SmartBoards are very big in our district as are many of the SMART Technologies. This week I took a class on the new Notebook 10 software. I thought I would take a minute to introduce you to some of SMART Technologies products.
I was pleasantly surprised at many of the changes. They have added the ability to animate items on pages, albeit not as well as powerpoint, but much improved. They have also added a desktop recorder. I have used Jing for this in the past and wasn’t thrilled with it. I then found some other shareware that was better, but still not ideal. I must say though, I really love the Smart Notebook’s Recorder. Some other new features include themes, page grouping, and new interactive items in the gallery. If you had tried their previous Teacher’s Toolkit, you will be delighted at some of the new additions.
This is a product that I had seen about a year ago on Smart’s website, but quickly forgot about. Then this week I saw it’s use in one of my professional development classes and am now determined to get it for my computer lab, even if I have to write a few grants to do it. It is a fabulous tool for lab use! It will allow you to monitor all of the lab computer’s from your own computer, will allow you to lock down computers, or take what one student has on their screen and show it to everyone in the class. It also will allow collaboration while keeping kids 1-1 on a computer. There is a chat feature monitored by the teacher that can be turned on and off. The teacher can also send a file or website to all computers at once. No more walking to 25 computers and opening starfall.com for my kindergarteners! I can see endless possibilities with this one!
I have not used these much, but have seen them in use and would love to have a set in my lab. The clickers allow you to not only set up SmartBoard lessons with quizzes embedded, but they allow you to ask a spur of the moment question with almost no prep. I hope to learn more about these in the future.
If you have not had the pleasure of experiencing SMART Technologies products, I would highly recommend you look into them. If you are an avid Smart user, I would like to recommend our district’s website. Our district has posted many SmartBoard lessons and activities that are downloadable at this site.