on it.Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 4.55.59 AM

He’s gotten excited reactions from business-types, for instance, real estate people who may need to immediately show properties.

But he is especially impressed by teachers’ quick response to the potential for the application in the classroom:

 I believe the reason teachers have been drawn to PopBoardz is because it allows them to simply and easily “illustrate” their lesson plans with perfect examples to help make their point, no matter what forms they take.  And then let’s them instantly jump to what’s important during any classroom discussion.  Simple. Flexible. Nimble.

Unlike linear presentation tools, PopBoardz offers flexible, open-ended movement among mixed media elements, untethered to the Web, and perhaps, a more realistic response to our teaching needs.

Here’s how the application looks in a science lesson:

 Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 5.04.02 PM  Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 12.45.37 PM

Peter is currently piloting project improvements with K12 teachers and with classes at the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University, his alma mater.

Next on the road map are versions for PC, Android and the Cloud.  Peter and his team are also exploring exploring administrative and analytic features, access controls, customization, and a variety of back-end tools.  We also chatted about the potential for shared galleries of boards in a kind of SlideShare approach.

I am excited to be able to use this as a teaching dashboard from my laptop app, and across my devices for my live classes and audiences, and on platforms with screen sharing, like Hangouts.  And I’ve got big plans for organizing new web recipes, scans of new cookbook and magazine ideas, and old note card recipes from Mom in preparation for the upcoming Valenza Thanksgiving.

The only downside (and Peter promises to address it) is the clunkiness of sharing Boardz with others on their devices.  Currently, you can export to DropBox or Google Drive. But generating an immediate URL or embed code would be oh so handy!

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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