Student Note Taking App: Remarks

14 May

In my anatomy and physioloy class we have been using the iOS app GoodReader as our hub for learning.  (See Post)  GoodReader is a pretty good app that allows students and teacher to accomplish a lot however it has a few limitations.

  1. Handwriting on a PDF document you have to hit save to keep your inking it does not automatically save as you write.  This becomes a bigger deal when you want to change colors because you have to hit save and then reopen the writing tool, change the color and then begin writing.
  2. No eraser.  If you hand write a lot of notes and then realize you made a mistake at the top of the page you can’t just erase the mistake you have to delete the entire section.
  3. Although you can synch folders and files to remote serves it does not do it automatically.  You have to hit the sync button.  For students and teachers this can create problems with creating multiple files particulary if students don’t always remember to sync.

A new application on the iOS app store is called Remarks is going to be our replacement for GoodReader.  The following is a list of reasons that we are going to be choosing to use Remarks as our note taking/PDF annotation app.

  1. Very simple interface
  2. Great handwriting engine that is smooth and easy to use
  3. Changes to pen color and text color can be done on the fly without saving and reopening your inking tools.
  4. Images can be imported from the camera roll or even taken by the camera from within the app. These images can then be placed within a PDF or in a new note.
  5. Students can not only annotate PDFs but create new blank notes with one of 9 choices for paper.
  6. Links within PDFs still work!  This allows teachers to keep active links in their documents they distribute to students.  (Links to Google form quizzes, websites or videos)
  7. Create folders and sub folders for classes. This will allow for better student organization.
  8. Connects with WebDAV and Dropbox
  9. Syncing documents and folders to WebDAV of Dropbox is easy to create and they update every time you leave the document.  There is no need to go and hit a sync button.  This will allow students and teachers to share documents and turn in work without creating multiple copies of a file.
With all of these new features Remarks will become or one stop shop for note taking and PDF annotating!
Watch one of these movies to get more information about how Remarks works!
The PDF processing engine is a little slow right now but they have assured it will get better with an update soon!


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