Back-To-School App? GoodReader for iPad!
It’s back-to-school time around the country and as students head off to classes I started thinking about what one app I’d have to recommend the most. I thought about iTunes U, and Dropbox, but in the end, I decided that out of everything I’ve used to make the iPad as useful as possible, GoodReader is my top choice.
The iPad is a great tool for learning, and many students from elementary school all the way through college are using it for helping with their education. One thing has been lacking from the iPad since its first release, and that’s a true file manager. While GoodReader can’t actually become that missing piece, it does a tremendous job of being the next best thing.
GoodReader is a great reader, perhaps poorly named as “good”, simply by the way it handles large documents such as PDF and TXT manuals, books, and magazines. While many apps can open these, GoodReader really shines when opening large files in comparison to say iBooks (which can also handle PDF). What’s so great about GoodReader and PDF’s is that not only does it open them extremely fast in comparison, it also allows users to enter information on top of the file/document being viewed. Enter text boxes, notes, lines, arrows, and more right over the existing information. This is a huge deal for students who have their textbooks available in PDF format…as they can now add notes directly to the page as needed.
In addition to adding files via iTunes (which works but isn’t the best), users can retrieve files with Dropbox, SkyDrive, SugarSync, and other servers such as WebDav or FTP. By syncing files via this service it really allows students to view their materials, PDF, Microsoft Office documents, iWork docs, images, or audio/video files. It’s the “all-in” iPad app for files in a sense.
There are so many features to GoodReader, I simply can not explain and detail them all. Things like text search, zoom, file management of zip files, and tons more.
GoodReader is simply the GREATReader your iPad has been missing.
As a teacher the idea of my students having GoodReader on their iPad is almost a no-brainer. I could stick files on a service such as Dropbox, or even just on my classroom web page, and have students open them directly in GoodReader…make some corrections via the apps text box feature for example, and then send them back to me. Great for peer-review lessons that I do a ton of.
There have been a lot of improvements since it’s initial release as well, so you can be assured the developers are not just sitting around with this app collecting dust as it is now. So if you’ve thought about GoodReader before but past it up for one reason or another, now is a great time to give it another look.
The only real downside to GoodReader is that it can feel very daunting to a new user or someone who isn’t really “techy”. For any students I have who have problems with it, I’d simply have a tutorial in class, just to get them started. However for others it contains some great help files and how-to’s, and after going through them even the novice user will be able to utilize all the great features GoodReader has to offer.