1) I had a dream last night that I was grading in Notability on my iPad, and I got really mad at a student because her essay wasn't taking the Oak Ridge Boys seriously enough, was in fact making fun of them. ?!?! That weirdness aside (and on waking up I had to think for a moment if I even knew any Oak Ridge Boys songs; of course, I now have "Elvira" stuck on a loop in my brain), the noteworthy thing is that, in my dream, I blamed Notability for the student's flippant attitude. Now obviously I wouldn't do that exactly, but I am now reminding myself to carefully separate any technological frustrations I will undoubtedly face this week from the actual content of the students' work. Not a bad reminder.
2) My biggest concern about grading students' work on the iPad is, honestly, not the commenting but the grades themselves, because when I grade by hand, I then stack the papers in piles by grade (the A pile, the B- pile, etc.), which I find helpful for norming, for making sure that I'm keeping my grading norms consistent. I have been known to shift a paper from one pile to another, especially at the beginning of a stack of papers when I'm getting warmed up. So how am I going to do that now, without actual papers to put in stacks?
3) Finally, it occurred to me last night that what I was most pleased with in Notability is that it can replicate what I do by hand -- the arrows, the underlining, the notes in the margin, followed by the longer note at the end -- and after I blogged about that last night, I wondered if there was anything it could do *better* than what I do by hand or if it's just a computer version of what I already do. And if it's the latter, then what advantage is there to grading by iPad over grading by hand? Will students perhaps read the notes more thoughtfully because it's on the computer in a .pdf and therefore somehow cooler than when I just hand them the paper back? One colleague told me that she thinks the advantage is that she now always has papers with her to grade, so she can grade anywhere, anytime ... but I actually think that sounds pretty unhealthy! I don't *want* to be working all the time, so that possibility doesn't really sell me on the technology. I'm going into this with an open but skeptical mind; I'm excited to see how the grading works this week, but I also want to evaluate afterward whether there's anything to recommend this approach other than bells and whistles.