Notability is the note-taking tool for iPad, iPhone and Mac that continually gets rave reviews from educators in every discipline, grade and country around the globe. Partly its simple and ‘paper-like’ interface and partly its integration with services such as Google Drive, Dropbox and iCloud, Notability is the ultimate tool for teachers and students looking to take their notes digital.
Compatibility: Mac / iPad / iPhone
Access: No signup required
A Quick Look
1. Student reading and feedback
This is one of the most powerful applications of Notability when working with younger students. Import a copy (pdf, word or other) of your student’s text into Notability and then use the inbuilt microphone to record audio as your student reads. You can then use a stylus, the keyboard or your finger to take notes right in the text and build an extremely valuable document to share with students, parents and for your own future reference. This can also work extremely well for students learning sheet music or languages.
2. Paperless classroom
It is borderline impossible (and most likely impractical) to remove all paper from your classroom, but tools like Notability can make life a lot easier by keeping your notes in a searchable, secure and structured format. Try using Notability as an alternative to printing where possible. Save your documents to Google Drive, Dropbox or iCloud and then use Notability to mark up, annotate and append to your notes.
3. Student note-taking
While Notability makes for an extremely useful teaching tool, it can also be exceptionally valuable to older students who are taking notes in class or compiling and managing research material. Try introducing your students Notability as an organized alternative to paper notes or Word documents.
4. Marking and reporting
Because Notability is integrated into cloud services, it makes sharing and collaborating on documents very simple and traceable. Have your students submit work digitally by posting it to a set folder or location you have designated. Not only will this save on issues with corrupt memory sticks, wrong email addresses, etc., it will also allow you to provide feedback directly into the document, giving both you and your students access for the future.
5. Conference and meeting notepad
Some of the most popular places you will find Notability being used is in lecture theatres, meeting rooms and at conferences. Having been designed specifically for mobile note taking, Notability is the perfect tool to jot down thoughts, info and questions as you listen to others speak. Try using one of the most impressive features of Notability, where you can record audio as you take notes. Then, as you play back the audio, Notability will highlight each note you took in sync with the audio, making it clear what you were thinking at each point in the lecture or discussion.
Links and Next Steps
- Using Notability for Guided Reading – Guide by Columbia Public Schools
- A Powerful Combo: Notability and Google Drive – Notability in Math class
- Notability for Teachers – Video (15 min)
- Notability Review for Students – Video (12 min)
- How to Use Notability iPad App in Your Classroom
- Notability Hints and Tips – PDF notes from Clover School District
- How to use Notability in Classroom – Video (25 min)
- Less Paper With Notability – Sharing work between teacher and students
- Recording and exporting audio notes using Notability – Video (12 min)
- Digital Workflow with Google Drive and Notability