Thursday, February 6, 2014

Top 10 Apps for Taking Notes in Class

My son has two different special needs diagnoses. He has Aspergers/High Functioning Autism as well as Osteogenes Imperfecta, OI for short. With autism, there is a ton of information easily accessible. A quick Google search for autism returned over 18 billion results for books, websites, apps, and treatment ideas. Although OI is becoming more known, there is not the, "Oh, I know what that is," response when I tell someone my son has OI. There are many lesser-known diagnosis out there. Today, I wanted to bring a little light to apps which may help children with OI, or brittle bones.

If you have or work with a child with a lesser known condition, please share in the comments section of this blog post or send us a private message on our Facebook page with what apps you have found beneficial.

OI comes in a vast range of severity from mild, with few breaks in a lifetime, to more severe forms, resulting in hundreds of breaks, bone malformation and in most severe form, prenatal death. According to the OI Foundation, most children with OI have decreased lean muscle mass and associated muscle weakness. Some children may have motor delays due to fractures and/or muscle weakness.

For any child with muscle weakness in their hands, it is easy to fall behind with school work. Many of the parents on an online OI parents support group voiced praise for the use of iPad Minis and other tablets helping their child keep up in school.  From apps which help take notes to ones where worksheets can be scanned and completed electronically, there are many options to help kids who are struggling to keep up.

The force needed to write on a tablet is much less than writing with pencil and paper. Whether using a stylus or writing with a finger, using a tablet could help a child not tire out as quickly.  Here are top recommendations for kids who need help writing in class.
** Please note: Some of these apps have in-app purchases, but they can easily be disabled in the settings of your device. There are also ads and social network links in some of these apps.
Only the app's developer can control when an app is free or not. All apps that we post as free are verified to be free at the time of this post. We make no guarantees otherwise.**

There are a few variations on these types of apps. Some are primarily to take notes. Some support both handwriting and typing, and some only do one or the other. Additional features include the ability to add audio, video and picture files with the notes.

A different variation allows for notes to be taken on top of PDF files.  This is helpful for students filling out worksheets or quiz papers electronically.

Note, all of these arrangements must be discussed with the school and teacher to see if it is an option.

Evernote by Evernote-- Stand out features. It allows syncing with various devices. Allows students to easily share with other classmates or teachers, organize information, and have backup copies. Supports typed and audio notes, as well as adding pictures. Does not support video or handwriting.

From iTunes:
Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders--and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go. 

Key Features:
• Sync all of your notes across the computers and devices you use
• Create and edit text notes, to-dos and task lists 
• Save, sync and share files 
• Record voice and audio notes
• Search for text inside images
• Organize notes by notebooks and tags
• Email notes and save tweets to your Evernote account
• Connect Evernote to other apps and products you use
• Share notes with friends and colleagues via Facebook and Twitter
• Works with Evernote Business: Capture, browse, search, and share Business Notes and Business Notebooks from your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

If you would like to download Evernote (FREE, iPad/iPhone), please show your support by using our link.  (In-App purchases available for premium version)

Penultimate by Evernote -- Syncs handwritten notes with Evernote account. Supports handwriting and adding pictures. Makes handwriting searchable. Does not support typing, adding audio or video.

From iTunes:
The most natural digital handwriting experience on iPad, Penultimate gives you the convenience and feel of writing on paper with the added power and availability of Evernote. Take notes in class or a meeting, journal your thoughts, or outline your next big idea -- in the office, on the go, or at home on the sofa.

Your handwriting and drawings look spectacular in black or color gel ink on your choice of photorealistic paper styles, or import any image to create your own personalized paper. Our inking technology produces pen strokes that look better than real ones, and the automatic Wrist Protection mode prevents stray marks from appearing on a page for writers of all grips. 

