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How did I miss the announcement??? Back on January 9, SMART Technologies announced the updates to SMART Notebook to be expected in SMART Notebook 11. I am super excited!
Here are some of the new features and capabilities:
- Embedded web browser will allow users to insert a live browser page directly into a SMART Notebook file and then interact with that page. (I can’t wait to see how this works.)
- Widgets, such as a dictionary and translator, will let users handwrite a search query, receive the answer and move that answer to the SMART Notebook software page. An avatar widget will let teachers bring their dynamic talking avatars into SMART Notebook 11 and save them to the Gallery. (It’s an embedded Voki). Widgets will be available for download at the SMART Exchange. SMART is even allowing 3rd party developers to create custom widgets.
- Crayon feature that allows users to create authentic crayon drawings on the interactive whiteboard.
- Customizable creative pen builds individual pen types based on any image.
- Create activity objects with the activity builder tool that reacts to actions made by students or teachers with animations or sounds for engaging interactions.
- Contextual toolbar that responds to actions by changing when users choose a certain object, giving them the required tool choices they need to work with that tool.
- Reset page function brings the SMART Notebook software page back to its last saved state. (So much better than undo or clear page for those teachers that teach the same class multiple times.)
- SMART Board 800 series interactive whiteboard and the SMART Board 8070i interactive display boards will now have 4 touch capability. (Wish I had access to one of these…I did get to play with one at the eMINTS Conference this past month and WOW it was pretty cool.)
- SMART Notebook 11 is compatible with Microsoft® Windows 7®, Microsoft Windows XP®and both Mac Snow Leopard® and Mac OSX Lion operating system software. (Possibly my favorite addition – I really hope this takes care of many problems my eMINTS teachers have been having.)
- Shake feature will allow for quick grouping and ungrouping of objects.
- Audio recording records sound directly into a file.
To see all of the new features and functions of SMART Notebook 11 visit SMART Technologies. Watch the video Sneak Peak by clicking on the Video tab.
SMART Technologies usually makes the new software available in June or July, right around ISTE, but the media release said this version will be ready this Spring. Going to keep my fingers crossed and keep checking their site.
What new feature are you most excited about and in what ways do you plan on using SMART Notebook 11 to support learning in your classroom?
Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read this and more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.
Using Google Forms for Formative Assessment
D. Zach Holden of Joplin School District demonstrates how to use Google Forms for assessing learning or tracking data. Teachers create a Google Form that can be used to track data and assess progress. Information will then be transferred to a Word Document for distribution. This strategy is especially helpful for walk-through evaluations and preparing for the online MAP test.
Unlimited Questioning Through Inquiry Circles
Michelle Gilmer of Sikeston School District provides participants with an explicit structure for lesson design that they can use to encourage students to question, research and produce a product. Students need to be asking questions and to be the driving force in inquiry-based learning, but perhaps some are not certain of how exactly to go about facilitating that activity. This session introduces participants to a structure called Inquiry Circles that can be used to facilitate student-created questions, research and products. This presentation is based on the books Comprehension and Collaboration: Inquiry Circles in Action by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels and Reading & Writing Together: Collaborative Literacy in Action by Nancy Steineke.
20+ Ways to Integrate Technology
Presenter Marilyn Otte introduces participants to programs or tools that will improve student engagement, maximize inquiry-based learning and provide creative presentation tools to take back to their classroom the next day. 20+ Ways to Integrate Technology is designed to give participants resources to use technology in their classroom in all areas of curriculum. Attendees gain a basic understanding of how to incorporate technology in twenty plus ways using different programs and tools for themselves as well as their students.
Apps with Aptitude
eMINTS’s own Cathie Loesing shares ways to foster creativity, higher order thinking, and communication through the use of apps for iPad, iPhone and other mobile devices. Participants become acquainted with a variety of iPad apps that support higher order thinking for K-5 students.
SMART Notebook 201: AKA ‘I didn’t know you could do that’
If you are not at the “SMART Notebook201: AKA I didn’t know you could do that” session presented by Brooke Higgins, an eMINTS instructional specialist, then you are missing it! She is showing advanced SMART Notebook functions for those of us that have had the basic training, but are ready to learn more about what this program has to offer. I have been to many SMART Board workshops, and I even learned lots of cool new things to use! (Chris Lohman, eIS)
SMART Boards and other interactive white boards have become even more common than the traditional chalkboard in today’s classrooms. Those schools who are equipped with SMART Boards have quickly discovered the virtues of the accompanying software, better known as SMART Notebook. Notebook is such a useful tool that teachers now find ways for students to use the software on their own computers and not just the SMART Board.
Unfortunately, most students do not have access to this software at home. Schools are limited to a certain number of licenses for Notebook software. Students are unable to access SMART Notebook files at home…well, until now!
SMART Notebook Express is a free, online app that can allow any home computer user to have access to SMART Notebook files. This version of the software is paired down and not as extensive as the desktop version, but it does allow a certain amount of access to SMART Notebook files that would be otherwise be inaccessible.
The features on SMART Notebook Express include:
- Page sorter
- Text-editing tool
- Pen tool
- Object manipulation
- Create new pages or files
- Multimedia support
- Save function
Besides allowing students and parents to access your SMART Notebook files at home, there are other uses for this online app. Create the structure or organization for a lesson from any computer and just add the “bells and whistles” later when you have a full version of Notebook available. You could also simply edit or evaluate a Notebook file from anywhere. If you’re planning to demonstrate a concept already created in Notebook but the computer you’re using isn’t properly equipped, just use Express. The ability to open Notebook files from any computer with or without SMART Notebook makes Express a valuable tool.
Have you tried using SMART Notebook Express yet? What uses can you see for Express?
Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center and he wishes he had his own SMART Board to keep in his home.