Notability

App review by
Stacy Zeiger, Common Sense Media
Notability App Poster Image
Creative tool lets kids jazz up notes with audio, photos.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Many kids will love using Notability's flexible features to take notes that capture sound, images, and words from the classroom or reading for later review. Kids with learning and attention differences will love Notability's flexibility: Kids can work to come up with strategies for using the note-taking and audio-recording features to capture what's going on in class and help focus their efforts on understanding rather than writing furiously. Once mastered, Notability gives kids the power to take control of information, organize it, and share it in ways that actually mesh with the ways they learn best.

Ease of Play

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.

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What 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 especially helpful for kids with executive-functioning challenges or those who just need a note-taking tool that's more flexible than a pencil and paper. If kids want to type their notes, they can type. If they want to draw, they can draw. If they want to record audio notes, that can do that. Numerous possibilities for note-taking make this ideal for a range of students with diverse needs, and kids can sync, store, and share notes in a variety of ways: email, Dropbox, Google Drive, and so on.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8 and 12 year old Written byhewittwalker December 5, 2013

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... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byLele314 December 20, 2013

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... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old March 29, 2018

Useful app helps you add better features to notes

Notability is educational, easy to use, and fun to create with using the photos or audio you can add in. I don’t think a 6 or 7-year old would really get how to... Continue reading

What's it about?

NOTABILITY helps kids and teens take notes they'll want to review, revisit, and actively use. If there's a chart in the textbook they want to reference quickly, they can snap a picture and add it to their notes. If a concept is better explained by drawing a picture, they can do it right there. On a single page of notes, students can type, write, draw, highlight, record audio, cut, paste, and even insert content captured from websites. When they're finished, students can organize notes for easy access later. The audio-recording feature is especially flexible: If you play from the start of the recording, the notes you took darken and fill in as the recording continues, letting you see them appear as you wrote them. Similarly, you can tap on any point of the note (whether it's written or typed or a photo) and jump to that point in the audio recording.

Students also can use Notability to organize their notes, tagging them by color and organizing them by tags or categories. To access notes, users can sync between devices and share their notes across a variety of platforms (such as Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box), via email or iTunes or across devices through the Notability app itself.

Is it any good?

With so many flexible and thoughtful features, Notability equips all students to take high-impact notes. Although note-taking may be a way for students to capture important information, not all students benefit from the note-taking process. Notability recognizes that different students have different learning needs and note-taking preferences. Students can choose to record as they talk or record their teachers' lectures and make minimal written notes ("test review starts here!") to help them jump to appropriate points in the audio recording when they revisit their notes later. Students also can record themselves sharing key information or record a conversation with a teacher when they're receiving feedback or reviewing for an assessment. Learners who respond better to images or drawings can add photographs and drawings to their notes, while learners can who thrive on charts and diagrams can create them with a stylus or finger.

Keep in mind that not all these options work for everyone, and it might be overwhelming if you try to use them all at once. It's up to students and their teachers to develop efficient strategies for using the app's many capabilities in the most efficient, meaningful way possible.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about staying organized. If you set up categories for your notes, which categories do you need? 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. Talk about how notes can help you prepare for an assessment and how and when to review them when there's a test coming up. 

  • Talk about the best ways for your child to take notes. What helps him or her learn best? Talk about ways to use pictures, drawings, typing, handwriting, or audio to most effectively capture what's going on in class and what they need to know once they get home. Consider setting up a conversation between your child and his or her teacher to come up with a daily plan for how to use this app in the classroom. 

App details

For kids who love note-taking apps and homework help

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