The Geographer’s Notepad – Notability

Notability is one of the most commonly used note-taking apps and one of the best. Taking typed or handwritten notes on-screen and wight he ability to insert images or pdf documents.

This is the geographer’s dream because there is instantly a seamless continuum between materials gathered online, diagrammatic work and written (or typed) notes. Finally everything can be integrated and everything is flexible.

Voice recording can be added in the app if so wished and it can all be backed up on cloud storage (automatically) so there is no fear of losing the work if the iPad is mislaid or damaged – GoogleDrive, Dropbox, Box or Webdav. Or you can email out in PDF format or as RTF or Note (Notability’s own format)

  • Think diagram work
  • Think fieldsketches
  • Think annotated photographs
Annotations plus a 'post-it' note and a screenshot of a relevant website to prompt revision.
Annotations plus a ‘post-it’ note and a screenshot of a relevant website to prompt revision.

In class, a lot of students incorporate their own photographs taken of the whiteboard or of their rough notes. This becomes ideal for carrying on the class discussion in homework as all the notes from the day can be pulled out of the iPad’s camera roll.

I am finding that it help students to be more involved in class, encouraging them to write their ideas onto the whiteboard. Ideally, this might be in from our innovation room where every wall is covered in whiteboard ‘paint’. The whole class get get involved, then take photographs of their work and of the work of other groups. Slotting these into Notability can be a great way forward.

Also consider how this could be incorporated into fieldwork. May be use a 360 panorama app as well?


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