A few weeks ago I posted a few handy tips for using the Notebook software on the IWB’s after giving a training session my school. Well last week I held another session, with a few more hints for my staff to use. Some of these are a bit more advanced that before, but should really improve how you use your SmartBoard in lessons.

Handwriting Recognition – Make quick labels or headings that can be seen by all. Write with the pen on the screen, then on the drop down menu choose ‘Text Recognise’. Your written text will then turn into typed writing. This makes it easy to move around, resize or rotate.

Shape recognition pen – Choose the shape pen and watch as Notebook turns your roughly drawn shapes into clean and clean shapes. Fantastic for adding boxes or circles to highlight quickly. Really useful and much easier that trying to add shapes in a hurry.

Cell Shade – Really quick little tip but one I use ALL the time. Often with a table I don’t want the pupils to see all the elements to begin with, or I want to hide the answers. With a cell that you want to hide from the pupils just right-click inside it, and click cell shade. This should grey out the cell until you click on it when you’re ready to show the pupils.

Adding links and Sounds – This is actually surprisingly easy on Notebook software. Select the element, click the drop down and click on ‘Add Link’. You then a few choices, hyperlink or sounds. You can link it to a webpage by pasting the URL in the box provided. To add a sound just point it at a sound file on your machine, it then plays that sound when clicked. Easy.

Locking items in place – This one is useful when allowing the pupils to come up and use the board. You don’t want them to wreck your hand work by deleting or changing what you have done too much, so lock the vital elements in place. Click to the items drop down menu, then you have some locking options. You can completely lock it, just allow it to be rotated or even moved in certain areas (but not deleted).

Dual Screen – My last little tip is something I only found recently. You can change your view from a single page to 2 slides. You can also pin one of these pages in place. This allows you to keep some info on-screen at all times, while flicking through others. Handy!



I know for a lot of people using a SmartBoard is like second nature, but for others it can be quite a daunting task to integrate it into your lessons. Please share this with other teachers! 

Welcome back to the 2013/14 year teachers! To start off my year I have been offering SMARTboard refresher courses for my teaching staff. They all love using the board in their lessons but when I walk round the school I never feel they are being used to their full potential. Often this is down to the fact that teachers don’t know how to! After completing the training session I thought it might be a good idea to share some of the things we looked at, after all, you or teachers in your school might find it useful, so please share!

1. Using the ‘Magic Pen’. 3 great tools all in one. Firstly, just write with it, after around 10 seconds the write will fade away and disappear. This is great for making quick little notes on an image. Second, draw a circle around anything on your page with it. Notebook with recognize this and create a ‘spotlight’, only showing the area you highlighted. And lastly, draw a square around an area you want to look at in more detail, Notebook will recognize the square and zoom in on the selected area. Very  useful.

2. Maximise the Gallery. The gallery made available to all through Notebook is fantastic. In fact it’s beyond fantastic, its amazing. It really is important to spend some time looking through the wide variety of media available. In not just images you can find, there is all manner of interactive tools to use across subject areas. At the start of a new topic I like to spend 10 mins search through the gallery for items that i could use. Always 10mins well spent.

3. Measuring Tools. I LOVE the measuring tools. The can all be moved and manipulated on the screen to get the most out of them. My particular favourite is the ruler. This can be zoomed in an out, as well as changing length to accommodate different objects.

4. Loading a PowerPoint or PDF. As a teacher who regulary raids the TES for resources my hard drive tends to be full on PowerPoint files. While useful, I often like to load them in Notebook. This gives me the full functionality of the smartboard rather than the note making tools in PPT. All you have to do is import rather than open, so load Notebook, go to file, then click on import. Notebook then opens your ppt, reads all the pages and inserts them as slide on your smartboard. It also keeps the pictures and text boxes so you can edit them live on Notebook. Excellent!

5. Transparent layer. One of the classic features of Notebook is making the program transparent. This allows you to make notes on top of another program or website with ease. Simple load up the work you want to look at, open Notebook in front of it, then click the transparency button on the top toolbar. What is really clever though is that when you press it again the notebook come back into view, but it leaves all your notes in place. This allows you to edit, delete or add to them.

Hope this helps some of the Notebook beginners. I know some of these tips are fairly easy, and have been around for a while, but often they get missed when showing people how to use the product. If you have any other questions about the functionality of a SMARTboard please get in touch.


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