So we’re using .pdf-Notes to complete a worksheet (paper-free). Here are the steps I used:

– save worksheet as .pdf in shared Dropbox folder (see other posts for that)
– open .pdf-Notes
– make sure .pdf-Notes is linked to Dropbox account (Dropbox icon at bottom left to log in)
– open worksheet in .pdf-Notes

These are the general steps. Here are some more specific things / tips for using .pdf-Notes:

– when the worksheet shows up in your library, click the edit button in the upper right
– a blue ‘i’ in a circle will appear on the document
– tap that ‘i’ and have students change the name of the document to their name (or whatever you specify); otherwise, when the annotated worksheet is saved, it will upload as multiple versions of the same document name with a number after it; if you want to skip this step, make sure students write their name on the document itself
– now, open the document in .pdf-Notes

– the tool bar at top defaults to the pen tool
– by clicking the pen icon at upper right (between the cropping tool and the stroke / thickness selection), you can change the tool: highlighter, sticky note, nothing, etc.
– a student (Ariel Cormier, who gave me permission to use her name) figured out that you can zoom in with the finger swipe and still write, which lets the handwriting be neater
– using a stylus or using the sticky-notes tool helps with neatness as well

– when finished, click the email button (square with a curved arrow through it) at bottom left, and choose how to save (either flattened or annotated), and then choose Dropbox (I recommend making a folder for each assignment) and whatever folder it should be saved in

It sounds somewhat complicated, but most of the steps are standard among apps, i.e. there aren’t really any terribly new steps (other than perhaps getting used to the tool bar).

The students, perhaps predictably, are a bit resistant to it, asking for paper copies of the worksheet to complete. But of course the point is exactly the opposite: to avoid paper copies and do everything on-line / via the iPad. Once we do more of this and get used to .pdf-Notes, I think it will become easier and they will become more accustomed to and ok with it.

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