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Ipad vs traditional books??

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Hello! I am starting PA school in May and have considered buying an ipad to help take notes and what. I think the pen function of writing on powerpoints and what not would be helpful and cut down on things i need to cary around. Or do you think a laptop would do roughly the same? I was wondering what other people found useful? I guess it depends on the person and what they prefer to some extent, but I was wondering if anyone had some insight! Thanks!!

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Hi! My program gave us iPads, so I currently use one to take notes. I have a keyboard attachment for it so I can type things as well as use the pencil. I've found that so professors move very quickly through the lectures and that there definitely isn't enough time to hand write everything with the pencil unfortunately. 

Something to keep in mind! 

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I use IPAD Pro with The Apple Pencil, and a productivity app called Notability. I think One Note is the Microsoft version, but with mine I can:

- Convert a ppt into PDF that includes the notes section

- Write all over the PDF

- Cut/paste any of my notes, pictures or pieces of the slide as pictures with a snipping tool to move wherever I like in the slide deck

- It has a record feature that works with the microphone and to highlight what you are typing at the moment you record what a teacher is saying, which is really nice if you make a connection with something that is not spelled out in the material (obviously must have teachers’ permission)

- If you forgot to charge the pencil the night before class, the older model charges in 15 seconds (30 min. Charge) in the lightning plug.


- Must download, and convert ppt’s to PDF before class if you don’t have WiFi in your classroom

- The app costs about $10 on top of the $800-900 I spent on the tablet/pencil

I had never used a tablet for school prior to this, and I am the guy who throws the computer when it doesn’t work. Yes, I know it needs to be plugged in first. My IPad has not been thrown yet, and I am a year in!




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Typing is faster and easier to decipher later.  I preferred lap top over an iPad with a keyboard (most of our class had both and it was pretty well split).  

More options and easier formatting.  You can set up an outline of the objectives ahead of time and type during class.  Or you can use notability and import slides and type notes on those.  iPad just didn't have the variety for me for note taking but was helpful for storing books, articles, etc for reading.  Also nice to have  second screen for studying and taking notes later.  

My program required an iPad though; I'm not sure I would go out of my way to purchase both.

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  • 5 months later...

My program gave us an iPad with keyboard and pen. I use it with Notability and I love it! I can write/draw/type onto the notes, add a page etc. Also super helpful that I can record it on that app and wherever I type/write at that point of the recording it highlights so you can follow along later. Basically all of my classmates use their iPads with other Notability or OneDrive.

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It all depends on your study style. 

I am a paper-holding-note writing/highlighting-person, so I have an accordion folder with a slot for each class. Others do 100% typed word docs on the laptop and type everything verbatim during lecture. Others use the ipad and write in electronic notes. This is something you will figure out during your first semester.

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