Student Reviews of Annotation Apps

Today I had several students try out Explain Everything, Noterize and one continue with neu.Annotate PDF. They used these apps to complete their unit review practice at their seats. Below are examples of their work and reactions (as well as my final determination on which app to use).

Using Noterize

Unfortunately there are no screenshots of this app in use because if the app window closes accidentally (which happened to BOTH students using it), you LOSE ALL OF YOUR WORK! They were so upset about this, but being resilient scholars, they were both happy to start over with a new app.

Student Reviews of Apps
(From above)
Reviews on Noterize:
"I like that you can change the pages and you can do what you want to do on that page."
"I don't like the size because when you are in the middle it is humongous and I don't like the marker and pencil because I don't know which one is which." -5th Grader

Reviews on Explain Everything:
"I like the colors and the questions."
"I dislike the eraser, the movement, the buttons on the side, another things I don't know the name of. When you zoom in, it messes up your whole thing because all the pieces of my writing move around for no reason. It is really hard to erase because sometimes you don't get to erase things after awhile. I hate it and I never want to use it again. I like noterize or newannotate better." - 5th Grader

"[I like] That you get to do all of your problems just like noterize and i think it's cool."
"[I dislike] how you erase. It it's very irritating to me about that app. also like when you try to answer a question all the stuff moves and it's so annoying and irritating to me." - 4th Grader

Reviews on neu.Annotate:
"I like this app because you can do math boxes on the iPads and you can learn in a different way."
"The thing i dislike about is how the way you have to write and it's really hard and the eraser doesn't work sometime when you try to erase things." - 4th Grader


Based on the students reactions and performance on the apps, I think I will use Noterize for the foreseeable future. While the screencasting function in Explain Everything is very cool, the lack of functionality for my students makes it impractical to use. I also tried PDF-notes 2.0.0, but again - the functionality (and ads) once again leave neu.Annotate in 2nd place and Noterize in 1st. Thanks again to Steph Meewes for showing me that Noterize is free!

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