Review by Amanda Bindel, Common Sense Education | Updated March 2013
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Skitch

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Add a hint of fun to note-taking or annotating images

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Teachers say (20 Reviews)
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Grades
6-12 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: The interface is very easy to use and offers tools that make Evernote an even better way to keep things organized.

Cons: Even though they work together, Skitch remains a separate app from Evernote, and kids must have an Evernote account to save their creations.

Bottom Line: It's easy to annotate images and screenshots, take handwritten notes, and organize it all with Evernote.

For classroom use, you may want to focus on the tool's annotation or note-taking capabilities, especially if your school uses tablets. Students can easily use a stylus to take handwritten notes, which then sync to their Evernote accounts. They can also mark up screenshots of websites and maps, which could support research or projects in language arts or social studies classes.

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Skitch is an app that helps users communicate visually. Kids can learn to communicate effectively and concisely with the help of Skitch's annotation tools. Using text or shapes to highlight or take notes, they can save annotated screens to access from multiple devices or share with others using social media, email, or text for collaboration.

In Skitch, kids can add shapes or text to a photo or write a note by hand on a blank screen. Kids can highlight or annotate maps powered by Google Maps. They can also mark up a screenshot of a website. Kids can pixilate parts of photos for privacy. Skitch users need an Evernote account to save their skitches and can share them by email via the Skitch app or by text and social media via the Evernote app or website. Skitch creations can be accessed on any mobile device or the Web from the user's Evernote account.

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While Skitch was designed as a productivity app, it’s a great tool for education. The ease of sharing images and marking them with text or shapes makes collaboration and communication easier for kids. They can communicate with groups or partners on projects or annotate websites for studying or research. Work they begin at school can be easily accessed at home, either on the Internet or via a mobile device.

Kids and teachers should have Evernote accounts set up before installing Skitch in order to save their creations. Using it as an image editor, kids may find the few controls limiting –- they can only add shapes, text, or highlighting, or pixilate images. The real value, however, is that it adds a much-needed feature to Evernote. The ability to annotate images, maps, and screenshots and save handwritten notes expands Evernote's capabilities as a productivity tool.

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Overall Rating
3

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Kids will like the features, which allow for annotating with shapes and text in bright colors. The simple interface makes it easy to share creations with friends, family, and teachers.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
3

With the ability to take notes by hand and annotate images and text, visual learners should respond well to Skitch's style. Getting to draw all over images and Web pages should be pretty empowering to kids as well.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
4

Video tutorials show some uses of Skitch, and kids will quickly figure out many more ways to implement the tool, which is very easy to use.


Common Sense Reviewer
Amanda Bindel Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

4
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Featured review by
Jess L. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Melvin E Sine School
Glendale, AZ
5
Simple tool for digital storytelling!

I use Skitch a lot personally to annotate photos. With some teacher support, I think Skitch could be used with younger students as well. I could imagine taking photos during a nature walk and then annotating them with information and observations. I could also imagine using Skitch as a teacher for data collection and observations. If you see something cool happening, snap a photo, type a note, and save it for the student's portfolio. I think that the possibilities for educational application and student creativity are nearly endless with this app.

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