Notability! Inside the Classroom and Out!

If you’re going to professional development this summer or attending a conference like I am (Helloooo Vegas!), I have a fun and hopefully very helpful tip for you!Depending on the event, you may or may not receive handouts.I have found a GREAT note-taking app called Notability. ($2.99 in the app store, and SO worth it!) I used it last summer on my iPad mini and it was FaBuLouS!!

It allows you to mark-up/write/ draw/doodle right onto the PDF’s that you download onto it! And best of all….you can even take pictures and insert them into your notes! 
A m a z i n g!! 
Last summer I had already printed all of my handouts and put them into binders, but I didn’t end up using them or even taking them to sessions with me because I ended up LOVING using this app. That being said though… I am still very much a paper pencil, cute-planner type of girl, so I did take a small notepad with me to take paper/pen notes when people were talking super fast and sharing tons of great information! When all done I took a picture of my  notes from that session and added them to the PDF’s (you can add blank pages right in the middle of the PDF!)

There are lots of great tools on Notability . You can capture audio clips to add to your PDF’s as well!
As with any other app, it really takes time to explore, play and get comfortable using it in order to use it to it’s full potential!
If you’re thinking about trying it I would recommend giving yourself time to play before you get down to serious note-taking with it! (Just like we do with our little ones, they need that explore time, and so do we!)
I was sitting in a workshop last summer and started talking to the teacher next to me, she was interested in the app, so she downloaded it right then and there and started using it! You can save your notes and e-mail them to your friends too, so you can divide and conquer the sessions and share notes with each other!
This app has so many potential uses!
I have used it in my classroom to help me with writing conferences. It is particularly great for writing because you can take photos of their writing to provide evidence of their growth!
Documenting growth by:

•Taking notes about where they are at in the writing process and what their next steps are.
Photos of their artifacts (So, so cute!)
This is such a powerful tool for writing instruction!
•It is so empowering for students to see their work being recorded in this way! It is a proud moment for them and it really helps them to visualize their next steps in order to create goals.  :o)
•It is, in a word, INCREDIBLE for data collection. It’s all right there!
Whatever you need to make sure you are recording to support evidence of:  Growth :o)  OR  Lack of growth :o(   {hopefully not!}

Organizing files and folders is easy as well! Each student can have Their own folder so that you have a running live record of their work!

I shared it with my principal, and she uses Notability on her iPhone 6+ for doing teacher evaluations now! She takes pictures and notes during the lessons and then uses it to help her in scoring, writing, and follow-up conferences!

For the notes in these photos I was sitting close enough that I could take pictures of the presenters slides. I did this a lot! It really helped me to recall information and I even added additional notes to these later on as I reviewed them. It’s easy to type, draw, write and highlight on the note pages or PDF’s. The camera tool is easy to use – you click on the + in the tool bar and it will give you the option to add a photo, take a photo, or even add a link from the web! When you select a picture you can easily crop it or move it around on a page.
I hope this little post inspires you to try Notability if you haven’t already! (I don’t know the Notability people and I’m not being reimburesed in any way for writing this, I just like the app and wanted to share!)
Here is a link to a little tutorial that I found too!

Thanks to my sweet & smart friend Emma at Clever Classroom who encouraged me to write this post!! ;o) Have fun using Notability and when you come up with great ideas for using this app please come back and share in the comments!


  1. I can't wait to try this out - and I never knew about it before! Thank you so much for the very timely and helpful post! xo

  2. I can't wait to try this app! I went to the ISTE conference last summer in Atlanta and there was SO MUCH technology information (but no one talked about this app!) Wish I had the app then to take notes with!

  3. Can't wait to try this out! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I'm going to download this app Pam. I saw you use it in Vegas and it looked super easy. I'm glad you wrote about it. Emma