Penultimate makes moving around the page feel effortless, taking advantage of the gestures you already use on your iPad so that you can focus on the information you want to jot down. To zoom in on a spot on the page, simply pinch in and start writing. With Penultimate's Drift feature enabled, the page will move along with you, automatically adjusting to the pace you are working at.

If you would like to download Penultimate (FREE, iPad only), please show your support by using our link. (In-App Purchases for premium version)

inClass by inClass, Inc. -- Allows users to create notebooks for each class to help with organization. Supports typed, audio, and video notes, as well as pictures.

From iTunes:
inClass, the last school app you will ever need, is here to help you survive school. No matter how complex your school schedule is, inClass will help you keep track of all your courses. Not only that, but it will help you keep track of your tasks by reminding you that one is due soon, that way you have no excuse to not do your homework =P

On top of everything inClass will help you take notes way more efficiently than ever before. Video notes, audio notes, photo notes! You name it! Just take out your iPhone or iPod Touch and start taking notes. inClass will even know which class you are in! 

If you would like to download inClass (FREE, iPad/iPhone), please show your support by using our link.  (in app purchases to remove ads and add drawing tool)

Super Note by Clear Sky Apps LTD -- This app offers easy organization with color coding, as well as the ability to search, sort and categorize notes. Supports typed, audio, video notes and adding photos. Does not support handwritten notes.

From iTunes:
Super Note helps you create notes very rapidly and make voice recordings during, as well as add photos. The notes are color coded so you can find them instantly and you can change the note color/category on the fly. You can also set future alert reminders on individual notes.

Recordings & Photos are built into the note and can be made any time - you can take notes & photos while recording or while playing, and you can pause/resume to add new recording sections to an existing recording.

You can also transfer your notes to other people or to your computer using email, WiFi, or dropbox. 

If you would like to download Super Note's lite version (FREE, iPad/iPhone), please show your support by using our link. (limited to 4 notes and 1 photo per note)

If you would like to download Super Note ($2.99, iPad/iPhone), please show your support by using our link.

Notability by Ginger Labs -- Supports handwritten notes, taking notes over PDF files, sound recordings, syncs files with Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, webDAV, and also share via email, twitter, and Airdrop.  This is an all in one note taking app.  Supports handwriting, typing, adding video, audio, pictures and typing on PDF.

From iTunes:
Welcome to Notability, the best-selling note-taking app on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. Notability is so powerful that it will transform how you work: sketch ideas, annotate documents, sign contracts, complete worksheets, keep a journal, jot travel notes, teach a class, make a presentation and much more. With iCloud support, your notes stay up to date on all your devices!

Write, illustrate and annotate using gorgeous retina ink. Notability's zoom window helps you quickly and clearly draw every detail, while the palm rest protects your notes from unwanted marks. Choose the right pen and paper for any project. 

If you would like to download Notability ($2.99, iPad/iPhone), please show your support by using our link.

TopNotes - Take Notes, Annotate PDF & Sync Notebook with Dropbox by Appxy -- Take free hand notes or annotate over PDF files. Offers password protection feature. Supports handwriting, but not typing, adding video, audio or pictures.

From iTunes:
TopNotes is a powerful app for handwriting and organizing notes, sketches, diagrams, illusions and drawings. It is the easiest-to-use and going to be the best-selling handwriting app for iPad. With TopNotes you can take notes, keep sketches, record ideas and draw pictures wherever you are.

Powerful editing tools
* Very well designed papers and digital ink pens.
* Full set of highlighter pens. 
* Multiple erasers to meet different requirements.
* Copy/Cut/Paste to move or duplicate notes.
* Import pictures from album & adjust the size.
* Choose paper type for each page.
* With undo/redo features to compare previous and current ideas, and correct step forward more easily. 
* Wrist feature to protect the specified area from careless editing.
* Read-only mode for notes reading in case of some unnecessary editing.

If you would like to download Top Notes (FREE, iPad Only), please show your support by using our link.   (in app purchase to upgrade to pro version $4.99)

If you would like to download Top Notes Pro ($4.99, iPad Only), please show your support by using our link.

