How I Use It
I usually struggle with finding time to conference with my students on their writing. By importing their papers into Notability, I can mark the paper as I usually would. Then I can walk them through the entire paper verbally, by creating a voice recording. I can give students feedback on how to improve this piece of writing or things to keep in mind as we begin our next writing piece. This app is great because students don't need an iPad or the app itself to receive the paper and recording- they export as PDF and MP4 files. Genius! I upload the files to edmodo, and have trained my students to open the PDF first, read the written markings, then to open the mp4 file. They know I always begin at the beginning of the paper, and will walk them through their entire paper. This has really helped students understand my specific feedback. In the past, they often didn't understand my notations, or they couldn't read my handwriting. Since implementing this, students have very few questions about the feedback on thier writing and state they are clear on where they need to improve. I now feel so much better, because not being able to conference with students on their writing is a huge problem if I want them to continue to improve.
This is a powerful app for annotating PDFs, that's true. However, in my opinion, it can be exponentially more powerful as a tool to give students feedback on their writing. This is possible because in addition to writing annotations on PDFs, you can also record voice comments, which I have used as a way to conference virtually with my students on their writing. My next steps mgiht be to have students use the app to provide powerful peer feedback.