Jot! & Notability iPad Apps

Jot! and Notability are two great apps available to all faculty that can turn your iPad, when used with Air Server, into a mobile interactive white board for your classroom. Hand draw sketches, words, diagrams and graphs, import pictures or take a photograph of a page in a textbook or novel and hand the iPad to a student to solve, annotate or add to – with everything being projected on the board.

Of the two apps, Jot! is the most basic providing a simple scratch-pad with a few different pen, colour, background and import options. In the screenshot below you can see the different gestures and tools available and the cut-down interface on the right hand side, including simple pen colour and sizing options:


Use pinch to zoom in and out, and two figures to scroll. Tap the camera icon to change the background, import an image or take a picture (which can then be annotated over):

IMG_0051Notability offers similar options to these but is based more around creating and organizing notes. When you first open the app you will see the following screen, with your notes on the right hand side and any subject folders you make on the left hand side:


Tap the + icon in the top left to create new subjects to organize and store your notes in:


Any notes you have already created can be dragged and dropped between subjects.

To create a new note tap the pen and paper icon in the top right hand corner. As with Jot! use two fingers to scroll and pinch to zoom in and out when you are viewing a note. The different tools can be seen across the top with text box, pen, highlight, erase and cut options:


Tap on a tool twice to see any additional options. You can also tap on the + icon to insert other objects like photos, web clips (screenshots of a webpage) and sticky notes:


Once these have been added you can annotate over the top of them, you just need to tap somewhere else on the screen to deselect them.

In addition to building up notes with these tools, Notability also offers powerful importing tools and can link to a number of cloud storage services. On the opening screen tap the import button and then tap Google Drive to link your school Google Drive account:


You just need to login and tap Accept. You can now import all kinds of documents including PDFs, images and Microsoft Office files from Google Drive. Notability will turn them into notes which you can then view and annotate over the top of.

Once you have finished annotating you can also export the file back to Google Drive, just tap the export button and tap Google Drive again:


One thing to note with exporting is that if you export the same file back to the same location in Google Drive it will overwrite the original. So if you want to save the originals and your students’ annotations you will need to create some kind of folder structure to save the separate files.

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