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Suggestions of iPad apps for university mathematics teaching

This is a re-blog of the original entry by Peter Rowlett in the Aperiodical blog.

I asked in the previous post for suggestions of iPad apps that I could use to help with my job as a university lecturer in mathematics. I asked specifically about annotating PDF files I had made using LaTeX and recording such activity. More generally, I asked what other apps might be useful to my job and for other uses I should be thinking about. People made suggestions via comments on that post, Twitter and Google+. Thanks to all who responded. Here is a summary of the recommendations I received.

PDF/screen annotation

For PDF import, annotation and export, Stu Price recommended using Notability. Theron Hitchman also recommended Notability for marking PDFs, NoteShelf for taking notes and SketchBook Pro for drawing. Jesus Rogel-Salazar recommended DocAS, saying the free version is “pretty good”, and mentioned having tried Penultimate too. Christian Bokhove recommended iAnnotate PDF. Christian also mentioned MathPen, which is the PhD project of Mandy Lo, who he co-supervises.


On recording, Stu Price mentioned ExplainEverything, also recommended by Christian Bokhove.

Kevin Clift said:

You might be able to use the video playback feature intended for replaying the creation of a work of graphic art in Brushes to replay your handwriting. It seems to have an extensive memory but since it isn’t intended for the purpose of playing back handwriting you would want to try it out. Since most of it is free that should be easy to do.
EDIT: It seems that Procreate has just added a similar feature.

Jesus Rogel-Salazar pointed out a blog post by Amit Agarwal: ‘How to Record Screencast Videos on your iPad or iPhone‘.


Stu Price recommended TeX Writer for writing LaTeX on the go. Theron Hitchmanrecommended TexPad for the same thing, mentioning that a bluetooth keyboard is a good idea for this. Jesus Rogel-Salazar recommended cloud-based LaTeX client writeLaTeX.


For calculators, Christopher Rath recommended TI-Nspire as “mathematically extensive but quite expensive at ~£20″. Edward Shore pointed out that this is much cheaper than the physical calculators themselves. Stu Price mentioned the Desmos Graphing Calculator, but hasn’t tried it yet, and PocketCAS which is apparently “quite neat with 3D surfaces”.


Jesus Rogel-Salazar recommended 2Screens for presenting.


For assessment, Stu Price recommended Socrative for quizzing/polling and mentioned iDoceo as a ‘gradebook’.


Christian Bokhove recommended Nearpod, which according to its App Store entry, “enables teachers to use their iPads to manage content on students’ iPads”, and Evernote.

Theron Hitchman recommended ThinkBook as “a fancy todo list/planner”.

There was also a comment on the previous post recommending MathPad, apparently by the company that makes the app.

Joerg Fliege pointed out two articles: ‘Apps for academics: mobile web sites & apps‘ at MIT Libraries and ‘8 Apps That Make Academic Research Easier‘ at Mac Life.