Jan 212016

Permalink: http://goo.gl/kIFb0A

Today, we will focus on some of the great new features included with Notebook 15. Since SMART started charging for upgrades to Notebook, most of you are probably coming to this new version from 11.4. A LOT has been added since then, especially with the “Interactive” part of this interactive whiteboard software. Take a look at this post if you are looking for basic tips and tricks, or this post from my site for some more advanced things that Notebook can do for you.

Today, we will investigate:

  • The place EVERY teacher should start when starting to use Notebook, the SMART Exchange Website where you can find lessons and activities pre-built and ready for you to use or adapt for your needs. The Exchange is accessed through the Gallery tab on the left, the blue “X-ish” icon in the toolbar, or at exchange.smarttech.com. You will need to create an account to take full advantage.
  • Notebook Maestro. This feature has been the most requested since the iPad came out. In conjunction with the iPad Notebook app ($5.99), you can use this add-on to connect to your computer and control Notebook wirelessly! Great for untethered teaching or for allowing students to interact with your lesson from their seats. Learn more here and download the Maestro add-on (use your school information when asked, you don’t need to put in the Tech Director’s name, etc.)
  • Lesson Activity Builder (LAB): Access this from the “Magic Hat” button in the toolbar.
    • The LAB is a collection of different templates to help you quickly build interactive activities
    • Demo a Parts of Speech activity
    • Experience a “Mobile Enabled” activity called Shout It Out!, answering the question, “Who will win the SuperBowl?” If you are not into pro Football, choose from the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, Arizona Cardinals or the Carolina Panthers
  • Other New Add-Ons
    • SMART Blocks – blocks that will do different simple math with number given to it. You can interconnect the blocks to build live equations.
    • Lesson Recorder vs. SMART Recorder
      • Lesson Recorder: Records actions and writing on a Notebook page, and save those actions within a Notebook page.
      • SMART Recorder will record all of your actions in Notebook or anywhere on your computer as well as  your voice (with microphone connected) and will create a video file that you can post to a Web site or upload to YouTube.
      • Show how to add SMART Recorder and other shortcuts to toolbar)
    • GeoGebra for Math Teachers
  • New Tools and Pens
    • Cover the math tools
    • Review other tools
    • Text Pen
    • Creative Pen
    • Magic Pen
    • Shape Recognition Pen
  • Gallery Review
    • Gallery Essentials
    • Lesson Activity Toolkit
    • Adding to “My Content”
Jan 142016

Permalink: http://goo.gl/GIdXlK

A teacher emailed me to ask how this 6-Word Memoir project was created so that she could do the same thing with her classes. I instantly recognized it as an iMovie project, and one that would be simple for this teacher to compile from the text and images that her students provided.

The rub is, she has not made a video with iMovie since the complete interface redesign (and a true downgrade in features) of iMovie ’08. I, too, had a hard time adapting to the new interface, but with subsequent updates and improvements from Apple, the new iMovie is once again a great tool for easily editing and creating video projects.

Due to the different Mac OS versions installed in this district, I won’t be using the latest version of iMovie. iMovie 11 is the last version to come out with iLife and is comparable with a wide variety of Mac OS’s.

Let’s take a tour of the iMovie ’11 interface:

A couple of tweaks:

  • Since I spent SO MUCH time in the old iMovie interface, I still like to have my timeline on the bottom and clips above. To switch this, click the up/down arrow button next to the video camera button on the left of the Toolbar. You can’t move the Preview window to the left, but we will make due. You don’t have to make this switch, but that’s the view I’ll be presenting with :D.
  • Unless you are on an iMac with a giant screen, you’ll probably want to use iMovie in Full-Screen mode. View –> Enter Full Screen (control+command+F) or the expanding arrows button on the upper right of the window will get you in full screen. If you click the green + button on the upper left, you’ll still have the top menu and Dock taking up screen space.
  • As suggested in the interface tour, make sure to turn on the Advanced Tools. iMovie top menu –> Preferences… Then in the General tab check the Show Advanced Tools box. Close the Preferences window.

