Thursday, November 29, 2012

Two Apps Go Mainstream at Mercy -- iAnnotate PDF and Socrative

During our Conversation with Colleagues in November, I was amazed to hear four colleagues from three departments (Science, English and Social Studies), simply raving about one of our iPad apps.  The were describing iAnnotate PDF as an app that they simply could not do without.

iAnnotate PDF image at
Last spring, when we were selecting the apps which would be pre-loaded on our students' iPads, I actually expressed a preference for a less expensive competitor.  But Alison Kline-Kator was very persuasive about how useful she had found iAnnotate PDF while taking classes for her doctorate.  After the staff had been given their iPads, Alison conducted an after school workshop on the app.

Lisa Robinet was one of my colleagues who had been raving about iAnnotate.  Consequently, I invited myself to her social Studies Department presentation of the way she used the app to correct her students' work.  Just a few moments into her demonstration, I quickly resolved to try iAnnotate out with my students.  I watched Lisa . . .

* Open an assignment submitted assignment through Moodle in the app on her iPAd.

* Add "pencil" notations

* Use a custom rubric to grade it (Done by creating a "stamp")

* Type notations as necessary

* email the results to the student

Though she did not do so, it is also easy to  add photos and quick voice notes to the file.
Incidentally, many of our teachers are also using Socrative,  a "student response system that empowers teachers by engaging their classrooms with a series of educational exercises and games. . . . .Student responses are visually represented for multiple choice, true/false and Short Answer questions."

While I feel somewhat sheepish about having been so far out of the loop on both of these developments, it's extremely exciting to see how the iPad is being adapted to our teachers' instruction.

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