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Sunday, August 26, 2012

7 Mobile Apps Students Can Use to Never Lose Handwritten Notes Again

A couple of weeks ago on my Android blog I wrote about using the Google Drive app to create digital archives of handwritten notes. That post was prompted by a conversation that I had with a young lady entering her senior year at a high school in Rockingham County, North Carolina. That young lady explained to me that she preferred the act of handwriting her notes and outlines to typing them out on a keyboard. In a lot of ways I agreed with her because when I plan my keynote talks I always use pencil and scratch paper before creating and arranging slides. Try one or all of these seven apps ff you have students that prefer to handwrite their notes or if you prefer to handwrite your notes, but you're worried about those notes getting lost.

InClass is a free iPhone and iPad app that could be a very useful tool for students carrying those devices. InClass provides students with tools for taking text, audio, and video notes. Students can also use the app to take pictures of hand-outs, slides, and other valuable information that they see in class.
SugarSync is a cloud storage service that offers apps for iOS and Android. Using the apps you can take pictures of anything including those handwritten notes and upload them to your account. SugarSync synchronizes your files across all of your devices so that you can access your files anytime you are connected to the web.

Evernote is the service that I've been to store all of my bookmarks for the last year. I also use Evernote to create notes for myself. Sometimes I type the notes, sometimes I dictate notes into Evernote, and sometimes I just snap a picture and upload it to my account. Whichever method I choose, my notes are synched across all of my devices whenever they connect to the Internet. Evernote has apps for iOS and Android.

Skitch, which was bought by Evernote late last year, is designed for creating sketches and marking-up images. Using Skitch students can snap a picture of outlines they wrote by hand then circle or highlight the most important aspects. Skitch is available for iPad and Android.

With Google Drive installed on an Android device students can take a picture of anything and instantly upload it to their Google Drive accounts. Once the image is uploaded it can be accessed from any Internet-connected device.  Students  can write and highlight in their notebooks, but can also back-up those physical notebooks and access them online when they need to.

Dropbox is a cloud storage service that I've written about a handful of times in the past because for two years I used it in conjunction with DropItToMe to collect my students' work. Dropbox for Android and iOS has an auto-upload feature that you could use to upload images of handwritten notes.


Box, like its similarly named competitor above, is an online storage service that you can use to store, sync, and share all kinds of files. The Box mobile apps are available for iOS, Android, and Windows mobile devices. The mobile apps have an image import option that you could use to upload images of hand-outs and notes. 

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