Before we get started, we need some source material to make a very brief version of the project. Since this project will most likely end up published on the Web, we REALLY should be considerate of the copyright and use licenses of the creator of the images and music used in this project. When students are trying to find appropriate images to use from the millions out there, here are a few tips:

  • Use the Google image “Search tools” to make sure that students are finding images large enough (Size option of larger than 1024 x 768, which is an HD image) as well as the appropriate “Usage rights”, which should be “Labeled for noncommercial use with modification”
  • The Creative Commons Search tool (https://search.creativecommons.org) is also very useful to find images with the proper copyright licenses. Uncheck the ‘use for commercial purposes’ box at the top.

Below are a sample of student memoirs with a link to an appropriate accompanying image, as well as some background music you can use from Soundzabound from Pioneer Library:

  • Opening Credits:
    • A long, long time ago… The students in my Language Arts classes were challenged with the task of creating their own memoir… in exactly 6 words. These amazing students came up with equally amazing memoirs, and pairs them with a photo they believed would fit the tone of their piece. Although brief, these memoirs took time, practice, and patience; and ultimately, they came out great!
  • Finishing an illustration is incredibly satisfying, image
  • Skating is a way of life, image
  • DC comics over Marvel any day, image
  • Cherish every piece of your childhood, image
  • Definitely born in the wrong generation, image
  • Salty air, sand in my hair… image
  • Background music: Beginnings, Ambient Audio from Soundzabound, which is a great source of royalty free music provided to Utah schools by UEN
    • Head to pioneer.uen.org, choose Soundzabound. On the left, click ‘Category’ under the ‘Browse by…’ box, then I chose Ambient, but feel free to explore the many category options here.
  • To save time if you are already comfortable with gathering images and downloads from the Internet, here are all of the images and music:

Quick video tutorial is below. I’ll write out the steps in detail soon!

  • Create new project
  • Set Project Defaults
  • Import photos
    • Add folders to photo browser
    • Drag and drop straight into the project
  • Add scrolling “Star Wars” title
  • Add 6-Word Memoir as a title on top of each image, format as desired
  • Drag in background music as green block behind clips, or add music from iTunes music browser
  • Watch your final project full screen
  • Share with the world!


Aug 082014

Permalink: http://goo.gl/sEpP3R

Thanks for joining me today to go beyond the basics of your SMARTBoard and the Notebook software. Here’s what we will cover today:

  • Lesson Activity Toolkit review
  • Activity Builder
  • Linking to websites & other resources
  • Animate Objects
  • Page Recording & Floating Recorder
  • Balloon Pop
  • Timer with Transparent Background option
  • Using Video
  • Free Student Response Systems (if time permits)

You can download the Notebook files that we will be working with today:

Watch the recording of our session here or find it on my YouTube Channel.

Jan 302014

Permalink: http://goo.gl/uJesuq

Thanks for joining me today to learn how to use Excel for more than just a list manager. Everything you’ll need is in the hand-out below:

Excel Handout PDF

We also covered the topic of Mail Merging to print form letters and labels with information from an Excel Document. View how to do a Mail Merge here (YouTube)

Jan 292014

Permalink: http://goo.gl/1pPbv0

You can find these resources later by using the Interactive Whiteboards tag on my site.

