Instructor Q&A

Schoology Assignments--How can students annotate with iPad such that teachers can view the annotations?


New to Schoology and 1 to 1 with iPad school district. 

What we are looking to do:

  • Teacher creates an assignment and distributes a PDF.
  • Student annotates PDF and submits.
  • Teacher can view student's annotations and can grade/comment/annotated on the submission.

What we have tried/Problems we have run into:

  • We used Schoology Assignment with an attached PDF AND...When the student uses iPad Markup to annotate and then submit, Schoology's Assignment PDF viewer cannot "see" the annotations--the Markup PDF is not "flattened" so Schoology can't see it.
  • We used Schoology Assignment with an attached PDF AND...When the student uses Notability to markup the PDF, Schoology Assignment PDF viewer CAN "see" the annotations--however this involves many extra steps for children and an expensive extra app.
  • We used the new Google Assignment feature and assigned a Google Jamboard, BUT...discovered the new Google Assignment feature doesn't work with linked sections and most of our teachers have linked sections and the new Google Assignment feature is still glitchy.
  • We used the new Google Assignment feature and assigned a PDF from Google Drive, but this involved many extra steps to annotate and the teacher can't write on the submission...only highlight and comment.
  • We used an Assessment with the Highlight question, but can't see the responses to the question for some reason.

The best solution to my mind would be for Schoology Assignment PDF viewer to upgrade to be able to see unflattened PDFs fully and/or for Schoology Assignment to allow students to use the annotation tools like the teachers do.

Anyone know of a workaround we aren't thinking of? 




  • 0
    Brian Carlson

    I think you have tried a couple of new things since we last tried to accomplish the same task.  We too are a 1 to 1 iPad district and would love to either have the app support student annotations and teacher reply annotations or to allow for markup on items to be seen.  We originally worked with the app a couple of years ago and have not seen an improvement in that area yet.

  • 1
    Mrs. Allen

    We are also a 1:1 ipad district searching for a solution. We have tried several apps including pdf cabinet, iOS Notes, Adobe Acrobat ad the markup tools found on the iPad all with no success. PDF cabinet is not a stable app but it the only workflow that allows for compression of the file with the annotations into a file that Schoology can process and display the annotations. We have students taking screenshots to submit but the file conversion tool within Schoology doesn't display these picture files so teachers must download them to view them. We truly need an option with the Schoology program/app ASAP.

  • 0
    Emily Colpi

    I've been playing with PDF Expert too. The free version works well and allows you to flatten your PDFs and send them to Schoology app, BUT, it is too easy for students to accidentally sign up for the free pro trial and then get charged $50 a year if they have iTunes set up. Not good. If your students don't have iTunes access, it might work for you.

  • 0
    Michael Donovan


    Using the Schoology App for iPad, is there a way to annotate and save a PDF documents which have been submitted by students and allow the teachers and student to annotate on the fly in the App?  That would ideal.

  • 0
    Randy Hall

    @Emily -- was interested to stumble on your post as I've been probing this situation too and the myriad tools/apps/sources of teachers finding and using and creating PDFs.

    Here are 2 things we uncovered and I would be curious whether these true for you as well.

    1. within the SGY Mobile App on iPad, teachers CAN view the students submissions and the Markup annotations in submitted PDFs DO display and appear for teachers. Teachers are able to continue annotation on the submitted PDF by using the built-in SGY annotate mode tools (highlighter icon).  

    2. desktop or mobile web browser view of same student submission, original annotations AREN'T visible inside the SGY web browser document viewer but when download/open the PDF they are there. 

    Do you experience the same? (especially 1)?

  • 0
    Mrs. Allen


    We see the same scenario that you are describing in #1 & 2 in our district. We are 1:1 iPad for students using the Schoology app and having students log in through Safari into Schoology online.

  • 0
    Emily Colpi

    @Randy interestingly, I heard back from Schoology about a week ago on this. They have updated the App version so that teachers can view student annotations (YAY!) It does not, however, work on the browser version, and they didn't tell me whether that was in the plans to resolve and the ticket was closed.

    Another tech coach in our district emailed me yesterday to say that when a teacher provides written feedback in the app via annotations, the student could see the teacher's annotations but could no longer view their own annotations. I haven't tested this out yet...I'm wondering if the student didn't update the app yet? It wouldn't make sense for it to work in one direction but not the other.

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