As promised, this August, SMART released the newest version of its Notebook software. With the update to SMART Notebook 15.1, users can create even more dynamic lesson content with the additions to templates in Notebook’s Lesson Activity Builder. In addition, among the largest changes to the software include the updates to the SMART Ink tools and the removal of the floating toolbar. SMART has streamlined the way that teachers and students can interact with educational material at their interactive whiteboard.
SMART Ink Tools
If you are a long time SMART Notebook user, you have probably been using SMART Ink and your floating tools to annotate on websites and documents for years. However, SMART has built more sophisticated, responsive tools in 15.1 which will allow you to change pen properties, save favorite pen tools, and even translate your writing to text, all with one easy-to-manage toolbar. The SMART Ink “bubble” (as I like to call it) can be placed anywhere on your page to manage the pen tools and the way you interact with lesson content.
If you’re using a board like the 6065 Interactive Flat Panel, more than one student can write on the board at any given time. In this case, each student gets their own set of SMART Ink tools to manage their device properties and interact with lessons at the board. A circular menu around the SMART Ink tool allows students or teachers working at the board to choose the appropriate option to annotate on content inside and outside of Notebook software.
Lesson Activity Builder
When beginning the phase into Notebook 15, SMART introduced HTML 5 interactive lesson templates that would replace much of the Shockwave Flash materials popular in earlier versions. With the start of the Lesson Activity Builder, SMART introduced us to a sorting activity and the option to create flash cards to assist with interactivity and practice in this new format. Notebook 15.1 expands on the Lesson Activity Builder, introducing a number of new templates to get students up out of their seat and interacting with the SMART Board in your room.
The new content templates for 15.1 include activities titled Rank Order, Fill in the Blanks, and Match ‘Em Up! Teachers simply need to put data into the template, and the Lesson Activity Builder will input it into the chosen theme, making it easy for students to perform the given task. Teachers especially enjoy the ability to add game components to these templates like timers, spinners, and buzzers to increase engagement.
Shout It Out
The Lesson Activity Builder menu is also the home for one of the most exciting new tools in the Notebook software, Shout it Out. This tool allows students to use any web-enabled mobile device to contribute to the SMART Notebook lesson. Perfect for entrance or exit tickets, class polls, or discussion starters, Shout it Out allows the teacher to create a freeform space where all students in the class can enter text or image responses to engage with class topics. Once the activity is started by the teacher, students can log in at www.classlab.com, submit the activity code, and provide their individual feedback for the lesson. Teachers are able to see what information each student has contributed to the space with object attribution. Even the students that are hesitant to raise their hand can have the opportunity to participate in class discussion with Shout it Out!
To learn more about SMART Notebook 15.1 and its use for classroom relevant content, consider subscribing to our Teq Online PD. Throughout the months of September and October, we will be hosting our first SMART Notebook Digital Teacher Certification course for Notebook 15.1. For more information, you can always email our professional development staff at OnlinePD@teq.com. Here at Teq, we hope you will consider trying SMART Notebook 15.1 to transform your classroom for this new school year!