SMART Notebook 11 – Coming Soon

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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.

eMINTS Conference: Session 2 (Thursday)

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)

eMINTS Pre-Conference Announcement

These 3-hour hands-on workshops are offered from 1:00 – 4:00 on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 to kick off this year’s eMINTS National Center Conference.

Wock Your Webpage with Weebly – Learn how to transform your online classroom webpage with Weebly – and you can link to the world!

Applying Research-based Strategies Using SMART Products – Participants will gain a deeper understanding of how to connect the Nine Instructional Strategies to your SMART Notebook lessons to improve student achievement.

Digital Journey to Authentic Learning – Participants will learn how to blend creativity into student-centered activities and how to use Share software to create and publish in the 21st Century classroom.

Unlocking the Potential of Google Apps – Participants will experience the benefits of using Google Apps within their buildings, grade level teams and even with students.

Using Open Source Content in the Blended Classroom – explore technical tools that are freely accessible online for public use and how these tools can economically extend your classrooms into the 21st century- expanding the learning experience and opportunities for all.

Visit http://www.emints.org/conference-2012/conference-schedule/ for more information on these workshops, keynotes, and all of the breakout sessions offered at our annual eMINTS National Center Conference. Hurry! Registration closes on February 3, 2012.

We hope to see you there!

Cara Wylie

eMINTS National Center Conference Coordinator

Tuesday’s Tool: SMART Notebook Express

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.

Monday Message: Get SMART this summer!

Getting a new SMART Board in your classroom this year? Need a refresher to help increase your effectiveness using the SMART Board and SMART Notebook? Interested in making your SMART Notebook lessons more interactive and engaging for students? If so, you might be interested in one of the professional development opportunities eMINTS is offering around the state of Missouri this summer.

eMINTS will offer 2 levels of professional development in Columbia, St. Louis, and Springfield. All trainings will be led by SMART certified specialists. At Level 1 training, you will increase your effectiveness with SMART Notebook collaborative learning software at a full-day professional development on-site session. At Level 2 training, you will learn how to design lesson activities in Notebook collaborative learning software by adding style and incorporating interactive content at a full-day professional development on-site session.

Check the eMINTS website for dates, locations, fees, and more. Sign up now to guarantee your spot in this high quality professional development. Seating is limited.

Between now and the SMART training dates you may want to browse these SMART resources and fill your virtual file cabinet with great activities that support your curriculum.

  • The SMART Exchange: Professionally created Notebook activities correlated to state standards, from SMART Technologies, teachers, and even publishers. Download and use these SMART Notebook files as is or edit them to fit your needs.
  • eMINTS eThemes: Your source for content-rich, kid-safe online resources.
    • Technology Flash Files – find flash files specifically for using with a Smart Notebook. Includes instructions for how to import flash files into the Notebook and how to retrieve flash files.
    • Teaching Tips: SMART Board Resources – resources for various subjects and grade levels. There are downloadable lessons, interactive websites, templates, interactive videos, and teaching ideas.
    • Math: SMART Board Activities - activities for geometry, number and operation concepts, functions and algebra, fractions, and statistics. Explore the many different applets.

Brooke Higgins is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.

jkmallen (Photographer). (2007). Image 0727. [Web]. Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/27291024@N02/4095775128/ - used with permission under the Creative Commons license.

Monday Message and EduBlog Award Nominations

The view from my window makes me long for Thanksgiving past...

Welcome back, everyone! I trust you had a restful if not slightly decadent Thanksgiving break. We are all back and ready for the stretch run at the end of the year. Of course, the weather here in central Missouri is not the most inspiring (see image above), but we will soldier on.