First Things First – Orient The Board

  • Orienting the board matches up the location of your pen on the board to the corresponding screen location.
  • You can orient the board when you first launch Notebook, from the Help (?) Button on the board, or by pressing both the Keyboard and Right Click buttons on the base of the board together.
  • Help button (or anything else) not working correctly? You may need to download and install the SMARTBoard Drivers

References and Handouts

Notebook – Kinda like a chalk board, but so much better

  • With SMART Notebook software, you can quickly access all lesson materials from one convenient location. Intuitive tools and features enable you to easily create, deliver and manage interactive lessons. You can also add graphics and multimedia content instantly to any assessment or lesson.
  • Create your lessons beforehand, at home or at school, or during class on the fly.
  • Save Notebooks for later use, or export the pages as images, PDF’s, or web pages to share with your students (It’s a great idea to make these resources available to students and parents from your web site) – In Notebook, head to File –> Export to see the options.
  • Access the SMART Exchange directly
  • Browse or search the Gallery for virtually anything you may need
  • Use the Screen Shade for an incremental reveal of your page – like the old piece of paper on the overhead projector!
  • Use the Magic Pen to make sure your students are following along. Ink disappears after a certain amount of time.
  • Shape Recognition Pen will turn those squiggly, wavering circles into perfect spheres
  • Customize the Toolbar so that the tools you use most often are at your fingertips

Download, Access and USE the ‘Extras’

Capturing screen shots and Recording everything

  • The Screen Capture Toolbar (Camera icon) will allow you to capture or take “pictures” of your screen to use in your Notebooks. The toolbar has 4 options:
    • a selected area of the screen
    • a selected window
    • a free-hand selected shape
    • the entire screen
  • The SMART Recorder (Camcorder icon) will allow you to basically record everything that happens on your computer, including sound or a microphone if it’s connected, to create an archive or ‘Screencast’ of your lesson

Handwriting to Text

  • There’s also the on-screen keyboard to enter text – just hit the Help (?) Button on the board.

Keeping up, or Going Further

Here are some additional learning resources that you can listen to or watch anytime, anywhere to further your learning and expertise with this amazing teaching tool. These are links to podcasts, and will take you directly to iTunes:

Aug 132012

Permalink: http://goo.gl/BCFMHf

Thanks for joining me today to learn more about some great ways to integrate the iPad into classroom education, and for general productivity. I’ve attached a PDF and PPT version of the presentation below – the links are active there as well as listed below. You can also get back to this post anytime by using the permalink above or the barcode to the right. You can also access the iPadUEN or ICSD tags on my site to learn more.

Mar 132012

Thanks for your time today. Here’s the presentation in PDF form – underlined words are functional links to the App or site being described.

Also, I mentioned the Reflection application for the Mac that will allow you to wirelessly mirror you iPad screen to a desktop Mac, which can then be displayed on a projector for the classroom to see. This is still a very young application, but it could safe a LOT of expense and time installing Apple TV’s to every projector in a school to do the same thing.

Aug 122011

Get the detailed workshop notes here. You can also access the presentation.


  • Join the conversation and ask questions at TodaysMeet.
  • The Basics
    • home button – home screen, search screen
    • double tap home to access latest apps, plus iPod & brightness controls & how to kill apps
    • Creating Folders of apps – can manage this in iTunes as well
    • Moving and deleting apps (Home row holds 6!)
    • Gestures: Tap, Double tap, tap hold and drag, flip & swipe, pinch to zoom, rotate
    • Copy & Paste
    • Screen capture – press Home and Power button together to take a screen shot of whatever is on your screen.
  • Getting in Gear: Settings
    • Airplane mode
    • Connecting to a WiFi hotspot
    • Location Services?
    • Change wallpaper and lock screen image
    • Picture Frame
    • How much space do I have left? General option will tell you
    • Store – sign in to iTunes account (can use multiple accounts)
  • Setting up your Google Apps Mail, Contacts & Calendars
  • Set up Find My iPad
  • File management – Get Dropbox!
  • Great educational video content: iTunes U, eMedia & Kahn AcademyTED Online or the TED app
  • Web shortcuts – Turns a web site into a clickable app icon. Set your home page, UTIPS page, Pioneer Library, eMedia, Kahn Academy, others?
  • Clicker software – eClicker, eClicker Host – set up some quiz questions and show how to take a poll and display results
  • Take poll of what participants would still like to learn at http://pollev.com/clint

List of Chad’s iPad Apps: