Common Sense Review
Updated October 2013

Lino

Sticky-note tool helps organize; compatible with multimedia
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Common Sense Rating 3
  • Lino offers a way to organize data using online sticky notes.
  • A dashboard allows you to keep track of all your canvases.
  • Help is nothing if not detailed; the FAQ leaves no stone unturned.
  • You can browse public canvases -- some of them have an educational bent, while others can inspire new ways to use Lino.
  • A classroom's playlist based on the play The Crucible shows how Lino can really work in a classroom setting.
Pros
Lino's teen-friendly extra features give it a slight edge over the many other sticky-note sites out there.
Cons
There's a slight language barrier in some of the site's text.
Bottom Line
This standard sticky-note platform does what it promises, giving users a place to organize and share.
Polly Conway
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 3
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 3

Design is basic but very customizable; it involves square sticky notes on a virtual board, but you can choose colors and font size. Virtual sticky notes are about as fun as the real thing -- that is to say, they're only kind of fun.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

As kids add sticky notes to a canvas, they'll be building organizational skills that will help them as adults. By sharing boards, they'll develop some social skills and learn to collaborate.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 3

The FAQ is very detailed and answers any question imaginable. However, the answers provided by this Japanese company are very formal and literal. Data is safely saved.

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How Can Teachers Use It?

Lino's done a good job of promoting its tool to educators, and some teachers have used this basic sticky-note system in really creative ways. One English teacher put together "The Crucible Playlist," giving students access to add songs they felt related to the classic play and short descriptions of the reasons behind their choices. On a simpler level, you can ask students to use Lino to organize a school project or to research a particular subject.

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What's It Like?

Lino is a web-based sticky note platform that lets users add virtual sticky notes to a virtual bulletin board, or "canvas." Each note can contain simple text, or you can add photos. Canvases can be left public or made private, and you can invite others to join and contribute content. You can download a bookmarklet tool to make it easier to grab content from the web; you also can view and search through public canvases for interesting content. Students can create canvases for fun stuff, too; a board filled with Minecraft tips or My Little Pony photos can be shared with friends, who can be invited to contribute. An upgrade to Lino Premuim offers more storage and an ad-free experience.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Lino has a lot of competition with the roughly one zillion virtual sticky-note sites out there right now. How does it stack up? Right in the middle. It does what it claims to do, and its service is tidy and can be very helpful. It's reasonably customizable, and the platform is intuitive. Lino is based in Japan, and there's a slight language barrier evident in the site's text sections; still, instruction is clear and highly detailed. Why use Lino? The free version offers enough storage for casual users, and its colorful backgrounds and Emoji-like icons will appeal to kids.

Lino can help students learn to group information in a way that makes the most sense to them. They'll learn the importance of keeping track of tasks and of scheduling, even if it's for something as simple as doing their homework each night. They can also learn simple research skills by finding sources online and posting the links in an organized way on a Lino board. While Lino isn't very complex, the tools that it does offer are easy to use and potentially helpful.

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See how teachers are using Lino

Lesson Plans