Professor Doug Ward wrote an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education about grading papers with iAnnotate PDF and voice annotations. Professor Ward taught online classes last semester at the University of Kansas, and he was increasingly disappointed with the impersonal nature of online communication. When he discovered iAnnotate’s voice annotation feature, it was “a revelation.” He interspersed voice notes with his highlighting and pen markups, adding a personal touch to his grading. Many of his students appreciated this method, and some even thanked him for “taking the time to speak to them” about the assignments.
If I were to add a sound annotation to this article, it would be “Thanks, Professor Ward!” in my best Darth Vader impression.
“Discussing Romeo’s “I am Fortune’s fool!” and other passages students marked via iAnnotate.” From Little Red School House & Elisabeth Irwin High School’s twitter feed. I don’t remember too much about Shakespeare’s tragedy, but I think this is the part where John Leguizamo comes in.
Two recent articles elaborate on iAnnotate’s usefulness for students and teachers in high school, college, and beyond.
Tracy at iOS Affairs uses iAnnotate to plow through articles in her graduate mental health counseling program. She touts iAnnotate’s ability to perform tasks previously impossible on paper, like voice and photo annotations, custom stamps, and typewriter notes in multiple colors and fonts. Tracy adds “watch for updates from these developers. They’re full of surprises. As soon as I think the app is perfect, they improve it with things I hadn’t even imagined but soon find indispensable.” Well, shucks, Tracy. We like you too.
Kristi Upson-Saia at Occidental College discusses the benefits of iAnnotate for grading assignments. She uses custom stamps like “develop this idea” and “awkward prose” to quickly mark issues throughout the document. She writes more substantive comments at the end of the paper, and refers back to her earlier stamps to provide guidance. For Kristi, this process “saves an inordinate amount of time grading.” Kristi doesn’t say what she does with all this extra time, but it’s safe to assume she’s fighting widespread corruption or nursing wounded animals back to health.
We continue to come across so many different uses for iAnnotate PDF. If I were to imagine iAnnotate as a person, our app would be a globe-trotting adventurer who has mastered just about every field. Take a look at few of these escapades:
iAnnotate on Archaeological Digs
“Ever see a crew chief or field director carry around a 2 in three-ring binder full of reference materials? Mine is about 1 cm thick, weighs 1.3 pounds, and is shiny. Beat that.”
iAnnotate Practicing Rural Medicine in Australia
“In fact you can quickly and easily search through all your documents for key words within, or for tags you’ve added (this has come in handy on more than a few occasions when a consultant has asked me a tricky question, but I can search for the topic and pull up part of one of the many textbooks I have sitting in my library).”
iAnnotate Grading Term Papers in Philadelphia
“As a result, I was able to write onscreen comments, usually in red, as well as add typed longer comments, and to return the papers immediately. This was satisfying to both students and to instructor.”
We caught this today on twitter. Soledad O’Brien, host of CNN’s Starting Point and loving mother, has downloaded iAnnotate PDF upon the recommendation of her 11-year-old daughter. My colleague Matthew (@Branchfire) followed up on twitter, and it appears that the younger Ms. O’Brien uses iAnnotate PDF in her 5th grade class.
In cases like this, it’s always good to defer to the professionals. Mss. O’Brien and O’Brien, we thank you.
We missed this video when it was released earlier this year. The University of San Francisco distributed iPads to their faculty to record how their professors used the device. Associate Professor Dr. Evelyn Ho turned to iAnnotate to work through her summer research. She now keeps over seven hundred social science articles in iAnnotate’s document library, which has quite simply “saved [her] office… at school and at home from exploding.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
Thank you for the kind words, Dr. Ho, and enjoy your paperless existence.
I recently spoke with Travisty Vasquez-Terry, a doctoral student at Trevecca Nazarene University who is conducting a study on iPad use in families with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder. The study uses the iPad as a means of empowering the child’s interactions and increasing their independence, and it gauges the satisfaction of the child’s response to a variety of apps. Travisty emphasized the importance of including a diversity of apps in the study, not just those specifically designed for assisting in communication. This increases the potential of interactions for the child and it also greatly broadens the price range of the apps available.
Travisty selected iAnnotate for the study because of its open-ended nature. With iAnnotate, parents have complete control in preparing the app for the child’s use; they can select and load any PDF to better frame the child’s interactions. While using the app, children have the ability to mark up and draw directly on the documents, which is particularly valuable because it allows children to make visible connections between different forms of information. The recent inclusion of photo and voice annotations further increases this potential. Additionally, the ability to zoom in on a particular passage or image lets the child eliminate distraction and isolate only the relevant information.
Thank you for your time and kind words, Ms. Vasquez-Terry.
For more information about the study, please visit at4asd.org.