rAPPido Review: GoodNotes

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 11.25.33 AMAfter yesterday’s amazing presentation, I thought I would give GoodNotes4 another whirl. Because they have a sale going on at the moment, the app is only $4.99 (the price will go up soon).

Now, I am usually a big cheapskate about this kind of thing, but I tried to write a review with the light version and found that I had reached my GoodNotes limit after creating only two documents. So, if you are going to use this app, try out the free version. If you like it, pay the big bucks.

Greg showed you how he uses GoodNotes in yesterday’s presentation. That is he uses it to film himself solving examples of equations his students need to know, all the while recording the meta-cognitive process (that is, he records his explanation of each step- sorry- was feeling fancy there for a minute).

But I know that many teachers from all disciplines have asked if I know a good app where they can correct their students work on the iPad. The criteria being that it is just as easy and simple as it is to print out the work and scrawl on it with a red pen (or choose your colour). Confining myself to free apps, I hadn’t really found one that fit the bill.

GoodNotes however, comes close. At first, I was a little confused- what did the lasso do? What was the little square? So I did my own sort of flipping and watched a tutorial on youtube:


It is just under 7 minutes and very helpful (though I am still a little confused about the plain screen):

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 12.22.27 PM

If anybody can explain this page to me, that would be great. Never mind- I just figured out that it was the cover of my “notebook.” Duh. You can change the look of your notebooks (which would be useful for teachers in order to collect assignments in one place. Okay- let’s change that:

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 12.28.22 PM

 

Woohoo! I got me an ipadyoupad notebook!

Here is the description with annotations using both the handwriting option and the typing option:

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 1.22.19 PM

 

Things I like about it:

1. The zoom feature really helps when you are writing by hand:

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 1.20.56 PM

 

Much easier to get writing in those little squares if you use the zoom!

However, make sure you use two fingers simultaneously- otherwise you end up scribbling all over your paper instead of zooming.

2. I also love the shape function:

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 1.27.49 PM

 

3.The highlighting function is very useful- it works just as a regular highlighter.

4. I also like the fact that you can export documents separately (you don’t have to export the whole notebook) which means you can send them to your students.

5.The lasso function makes it easy to move text or images.

6. There is also a whole bunch of paper templates at your disposal, either in portrait or landscape.

7. You can also use it as a whiteboard app, which is very helpful.

That is not to say that it doesn’t take some getting used to. Not equipped with a good stylus and at the mercy of my clumsy fingers, the handwriting option is not so useful to me. However, once I got the hang of creating a text box and seeing how easy it was to move around and draw arrows or highlight the text I was commenting on, it was really easy and much cleaner than my usual quick scribble.

All in all, I say it is worth the money, especially if your New Year’s resolution is to go paperless. It would be not only possible, but very easy to receive, correct and send back your students’ assignments.

 

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