Paperless Classroom Series: Notability and Google Drive

In the past two paperless posts I covered applications that can help educators begin the paperless process. Note, I apologize for the overuse of alliteration in that preceding sentence. Once you have mastered Google Drive and Genius Scan, you can now begin the process of sharing content with your students. Google Drive gives us a cloud option for storing and sharing digital content with our students. Genius Scan gives us the ability to take analog documents and easily scan and share them to various cloud based applications. The final piece of this series will focus on an application that your students can use to get these documents from you. This application is Notability.

Notability is one of the most prominently used note taking applications at Burlington High School. When I speak with students, the majority say that they use this application daily. The application costs $1.99, but it’s worth the cost when you see how convenient it is to share content with your classes. Plus, students can download, annotate, and share documents you share.

Before you get started with Notability in your classroom, you will want to organize a few items beforehand.

Create a shared class folder in Google Drive.

This component is key to organizing this workflow and having it work effectively. It will allow you, the teacher, to drop documents into this folder from anywhere on your computer and give your students access. In short, you can put all of the handouts you give your students for the course of a unit, quarter, semester in one place and they can access it at anytime. And, this is not just limited to the iPad. Students will be able to access this option via the web as well.

One note about this feature: If you want your students to push files back to you, you will have to either have them email it, or share it to an individually shared Google Drive Folder. The reason is that once you share a folder with a group, they all have access to all of the content. Unfortunately, this is not a one way exchange or an exchange with unique permissions. My recommendation would be to set up class and student folders in Google Drive.

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