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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Skitch App for iPad

by
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

4.25 stars
Content Quality:
Effectiveness: 4.25 stars
Ease of Use: 4.25 starsstar
Reviewed: Mar 23, 2013 by Teacher Education
Overview: Skitch is an iPad app that gives users the ability to annotate pictures taken directly with the iPad’s camera, images stored in Photos, and screenshots of maps and webpages. Users also may draw on a blank slate. Skitch annotation tools include arrows, text, shapes, a pen, a highlighter, and blurring and cropping effects. Sketches may be saved to the iPad's Camera Roll or shared with others via an Evernote public link, Twitter, Facebook, email, or AirPlay on an Apple TV. This app enables teachers and students to sketch and share their knowledge with others. Students could also use Skitch for brainstorming ideas or taking notes, particularly in conjunction with Evernote. Skitch is currently a free app (March 2013).
Learning Goals: Skitch enables instructors and students alike to create and annotate images in order to share knowledge, clarify a concept, or brainstorm ideas. Students may also find Skitch to be a useful note-taking tool.
Target Student Population: Skitch may be used with a variety of grade levels and subjects. However, it may be better suited for use in middle school, high school, or higher education as it is integrated with a variety of social networking tools.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Users need to understand how to navigate an iPad. Users may also want to consider creating an Evernote, Twitter, or Facebook account.
Type of Material: Productivity app.
Recommended Uses: This app could be used both inside and outside a face-to-face classroom. Instructors may use it as a way to share some content, or they may ask students to use it as part of a class assignment. Instructors can mark crucial details and provide details that are not known or apparent in images. Students may use it for drawing, annotating images, or taking notes. Students can capture images and use annotation tools to tell a story. In settings where an Apple TV is present, AirPlay is a great way in which users can quickly and easily present their images.
Technical Requirements: Requires iOS 5.0 or later. Users will need an internet connection in order to use the "Draw on Map" or "Capture from Web" features. An internet connection is also needed in order to save images to Evernote or share images via Twitter, Facebook, email, or AirPlay (which requires an Apple TV).

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating:
Strengths: Skitch is a content creation tool.
Concerns: None.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: • Quickly create annotated images from a variety of sources. • Blur feature can be used to cover the image of a face or other content. • Effortlessly choose where to start a Skitch (from the web, picture, map, or a blank canvas) and immediately start to annotate. • Use Skitch to analyze pictures and provide feedback. • Students can use Skitch to provide additional information on a picture. For example, a student might take pictures of different organic substances at the beach. The student would be able to access these pictures in Skitch and add text and pen marks to ask questions or provide more information. • With the ability to import screenshots on the iPad, a teacher can quickly provide instructions on how to use an iPad app be sharing the final annotated image via email or in a shared Evernote notebook. • Sharing is easy via a wide range of mediums. Including the ability to share on the web with a public or private link that can be removed when needed.
Concerns: • No ability to choose Google maps instead of Apple. No ability to select hybrid or satellite view. Google with satellite or hybrid is available through the web browser feature, but not an option when choosing a new Skitch based off a map. *Saving and sharing images is somewhat limited. It would be nice to have the option to export images to other cloud-based services, like Dropbox or Google Drive, directly from Skitch.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.25 stars
Strengths: • Markup tools are easy to access with intuitive controls to change size and color. • Resizing an annotation is simple as is selecting and moving multiple annotations. For example, if you mistakenly annotate in the wrong spot you can select the annotation and move it, and resize, to the appropriate position. • An undo button is accessible in the top toolbar. • Instructions are clear and presented at every step in the process. • The design is crisp and not overloaded with features. Skitch is simplistic and caters towards a quick and easy annotation. This isn’t a high-powered app that will replace more “professional” annotation tools. • The app works without the internet. • You can synchronize with Evernote, but this is not required. Skitch has a clean, user-friendly interface. Users can the ability to select images from a variety of sources and although you cannot directly import images from cloud-based services, like Dropbox, you can still access those images via the "Capture from the Web" option. Skitch is a great tool for drawing on maps. Additionally, the text tool is handy for users who want clean, clear text included with their graphic.
Concerns: • Synchronizing with Evernote may cause the free monthly data allowance to be used quickly (currently 60 MB). There is a meter in the settings section of the app. • For a “professional” annotation look Skitch might not be the best solution. Skitch includes an undo and delete annotation function, but it would be nice to also have a "clear all annotations" option or eraser tool to remove portions of an annotation. Also, it would be nice to have the option to easily import or export images from a variety of cloud-based services.

Other Issues and Comments: To learn more about Skitch, visit: http://evernote.com/skitch/ For information about Evernote's Privacy Policy, visit: http://evernote.com/legal/privacy.php This app has been updated every month or two over the past year.