Black History Month (Week)

Here at Networked Teaching & Learning, we’re taking a different approach to our topics. With Black History Month coming (all of February), we’re dedicating this week to resources and tips relating to the month. Be sure to check in throughout as we provide online tools, resource links, and teaching tips to help you with your Black History Months needs.

In the meantime, check out the news from eMINTS and eLearning…

Friday was the last day to sign up for the eMINTS Winter Conference. If you missed the deadline, were unable to attend this year, or want keep track of the many great presentations at this year’s conference, check out our conference blog.

Congratulations to Bolivar Intermediate School (MO) for SMART Designation: Bolivar Intermediate School (where all teachers are eMINTS4ALL trained and 4th grade teachers are certified eMINTS Comprehensive teachers) was just chosen by SMART to be an Elite SMART School.

SMART announced a new initiative exclusively for SMART Showcase Schools. Beginning this year, 25 SMART Showcase Schools have been selected as Elite for the duration of the calendar year. These selections were made based on the annual survey data collected throughout October and November last year. SMART Showcase Elite Schools are those that have demonstrated an exceptional commitment in using a wide range of SMART products in the majority of classrooms to create appealing, interactive learning environments that increase student engagement and improve learning outcomes. Educators and administrators at SMART Showcase Elite Schools have shared their results and experiences with their local education community by consistently hosting visitors who are interested in learning more about SMART. They have also been active members of SMART learning communities, such as SMART User Groups, the SMART Exemplary Educator Program, and SMART Exchange, in an effort to constantly improve and share their SMART skills.

Each of the 2011 SMART Showcase Elite Schools will receive a recognition package, including a SMART Board 885ix interactive whiteboard system and a commemorative plaque. Throughout 2011, these Elite Schools will be eligible for hardware and software donations on new SMART products as they come to market. SMART requires each Elite School to act as the host site for a SMART Open House event in 2011. A SMART Open House is a time for the Elite School to share their SMART success story with other educators in the local area who may be interested in learning how SMART products and services can improve teaching and learning.

For more information on the program or to apply to become a SMART Elite School see: www.smarttech.com/see.

e-Learning for Educators Winter Semester Registration Extended: Registration for the Winter Semester has been extended to January 26, 2011. Check out the new e-Learning for Educators website and see what is available for Winter Semester. Visit http://www.elearningmo.org/ and learn about how the program works, discounts available, and information about graduate credit. Courses will begin February 2, 2011.

Get SMART for Free

Finally! Students, teachers, friends, and family can get SMART… And it’s free! No. It won’t increase your IQ, but it may increase learning opportunities. SMART Technologies has made available SMART Notebook Express web application. There’s no need to create an account and no software to download. It is available online to anyone at anytime.

  • Students can makeup lessons from home.
  • You can share interactive Notebook files and collaborate with peers who do not have a SMART Board or SMART Notebook software.
  • Students can showcase their learning by creating Notebook files that can be linked from your website, and now their family and friends will be able to view their work.
  • Notebook files can also become part of electronic student portfolios since they (and others) will be able to open the files even after leaving your classroom.
  • Amazing lessons and resources are available for SMART Board interactive Whiteboards from the SMART Exchange . Now you don’t have to have a SMARTBoard or SMART Notebook software to view, modify, and save them!   With SMART Notebook Express, anyone can open, edit, and save SMART Notebook files that contain graphics, text, tables, and flash files.

Seasoned SMART Notebook users may classify the Express application as SMART Notebook Lite. That’s understandable since you will immediately notice that the Gallery is missing in the online application.  Additionally, you cannot create new tables or add attachments, but you can manipulate tables and open attachments already present in existing Notebook files. Multimedia embedded in Notebook files should also function properly.  So what is available in SMART Notebook Express? Well, some important features you might appreciate are the pen, highlighter, creative pen, screen shade, text edit, erase, infinite cloner, and page sorter. If you are working in the application and have questions, online help is available.

SMART Notebook Express is still in the Beta stage, so you can provide feedback and/or report “bugs” about this web tool. Just select the appropriate link on the Welcome page to help make this SMART application even SMARTer.

Debbie Perkins is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.