Title: Drawing Pad
Nook Color, Honeycomb Tablets, iPad (iOS 3.2 or later)

Barnes and NoblDrawing Pade recently introduced a collection of apps for Nook Color, and I enthusiastically downloaded a few to test out the features. Drawing Pad by Darren Murtha Design is one of the most downloaded and reviewed apps for Nook Color.’  It is also available for a variety of other touch screen devices including iPad and Android tablets.

Drawing Pad’s collection of tools includes paintbrushes, color pencils, crayons, markers, stamps, background papers, stickers, and erasers.’  I had fun testing out each instrument to create the image below.’  The tools are easy to use and respond well to Nook’s touch screen.’  There is a variety of colors available, and the different stroke types and’  pre-made stickers makes this app a lot more fun than other simple graphic painting programs (e.g. MS Paint). It also allows you to save images to an art gallery or share via email, Facebook or other apps.

A few minor improvements could have made this application a lot more user-friendly.’  The “pencil box” covers up a fraction of the art board. I did not realize part of my picture was blank until I went to save it. Fortunately, the tools can be slid shut by clicking the box’s handle. One of the major problems reported by reviewers on bn.com is that the program occasionally freezes when saving graphics. I did not experience this issue, but I did have trouble figuring out how to send images via email. When you click to share, Drawing Pad presents a list of apps that accept pictures. Rather than automatically attaching the image, you have to go into your Nook Gallery and select the image.’  A YouTube video displaying the iPad version suggests that the process might be easier on Apple devices (i.e. there is actually a Facebook button on the latest version).

Why should you care about Drawing Pad? Besides being a lot of fun and supporting creative expression, this app has a lot of potential for programs. For example, you could invite teens to draw up alternative book covers to share on the library’s Facebook page.’  You could also prompt teens to create images for characters as part of a summer book club exercise.’  You might also test out the app just because some of the young adults at your library likely use it. A testament to its quality and popularity, Apple named Drawing Pad the “iPad App of the Week” in December 2010.

About Rebekah Kamp

Rebekah works as the Youth Services Librarian at the Belgrade Community Library. She enjoys designing innovative programming for children and teens. When not at the library, Rebekah is an outdoor enthusiast who loves spending time with her children camping, hiking, and exploring in Montana.

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