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Paper by 53, for creativity and learning #appaday

By February 7, 20152 Comments

If Explain Everything is the best app for learning on the App store, then Paper by 53 wins the most beautiful App for learning available. If you haven’t come across it yet, you’re missing out. With its beautiful, intuitive and simple design it’s no wonder it has won so many awards. Apple App of the year and the winner of the Apple App design of the year award 2012 means that this powerful sketching app has been a staple for many sketch note takers for a long time.


Something that has held many educators back from fully engaging with it in their ecosystem however has been the cost associated with the purchase of the different tools available. No more is this an issue. As of this week, Paper have made the app completely free including all of their tools. The Draw, Sketch, Outline, Write, Color, and Mixer tools are all now completely free. For me, this is a real game changer for creativity in the classroom.

Sketchnoting, as written about in my educator spotlight on Sylvia Duckworth is huge. There are so many applications in education, particularly if students have sketchnoting tools at their finger tips. Here are some ideas for you:


The tools offered give lots of opportunity for creativity. Images can be saved to your camera roll or shared via other online sharing tools too. You can also choose to save images as JPG or as PNG. The PNG option is particularly compelling because this file type means that the white background is completely transparent. For those people who like to have a creative tool with lots of freedom in creating an image that you subsequently want to be used within other apps – Paper is the tool for you.

In the classroom, Paper is good for:

  • taking notes
  • practising handwriting
  • practising cursive writing
  • sketching
  • drawing
  • technical drawing
  • watercolours
  • learning about colour
  • blending

…and more!

Don’t take my word for it. Have a go yourself.

pencil by 53


You might also like to have a look at the special ‘Pencil by 53‘. A really stunning piece of tech kit – this stylus enables you to adjust the thickness of your strokes and has a rubber on the end too. Connecting by bluetooth, this lovely stylus is a stylish addition to your iPad toolkit.

Are you using Paper by 53 in your school? How are you using it? I would love to hear from you.


Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson, @ICTEvangelist. Click here to learn more.


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