Tech Tuesday: Paper by FiftyThree for iPad

For Tech Tuesday this week, I’m featuring Paper by FiftyThree.  Paper is a beautiful creative app that I discovered just about a month ago.  Coincidentally, it’s also been in the news recently because of a little problem with a certain social media site.  Just to clarify, I am not talking about the Facebook paper app.

Paper is a mostly-free ideation app that allows you to creatively put your thoughts down on “paper.”  When I first downloaded this app, I was skeptical.  I had read it was one of the “must-have” apps for teachers, but I figured it was just a Paint imitation. Definitely not!  With the first stroke of the brush, I felt like an artist.  Paper’s free writing instrument, the “fountain pen,” flows freely.

Here’s how Paper works: it comes preloaded with several different “notebooks” – a journal, an ideas book, and sketches.  These titles are by no means binding: you can do whatever you want in each book, and you can create as many books as you want.  You’ll probably spend some time testing out your skills before starting organized books.

Paper comes with a fountain pen free.  You can purchase other instruments (like a sketch pencil, outline marker, and paint brush) individually or in a bundle.  You can also purchase the paint mixer, which greatly expands your color choices (although the in-app ones are beautiful enough).

I still haven’t really shared how to use this app as an educator because honestly, there a very few things you CAN’T do.  You can use it as a teacher-directed tool to take class notes, make Venn diagrams, or keep score in a game.  Students could use it to notes – with words, pictures, and symbols.  I have one book in mine that’s just filled with to-do lists: school lists, grocery lists, errands, etc.

I think what makes this app superb is how much it feels like a real journal or notebook.  The user is not bound to a keyboard, which can make some note-taking apps (like Evernote) feel cumbersome.  I like that students can use it to keep notes that make sense to them.  Paper truly does inspire creativity – I NEVER draw and I’ll find myself making beautiful mind maps with pictures!

This app is a MUST for teachers and students of all ages.  It has no limits.

Overall rating: 5/5

Get it here for iPad/iPhone.


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