Notability

Common Sense Media says

Creative tool lets kids jazz up notes with audio, photos.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

A handy welcome note guides note takers through the major features and has them complete sample tasks, such as writing with the pencil and erasing information. Some of the more complex tasks, such as adding, scaling, and rotating images, will take more time to learn.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Small links to the developer's Facebook and Twitter profiles appear on the information page.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Users can send notes to others by, for example, email, Dropbox, Google Drive, Twitter, and iTunes. No personal information nor a login is required to take and manage notes, but all personal information entered into the app, including email address, is stored by the developer. Users may choose not to disclose personal information.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Notability gives kids and teens a place to take and organize their notes. It can be very helpful for kids with executive functioning difficulties or those who just need an alternate method of taking notes. If kids want to type their notes, they can type them. If they want to draw, they can draw. If they want to record audio notes, that can be done. Numerous possibilities for note taking make this ideal for nearly any type of note taker.

Notability is a great organizational app giving kids color-coded subject areas. Kids have a choice or handwriting their notes, typing, or recording their notes. If you set the Accessibility speak feature on the iPad kids can highlight and hear their note and spelling errors. The highlighting tool is beneficial for kids who need a visual cue to remember a fact. New features such as adding a picture, a stickie note, or a web clip to help kids integrate visuals into their written work.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing

Skills

Creativity

  • brainstorming

Self-Direction

  • self-reflection

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Collaboration

  • group projects

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Kids and teens will find themselves doodling, highlighting information, searching for websites to add to their notes, and even recording audio commentary to make their notes more interesting.

Learning Approach

Different learning styles and note-taking preferences have been taken into account. A range of features allows for more comprehensive and, therefore, more useful note-taking.

Support

Before taking any notes of their own, kids and teens can practice using the note-taking features. The wide variety of features helps accommodate students with physical or learning disabilities.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • writing

Skills

Creativity

  • brainstorming

Self-Direction

  • self-reflection

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • multiple forms of expression

Collaboration

  • group projects

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Kids can learn how to take and organize notes. They also can interact with their content in new ways as they take notes with audio recordings, photos, and Web content they capture. Notability recognizes that kids (and adults!) have different learning styles and note-taking preferences. Auditory learners can record as they talk or record themselves sharing key information. Visual learners can add photographs and drawings. Logic-focused learners can add graphs and create diagrams. Notability lets kids choose the best tools to make their notes thorough and useful.

This Learning Rating review was written by Stacy Zeiger

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

Just as you would open a notebook and turn to a fresh sheet of notebook paper, NOTABILITY has you open up the app and turn to a blank screen for note taking. From there, you can take notes just as if you were writing in a notebook, but that's not all. For example, if you want to add a photo related to the notes, you can find one online or take a picture right where you are. You can do the same with a Web page, including a screenshot of a particular piece of information you want to remember. If simple text-based notes aren't your thing, you also can record audio notes to go along with text and images or record a teacher during a lecture. Once the notes are complete, they can easily be shared using Dropbox, Google Drive, or another platform, or they can be stored in folders created within the app.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

With Notability, there's no more carrying around bulky notebooks and other note-taking supplies. If kids want to highlight their notes, they can choose from a wide range of colors. Want to add a sticky note with more details? They can do that, too. Every tool kids could possibly need for note taking, including the pencil and paper, exists within the app. If writing notes doesn't appeal to them, they can draw pictures and add voice notes, too. With all these tools, note taking moves from being a rote exercise wherein kids simply copy what the teacher or textbook says to an interactive process wherein kids actually create notes they can use.

There's no excuse for losing notes either. Everything is digital and stored within the app. With the ability to create subjects and dividers, kids can organize their notes too. When it comes time to review, they can easily find the relevant notes. If their friends or classmates lose their paper-based notes, kids can share their notes with them through email or even print them out for others to see.

Families can talk about...

  • Help kids set up subjects and dividers to keep their notes organized.

  • Review notes with kids regularly, especially when they're preparing for a big test.

  • Take pictures or download images to add to note taking.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$2.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:October 17, 2013
Category:Productivity
Size:73.70 MB
Publisher:Ginger Labs
Version:5.11
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later

This review of Notability was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written byLele314 December 20, 2013
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Notability Review

This app is great! You can make wonderful projects using it, or just draw for fun. The app offers a range of drawing tools, and you can add audio, pictures, and other cool stuff to your project. It is wonderful and can be easily used by kids 7 and up.
Parent of a 8 and 12 year old Written byhewittwalker December 5, 2013
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Idea for Common Sense Media

OK - we don't have an iPad and admit to not having tried this app. But the concept of enabling kids to do their notes in a whole host of different ways is awesome, and I could see it being very well received. I wish Common Sense Media would partner with Apple or Google on a phone totally geared to kids, where the apps are reviewed by a respected organization like CSM, or parents at least have the ability to remotely control what does and does not belong on the phone so kids could use it more to their advantage and we could avoid all the parent-child battles over screen time/game time. I'm sorry but - based on our experience - middle schoolers just don't have the impulse control (and vision) to use their phone for communication, education, organization, time-management, etc... All that other good stuff is best added later.
What other families should know
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