Here are a few announcements from the eMINTS National Center:

Registration for eMINTS Winter Conference 2011 Now Open: Online registration for the 2011 eMINTS Winter Conference is open, now through January 28, 2011 – or until sessions are filled. The Conference dates are Feb. 23-25, 2011 with a new location in at the Stoney Creek Inn in Columbia, MO. This year’s conference offers MORE:  more sessions, more presentations, more pre-conference hands-on workshops and more inspiration from nationally-recognized keynote speakers, Jamie McKenzie and Bernie Dodge. Find details and register online now at: http://www.emints.org/events/winter2011/ or check out the conference blog at http://emintswincon.wordpress.com/

eMINTS Teacher Presents at National Science Conference: Kelly Taylor year 2 eMINTS teacher from Carnahan School of the Future in St. Louis, MO presented Tools for Data-Driven Biology Teaching at the National Science Teacher Association conference in Kansas City.  Kelly shared how using her WebQuest increased proficiency on specified Course Level Expectations.  Her presentation was based on her eMINTS Training and the graduate work she is doing at Washington University.  To access the conference presentation materials go to http://mrstaylorssciworld.weebly.com/nsta-conference-materials.html

Help for WINDOWS 7 OS and SMART Notebook:  If you are experiencing difficulties with the new Windows 7 Operating System and features of the SMART Notebook Ink Aware programs, a help video from SMART on how to resolve those issues is available at: http://www.emints.org/equipment/fy11/whiteboard.shtml#win7help
The link launches a WMV file with tips for users.

Edublog Award Nominations
The following are not an officially promoted list of sites from eMINTS. These are simply some of the favorite sites of eMINTS staff and deserve nominations for the 2010 Edublog Awards.

Best Group Blog: Edutopia
From the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Edutopia seeks to identify the most innovative teaching strategies and share them with the world. The site is a fantastic resource and features many, many bloggers who freely share the best strategies available to the 21st Century educator. (Shared by Ruth Henslee, eIS)

Most Influential Blog Post:”When Hunches Collide
Kelly Tenkely’s post “When Hunches Collide” is truly inspiring (if not influential). She takes some time to share some of her ideas of how education could be transformed as she dreams of better days being inspired by a TED talk graphic facilitation by Steven Johnson’s summarizing ideas from his book Where Good Ideas Come From. As a person that values interdependence, she puts her ideas out there to “collide” with others and hopefully make something happen. She fully believes in her PLN and what they the changes their ideas together may spark. She is an avid blogger penning Dreams of Education and iLearn Technology a blog she uses to support classroom teachers. She can also be followed on Twitter @ktenkely. (Shared by Brooke Higgins, eIS)

Best Resource Sharing Blog: Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day
For my money, there is no better resource sharing blog on the entire web. My Reader fills up daily with updates to past posts as well as a steady stream of new resource lists for current events and trending topics. No site is better for the teacher trying to stay up to date than Larry Ferlazzo’s Website of the Day.
(Shared by Zac Early, eIS)

Best Library/Librarian Blog: Librarian By Day
Transliteracy is a hot topic in the library sciences right now and there is no better place to follow the transliteracy discussion than at Librarian By Day
, the brainchild of blogger/librarian Bobbi Newman. I suggest you add LBD to your RSS feed ASAP in order to keep up with this rapidly advancing literacy movement.

Best Admin Blog: Principally Speaking
Dr. Robert Dillon, a principal in the St. Louis, MO area, provides post after post of inspiration and insight into administrating the 21st Century school with an eye toward technology and student engagement. Check out Dr. Dillon’s Principally Speaking and revive your perspective on education for the December stretch-run. (Shared by Carmen Marty, eIS)

Lifetime Achievement: Bernie Dodge
We at eMINTS would be remised if  we didn’t give credit to the WebQuest guru of gurus, Bernie Dodge. A regular at our annual Winter Conference, Bernie has been an integral part of the eMINTS program with his perspective of the WebQuest guiding many of our teachers to instructional success. For all his great work in educational technology, Bernie Dodge receives a nomination for the Edublog Lifetime Achievement Award. (Shared by Zac Early, eIS)

Are there any other blogs or online educators who deserve a nomination? Feel free to mention some of your own nominations in the comments.