Friday, August 24, 2012

iPad Essentials: Annotating PDFs on your iPad

In a recent post, I discussed the essentials of using iBooks as a tool for displaying (and saving) PDFs files you possess, download or create.  Thanks to Alex Dunn (@smartinclusion) for pointing out in a followup discussion on Twitter that interactive whiteboard lessons such as those displayed on a Smartboard can also easily be saved as PDFs and reviewed in that manner.  So think of that: If you have a teacher in your school whom you know uses his or her Smartboard well to conduct lessons, you can request the PDFs.  This would a) loop you in on the curriculum topics being covered and b) give you visuals you can review on your iPad with students in the process of teaching language strategies. Nice tip!

BUT, this is not all that PDFs can do for can also use FREE apps to write or draw on PDF worksheets, story maps, drawing prompts, etc, in the process "app-itizing" worksheets and upping your students' engagement.  How? OK, for the answer I am going to direct you over to the blog of Mindwing Concepts, creator of one of my FAVORITE ever language development tools, Story Grammar Marker.  I have been writing for their blog for some time and will be doing so in earnest this fall.  Here are some teaser images, click on any to go to the post, which will be useful even if you don't have any of their tools yet (as you can follow these steps with any PDF). But you should get some of their tools. :-)

A Story Map of Sorts Created with neu.Annotate+ PDF. When waiting for a plane, you can read, eat, play in the Kid Zone, or watch planes!

Note: Author has a contractual relationship with Mindwing Concepts, Inc, for consulting and provision of blog content.


  1. Sean - this si a little different question. I bought the Story Cards app, thinking I could make lots of decks of cards for artic, verbs, etc. But I was disappointed to find that they limit you to 20 decks, and 20 cards each. So then someone on a blog posted that and easy wasy to creat decks is to just make albums within your photos app. BUT, these photos are taking up a ton of memory on my ipad! I work in a low cosiaoecomnomic district - I have bought several apps with my own money, but cannot afford the expensive artic apps. So, I am looking for a way to make decks of pictures without buying more apps. Suggestions??

    1. Hi there,

      A couple of suggestions
      -You can use/save photos from Google images that are of smaller size. Searching from Google on Safari on iPad, tap the wrench in upper right of screen. Change the picture size to small and pics will take up less space on your device
      -Monitor the size of other apps on your iPad in Settings>General>Usage. This area shows you which apps are taking up the most space, and you can delete them from right there on that screen. Keep in mind you can always reinstall apps through the App Store, but deleting apps also deletes the data if you are using any apps that keep data
      -Articulation Scenes is on sale for $19.99- it's a good all-purpose artic app.

      Good luck!

  2. I’m glad Ipad has an application that would allow the user to download and install PDF files in it. I find that very useful and functional, I even downloaded PDF file of how to learn poker to help me with my poker lessons.