Using GoodNotes in the classroom

Recently I have been upgrading in the apps department to match my needs for English language teaching. By far the iPad is the best thing for presentation of teaching material on the big screen (the classroom projector screen, that is).

Having held back on forking out money for apps which do similar work to free ones I thought it was high time I tried some to see what all the hype is about.

One apps which I heard recommended over and over again is GoodNotes. Particularly it is the handwriting input system which has caught all the attention. And low and behold I wasn’t disappointed. The implementation of the handwriting by zoom input and auto-shifting (or auto-scrolling, call it what you like) is fantastic. And this works really well with its Presentation Mode which hides all your actions from the students makes it ideal as a teaching tool.

For me I mostly use the projector to show the textbook and teaching material (in PDF format) while we go through it. So being able to annotate there and then is all but crucial. My students love watching the action and it certainly has made my teaching much easier to follow since I use only English to my non-native students. So any instruction tend to be lost or difficult to follow for them.

Checking the answers with students has also made it much easier and more understandable since I can show students exactly where a problem might be for them. By filling in the answers in together as if directly into their textbooks or handouts students tend to respond much better than if checking the answers verbally only.

Ironically it is this aspect of my research about the importance of embodiment which has enhanced and informed my overall teaching skills.

4 thoughts on “Using GoodNotes in the classroom

  1. Hi Warren, thanks for the tips. To follow up on this post, can you tell me, how do you get your textbook pages into GoodNotes to be able to annotate them on-screen? Most of my digital textbooks are in Coursesmart. Is it possible to export pages or sections to GoodNotes? Thanks for any advice.

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  2. Warren, I cannot find the tv-out button on Goodnotes ( should be next to undo but nothing there)
    Steven Chan has been in touch (very quickly to his credit) but I have not got a definitive answer yet. Much obliged. Regards Warwick

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    • Hi Warwick,

      I am assuming you are using genuine Apple connectors (either HDMI or VGA). Both of these when plugged into you iOS device should evoke a response regardless of whether they are attached to a monitor or projector. Non-genuine connectors, I have found, have recognition problems.

      So if the TV OUT lock button is not showing with your genuine connectors it might mean your iOS device is not recognizing the connector.

      Try using the same connector on another iOS device to test whether it is the connector that is problem. If the connector works then try a different connector with your iOS device to test whether problem is with your iOS device.

      Chances are the connector contacts were damaged somehow from too much plugging and unplugging.

      In general the connector should be recognized automatically without the need for making any settings.

      Hope this helps.

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