Review of ‘GridPaper’ iPad App

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GridPaper is an iPad App that recognizes handwritten mathematical symbols.  You can use this App to perform operations and to solve equations.

During the Fall 2011 semester, I evaluated GridPaper to see if I would like to use it with my students.  All of my students who saw me using this App really thought that it had the potential to be a great learning tool.  They liked that the App uses handwriting recognition software, but I honestly do not believe that the like of this App went any deeper than just the ‘wow factor.’

For me, the most frustrating thing about using GridPaper is that it did not come with instructions.  When you open the App, there are a few instructional diagrams, but no words explaining what everything does.  So, everything I know about the App now came from trial and error.  I still have trouble writing certain numbers using the App, pi being one of them.  My advice is to write all of the numbers that you want to use first (see the top of the Screenshot above) and then pull them down to do the operations.

If you are interested in trying some of the advanced features of GridPaper, such as using variables or pi, you will definitely want to check out the three screenshots provided on the GridPaper Preview Page.  I would not have been able to figure out how to write certain characters without the Screenshots.  And it took me two months to figure out that those Screenshots were even there since they are not accessible from within the App.

Overall, except for the ‘wow factor,’ there I do not believe that GridPaper is a good choice.  It could be made better if there were proper documentation and examples that could be accessed from within the App, but without it, the App is just too frustrating to use.  I cannot ask students to spend hours upon hours just to learn how to write pi. 

I would give this App 1 out of 5 stars.