Summer is around the corner, and that means our schedule of summer PD workshops is available. One of our most popular workshops year after year is SMART Board Basics. The workshop covers the set-up, operation, and beginner-level skills — all the skills need to learn how to use the SMART Board. Since the content of this workshop is so popular, I thought I’d take this opportunity to run through the 5 key skills needed for using the SMART Board and SMART Notebook software.
1. SMART Ink
SMART Ink allows you to write over any window on your computer. Whether you’re on a website, in Google Earth, or using any other program, you will be able to annotate over the screen using SMART Ink. The SMART Ink tab appears in the top right corner of every window. From this tab you can toggle SMART Ink on/off, change your pen color, and choose the thickness and type of pen (including a highlighter). You can “capture” your annotations by touching the camera icon inside of the SMART Ink Tab. The resulting screen capture is automatically inserted in a SMART Notebook file.
When you write with SMART Ink, the ink appears in a layer over the window. This ink can be moved, deleted, or inserted as text.
2. SMART Ink Document Viewer
Use SMART Ink Document Viewer if you want to write or draw over a PDF. Document Viewer allows you to annotate the PDF, and the annotations will scroll with the document. You can also save and print your files, including your ink notes. Note: This feature is only available on PC.
Tip: To make SMART Ink Document Viewer your default PDF viewer, right-click on a PDF file, then select “Open With” then choose “Default Program.”
3. The Floating Tools
The Floating Tools allow you to access SMART Board tools when you’re not in SMART Notebook software. The floating toolbar will appear on the left side of your SMART Board. To move the tools, press the double arrows and then use the dotted square to slide the tools across the board. At mid-point of the screen, the tool bar will flip to face the closest side of the board. The double arrows will “dock” the toolbar to the closest side of the board.
If you want to hide the Floating Tools, click on the SMART Board icon in the system tray at the lower right corner of the board. From the menu, select Hide Floating Tools.
To customize a tool, click on the customize button that appears next to a tool when it is selected. The tool’s Properties box will appear, and you can now change the settings for that tool. When you are finished with your customization, click on Save Tool Properties.
You can add or remove tools from the floating tools with the Customize Floating Tools button. Add buttons by selecting them from the available tools and sliding them to the tool bar with your finger or mouse. Some of the most frequently used tools are the following:
Spotlight: Highlight a specific area of the board.
Magnifier: Magnifies specific area of the board.
Screen Shade: Cover the board, moves in any direction to reveal what is covered.
4. The Notebook Toolbar
The toolbar is separated into “Tools” and “Actions”.
Possible “Actions” include view options such as Transparent Background and Full Screen, as well as page options such as “Reset Page” and “Clear Ink.” The “Tools” consist of the different tools you can become to add content to a Notebook Page, including shapes, lines, pens, and more. Properties for each tool you select pop up for easy customization.
5. Adding Notes and Text to a Page
There are many ways to add content to a Notebook page. The easiest way is to pick up a pen and start writing. After you have written on the page, you have the ability to resize, rotate, and recognize your handwriting. Once your handwriting is selected, you have access to a number of different tools that can be accessed by selecting the drop-down menu, such as Handwriting Recognition. From the drop-down menu, choose the recognition choice that best fits what you have written.
Another way of adding text to a Notebook page is to use a technique we call Tap ‘n Type. Simply tap on the board where you would like your text to begin and type on your keyboard. When text is added in this way, you have the ability to edit font, color, size, as well as the alignment of the text.
So these are the 5 key, fundamental skills you’ll need if you wan to learn how to use a SMART Board and how to use SMART Notebook software. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our summer workshops. There are SMART Board courses for every skill level, as well as workshops in using iPads in the classroom, supporting the Common Core Standards, Digital Storytelling, and more. As always, if you have any questions (not only questions about how to use your SMART Board), email us at email@example.com.