Education app of the week: Paper

For our latest look into essential iPad apps for the classroom, we’ve gone all creative with Paper. This free drawing app makes it easy to create great looking images and documents and share them directly from iPad, and even Apple themselves made it the 2012 Winner of their iPad Developer Showcase award. Here’s why we think it’s a hit for students…

What is Paper?

Basically, Paper (FiftyThree, free) is a creative app that lets students easily draw and sketch with simple gestures on Apple iPad. Unlike some other free drawing apps, Paper lets you create whole projects of drawings rather than individual files – you simply make a new ‘Journal’, give it a name, then start drawing on the first page. When you’re done, flick to the next page and carry on sketching until you’re ready to stop, then save the file, add a personalised front cover, and export it to any number of productivity apps like Dropbox or Evernote, email as a PDF or share directly to Facebook or Twitter.

The free version comes with a basic brush tool, colour palette and eraser (other tools are available as in-app purchases), as well as the very cool Rewind feature, which allows you to undo any changes you’ve made by simply twisting two fingers until you get back to where you want. It’s all very simple to use, and even comes with interactive tutorials to get you started.

How will it benefit the classroom?

The most obvious use for Paper is in art and other creative lessons, for creating everything from initial sketches to short digital folios. Because it’s so easy to email or export the finished project as a PDF directly from within the app, students can submit their work to teachers with just a couple of taps. But it can also be applied to other subjects across the curriculum. For example, students can sketch diagrams in a subject like science or geography, jot down a few annotations using the Write tool, then open the whole thing up as part of a presentation in the Explain Everything app (which we reviewed last time here).

What’s the best feature?

Where Paper really excels over other free, more basic, drawing apps is in its accuracy. You great detail with every brush stroke, and serious artists can even get pressure sensitivity while drawing using a Pogo Connect stylus. This puts it a step ahead as a real solution for art students who are working on digital projects, but want to keep the precise definition of a trusty old pencil.

FiftyThree’s website has some great examples of what you can do, but I was recently talking to a teacher at one of our iPad trial schools – Kat Booker from Netherfield Primary School – and she was raving about just how easy it is to get great results with Paper, as you can see in her sketch below…


Where can I get it?

You can download Paper (FiftyThree) from either the App Store on your iPad or from iTunes. The app’s free and comes with a basic brush and toolkit, and you can buy extra tools Mixer, Color, Sketch, Write and Outline from within the app for a further £1.49 each. Or, get the last four of those five bundled together in the Essentials package for £4.99.

– Missed our last app review? Have a read of our Education app of the week: Explain Everything here.


If you’d like to know more about some of the other apps we recommend for Apple iPad in the classroom, call us on 03332 409 333 or email You can also keep up with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

Call us: 03332 409 306

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