Tuesday, June 18, 2013

iPad Apps for Teachers: Note Taking

I was asked recently to recommend some iPad apps fpr teachers. It was suggested I aim for five or six apps but I git a bit carried away and suggested umpteen instead. I thought it was worth reproducing in this blog to see if anyone disagreed with my choices or if they had any to add that I missed.

Teacher's Desk by mortsan
Teacher's Desk, a photo by mortsan on Flickr.
The list was divided into six sections, so I'll do this over six blog posts. The first category was note taking.

Note Taking

Both for teachers presenting but also as a great tool for pupils to communicate their knowledge and understanding using text, graphics video etc.

Notes Plus:
I would go for this rather than Pages. You can word process on the iPad with Pages but I think that is not the iPad's main strength. The iPad is an ideal tool for note taking though and Notes Plus is a package that I’ve used and find impressive. There is an in-app upgrade to add handwriting recognition but I’ve never done this so don’t know if it is any good!

An alternative to Notes Plus. I have never used this app but I saw a friend use it to take notes at a conference and it looked impressive. Pulling in screen shots and webpages to annotate as well as adding handwritten notes to pdf documents.

PDF Expert:
Annotate on multi-page pdfs. Good synchronisation with a variety of cloud storage services means you don’t end up with one version on your iPad a a different version on your desktop.

PDF Printer:
Converts other documents to pdfs. Good companion program for PDF Expert and other similar note taking apps.

Syncs across multiple devices including desktops. Variety of note types supported. Limited Optical Character Recognition supported (e.g. photograph a business card and Evernote can extract the contact details so you can copy them into your contacts list).

So, what do you think? Is there anything obvious I've missed? Is there anything I've listed that doesn't deserve to be there?


Mr Baynham said...

Any love for Skitch?

Samara Wood said...

i like the look of uPad, will have to check that one out. I regularly use Notability at the moment. can type, write, convert to text, insert media easily and record voice as well.

David said...

Hello Mr Baynham

I've only ever used the desktop version of Skitch which was vaguely useful as a way of creating annotated screenshots. A quick look at the iPad app suggests it can do a lot more. I may have to give the desktop version a second look too.

Thanks for this suggestion.

David said...

Hello Samara

I looked at a number of reviews before going for Notes Plus and I think Notability was on of the others I considered. I don't remember uPad featuring though. But having seen it in action, it looks impressive.

John said...

Hi David,
I quite like using various plain text apps for note taking. My handwriting is poor and I find it difficult to mange more that text in notes. Recently I've been using markdown a bit for taking notes at meetings and finding it useful. I've not settled on one app yet but I like nebulous lite, drafts (for much geekyness) and the like.