Write on PDF files: This is an option for students looking to fill out worksheets or quizzes on their tablet. Simply upload sheets as PDF files, have the student fill in their work, and send to the teacher.

Type On PDF by Tipirneni Software LLC-- Supports handwriting and typing on top of PDF files.

Introducing Type on PDF - the new iOS app that makes filling out PDF forms extremely simple. Users can both type or write on PDF forms and then export them as PDFs via email or to any other app that accepts PDF. This version also includes powerful image tools to allow you to place images from clipboard, camera, or library right on the PDF page.

Type on PDF is similar to our highly successful Sign-N-Send app, but with more robust typing features that makes filling out PDF forms extremely easy.

Free Version (in app purchase to disable ads)

Full Version $4.99

PDF Reader – Annotate, Scan, Fill Forms and Take Notes by Kdan Mobile Software LTD -- Easy access to worksheets through uploading PDF files or by taking a picture.  Supports handwriting, typing, adding video, audio and pictures.

From iTunes:
PDF Reader is not just a file viewer. With PDF Reader’s powerful annotation and editing features, you can be as efficient on the road as you were in front of a computer! Form filling, contract signing, free handwriting, text box, highlighting, sticky notes, stamp tools, we take care of all that! 

+ Simple and intuitive interface that makes navigation a child’s play 

+ Highlight, underline, squiggly and strikeout text directly with your finger 
+ Add sticky notes to jot down comments, questions, or feedback 
+ Type on PDFs - Typewriter text boxes supported 

+ File sync & online backup with iCloud 
+ Wireless transfer via Wi-Fi 
+ Download files from any website 
+ Upload or download files through Dropbox, GoogleDocs, Google Drive,, and SugarSync, and 

+ Save documents, receipts, boards, business cards, notes, etc. Scan almost anything through camera 
+ Efficiently scan documents and store, print, or email them as multipage PDFs or JPEGs 
+ Import images from Photo Library 

Free (in app purchases available for premium version)
iPhone Version             iPad Version

 iPhone $2.99                 iPad $4.99

DocAS Lite- PDF Converter, Annotate PDF, Take Notes and Good Reader by 9 Square LLC --  With this app, not only can you create notes, but you can save them as PDF files and create paper templates. It is easy to organize and personalize notes. This app supports handwriting, typing, adding audio and pictures.

From iTunes:
DocAS lets you take note, sketch your ideas, annotate PDFs, convert other document format to PDF, do presentation, read documents, record your meetings and classes, and share your notes/documents on your iPad, All-in-One. 

★ Highlight features
✔ Shapes Recognition 
Draw and auto-detect, then generate shape intelligently, like: lines, ellipse, star, polygons... 
✔ Ruler Locator 
When moving or editing shape, picture, text... object, the ruler can help locate the more accurate locations. 
✔ Build-in PDF converter 
Convert MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, iWorks document, web page, RTF, Text ... formats to PDF, then you can annotate it. 
✔ Capture from Web 
Build-in Browser, Snap current web page and convert it to PDF

FREE (iPad Only, In-App purchase for full version)

Full Version

TinyScan by Appxy -- Allows you to easily scan and save paper documents as PDF files using device camera.  Does not let you take notes, but could be good for teachers or parents wishing to make electronic versions of worksheets for students to work on.

From iTunes:
TinyScan turns your iPhone into a mini scanner for documents, photos, receipts and other texts. With TinyScan, you can scan your documents at anywhere and store or email them as PDF files. 

TinyScan is well designed and extremely easy to use. The interface is user friendly. It uses fast algorithms and detects page frames automatically. It provides 3 modes for different files - color, grayscale, black & white. Each mode shows a perfect contrast. 

Lite Free

Pro $4.99

Rachel H spent as much time doodling in her notes as actually writing, when she was in school.

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