Free Apps We Love: Sketch Pad 3

by Jonathan Laxamana

Sketching apps can be valuable visual learning tools in your classroom. For example, students can quickly create and share diagrams and other images in an engaging way on their iPads.

Sketch Pad 3 is a free app with many useful features. The app’s drawing area, or canvas, now has an unlimited writing space thanks to its scrolling capacity. The color swatch includes six basic colors in addition to black, and there are four pen sizes to choose from. Sketch Pad 3 features a toolbar to add emoticons to drawings as well as a track pad to reposition images. As with many other apps, you can use your thumb and a finger to spread or pinch images to change their size. The palm rest, which allows you to rest your palm on the screen without leaving marks, is another appealing option.

Here are some of the toolbars and other features Sketch Pad 3 includes:

Sketch Pad 3

Screenshot of Sketch Pad 3 in action. We covered most of the ad banner with the floating toolbars. The palm rest is in the bottom right, but can be switched for left-handed people.

The app can save images in either .jpg or .png format, and there is an option to email images as well. An autosave feature is another plus. The paid version of Sketch Pad 3 includes additional tools, such as a flashlight, alarm clock, audio recorder, and barcode scanner.

Some ideas for using sketch apps in your classroom:

  • creating graphic organizers
  • taking notes
  • working through math problems
  • listing homework assignments
  • brainstorming with visuals

Below are a couple of helpful tips from

  • To erase the screen more quickly, pinch the image to its minimum size and erase that iteration of the image.
  • Make the advertising banner disappear by turning off WiFi. Or you can cover up the banner with the floating tools palette.

To see the app in action, check out this helpful screencast from the app designer.

Jonathan LaxamanaJonathan Laxamana is Technology Manager of Green Light Professional Development. He has more than ten years of experience in producing educational software products, video, web-based content, and mobile apps. He writes about new hardware and software, troubleshooting tips, and everything iPad. 

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