Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tech Tips Tuesday

Notability for Observations

Last week I wrote about using the Inkflow App for iPad to record observations of a student teacher. When I saw him on Wednesday, he said he'd really liked the format of the observations - in particular the combination of text and image, and found it helpful that the notes were in digital format which was emailed to him, and thus harder to misplace! He asked if I could do similar again for his lesson on Fairy Tales.

Instead of using Inkflow again, I decided to give Notability a try as it seems to be a more popular app, was recently free as App of the Week, and seems to have more features available. I was pleased with my experience with it, and decided to use it for my soccer team's training session in the afternoon as well.

Features I love:

  • It's very simple to add a caption to photographs as you add them to your page.
  • The zoom function with the magnifying glass is helpful when writing by hand. Alternatively, zooming and moving can also be accomplished with two finger touch.
  • It has audio recording for the page and multiple voice notes can be recorded and managed with the settings button.
  • Audio can also be sent via email - resulting in a zip file.
  • When typing you can choose up to three favourite fonts to select with one touch
  • The highlighter is handy
  • You can easily set up folders to manage the notes more efficiently
  • Notes can be automatically backed up
  • Files can be duplicated, meaning that if a template is set up for regular types of notes, students can just duplicate the template and create a note according to the same structure.
  • The search feature allows you to search typed text in all notes

My struggles:
  • I found it hard to edit the pictures after I moved away from them. I couldn't find a way to get back into them to resize etc without undoing the previous moves until the handles returned. This would be annoying if I'd continued to write etc before trying to edit the pictures. After additional research, I found that the double tap on an image with two fingers is the answer to this dilemma!!
  • New to a hand rest section, I am finding it a little bit of a struggle to adapt. When using it I kept finding that my hand kept switching me between open apps!
All in all, I am finding Notability very useful as a teacher, and would like to see how students could use it to record their thinking in class as well. 

Screenshots taken from National Football Curriculum being read in iBooks.
Student names removed for privacy.

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