This article is cross posted at the EdTech Innovations blog.
I recently downloaded a new app for my iPad, Pento Notebook ($2.99), that I believe can give some of the more popular notebook apps some competition. Now, don't get me wrong, I think that there are some great apps our there, but Pento takes a different approach and that is what makes them standout in my opinion.
Just like any other notebook app you can create and label as many notebooks as you like. They have all of the common tools for writing, drawing, and text insertion. Including settings to change colors and pen width. They even include some cute emoticons. But, what set this app apart is its ability to create rich multimedia notebooks.
What makes this really app shine is the "Grabber." This tool allows you to "grab" different types of media. If you want to embed a video from a web page into your notebook page you simply touch the "Grabber" on the left side of the page and select "Browser." Then browse to the URL you want and find the video. Once the video loads, by the way the browser loads very fast, touch and hold your finger on it and a menu appears with a choice to "grab" the video. Once you do that it takes you back to your notebook page and embeds the fully functioning video. You can then further manipulate its size and position, even annotate over it. This can also be done with text, pictures, etc. The "Grabber" tool bar also has a selection for Twitter that will pull up your Twitter stream and let you grab tweets and embed them as well. You have the options of using pictures, videos and music that are already on your device. You can take your own pictures or video recordings from within the app and embed them as well. When you are all finished with your notes you can save them within Pento or share a page via email, Twitter or Facebook.
Imagine the innovative uses of this in the classroom. Research can be saved, and annotated over, all in one convenient place. Students can make multimedia pages on a topic that can be shared with their teacher or classmates. Overall, I think that this is an app with a lot of potential that will spark your creativity the more you use it. I would definitely recommend adding it to your app list of must haves.
Here is a video that shows Pento in action:
Frank Pileiro is a Technology Coordinator in Southern New Jersey. He is passionate about educating with creativity and innovation, as well as imparting these skills to our students with instructional technologies. He is the author of theEdTech Innovations blog, where he writes about educational technology innovation and integration. He can be followed on Twitter @MrP_LPS