Smart Board Notebook Version 10
New Features and Appearances:
New Look Toolbar customization Welcome Center Tables Spell check Magic Pen tool Shape recognition tool Active alignment Object animation Customizable themes Page grouping Page Recording Fill effects
Smart Boards actively engage students in learning Notebook is the easiest and most effective tool to use on the Smart Board Through these trainings we hope to increase the overall understanding of Notebook and encourage more teachers to add notebook to your pedagogy Also encourage the sharing of ideas and lessons between educators
The New Look of Notebook 10
If you have been using Notebook in the past year you will notice some changes in the appearance: New icons on the top toolbar and new tabs on the sidebar (point to the top and side of the page). The most important change is the edition of a fourth tab on the sidebar: properties. If you remember the last edition of notebook if you wanted to change the style of a line or change a font there would be extra windows that would pop up in the middle of the screen. The new edition has moved these functions to a non-distracting side bar and also added other functions such as “fill effects”, object animation, and page recording (we’ll get to those later.) (be sure to mention here how the files look different in folders).
There are several new icons in Notebook, but most importantly the top toolbar allows a user to remove unused icons and replace them with features used more frequently. So for example the Document Camera icon is unnecessary if you do not have this device. So lets get rid of it. Simply press the right click button on your pen tray so that your next press on the SB will be a right click. Then press anywhere on the toolbar. A window opens with the selections available for the toolbar. To remove an icon simply press and drag the icon off the toolbar. To add an icon press and drag it into the toolbar. Easy as pie. I will be introducing many of the unfamiliar icons to your during this presentation, but they are all decoded on the handout you have in front of you for your convenience.
Another part of the “new look” of Notebook 10 is the Welcome Center. This is a central location where all your Smart Board needs can be addressed and more! The default is for this window to appear when you open a Notebook file, which I find annoying. To turn off
that function click the check mark at the bottom of the welcome center. The Welcome center can be accessed at any time by right clicking on the icon a the bottom right corner of the page as well as all other tools and helpful information.
The “Floating Tools”
Another new look for the Smart Board software is the floating tools. If you are not using Notebook on your Smart Board but you still want to incorporate all the features and helpful tools to engage your students (such as highlighting and annotating a webpage), this is an essential tool. Unfortunately like an younger sibling it always seems to pop up when it’s not needed. To “hide the floating tools” go to the Smart icon on the lower left of your screen and select that option. It can be revived in the same way.
“Your Tables are ready”
If you are a Smart Notebook super fan- like me- then you already know about the most notorious weakness of previous Notebook versions (and I am surprised I have not seen you at the conventions- ha): the inability to import, create, or manipulate tables. Version 10 has finally addressed this concern to incorporate tables. [pause until applause subsides]. (see additional pages for the guide to teaching tables).
A Poor Spelers Fiend
You may have noticed as we were typing content into the table that there is a new feature on the text toolbar: spell check. This is a great feature for poor spellers like me. I used to copy whole sections from Notebook into MS Word just to catch my misspellings. I often forgot and my students would correct me- how embarrassing. The red lines often start underlining all words until they spell something which can be incredibly annoying. Fortunately the spell checker can be switched off and on by clicking the last icon in the text toolbar. Keep in mind that the misspellings will be highlighted when you are entering the text, but once you click off the text box the red lines will disappear.
Magic Pen tool
Who doesn’t love magic? This is a versatile feature that can do several things. (Use the chart to reveal the shapes that create different effects). This tool incorporates three tools in one: spotlight, magnifier, and disappearing ink. Each tool is applied by drawing a different shape, but using this tool effectively may require some practice. Start by pressing on the “magic pen icon” there are two basic shapes to learn. First is a circle/oval this shape activates a spotlight effect around the object you circled. (use the Picasso painting- or something else- to display this effect). Obviously this effect draws attention to a specific place on the page to focus student attention and decreasing distractions. This spotlight can be moved and increased in diameter by pressing and dragging in the edges or middle, respectively. Turn off the spotlight by clicking on the “X”. By drawing a square/rectangle you can activate the magnifier tool. This tool enlarges the content within the box you draw. This can be used to temporarily increase visibility of text for note taking or small details of a picture for discussion. The box can also be altered by clicking on the middle or edges in the same way as the spotlight. The last feature is disappearing annotation that you can use to write over images or text (like scanned student work) to draw attention to something temporarily. To create this effect draw anything except a circle/oval or square/rectangle. Sometimes attempting to use the other tools with sloppy shapes will result in this tool instead, but don’t let it get to you, just let it disappear and try again.
The next new tool and new icon in Smart Notebook is the shape recognition tool. Very simply this makes sloppy shapes straight (say that 3 times fast). Of course this is a useful tool for geometry teachers, but it can also be a quick way of creating a graphic organizer that is as neat as you want it to be in student’s notebooks and their heads. This tool is fairly easy to use, but it will not make you perfect. Sometimes it has a hard time knowing what you want to draw for example a crooked circle can become an odd-looking octagon. Creating perfect squares, circles, and equilateral triangles can be a challenge (they end up being rectangles, ovals, and scalene). This tool can also be used to make plain straight lines. Beware: at times if your lines are too unusual it will just leave them untouched- and you will look silly.
One of the greatest freedoms of Notebook is the ability to place words and images anywhere with ease, without PowerPoint-type restrictions. Although, when you have multiple textboxes and images on one page it can be maddening to make them appear orderly and organized. The active alignment feature in Notebook 10 helps you neaten it up without restricting your creativity. To activate active alignment go to “format” on the top menu and select “alignment”. The guide that appears allows you to add both a vertical and horizontal line marking the center of the page in any color you choose. This can be helpful if you just want a ballpark estimate on where you want to place items (quickly change the color of the lines and display what those two lines look like).
Another option “show guides for active objects” will show where a selected object is on the page in relation to other objects. And the last choice will help place an object in relation to other objects. (Select the top and bottom option with a bright red guide color for a demonstration). As you select an object by pressing on it the guides will appear when you are approaching them. The lines can be a bit confusing because it can be unclear what they are marking- the top or bottom of a line of text, the middle of an image, etc. I prefer to use the snap function because it makes it easier to place objects along guidelines. But overall, the alignment is not perfect and you may need to place an object a few times before it looks aesthetically “right.”
Some hardcore Ppt. users love the pizzazz of a busy slide with dazzling entrances, emphasis, and exits and for that reason Smart Notebook left them feeling unfulfilled. Version 10 has incorporated animation so switch already! Any image/text can be animated with a variety of functions within the properties tab on the sidebar. The variety of funky tricks may not be as numerous as PowerPoint, but you can still create many effects and change the speed, duration, and direction of the movement. (Use an image on the same slide to show how an image can be animated.) Although always be wary too much movement for students with ADD. Remember with animation a little bit goes a long way.
Another feature that has been borrowed from PowerPoint is the idea of themes: a set background and font style and size that are used to create continuity within a presentation. In PowerPoint there are hundreds of choices of themes available in the application and hundreds more available online, but Smart has only supplied a handful of bland themes- the rest is up to you! Notebook 10 enables users to create their own themes based on the content or subject of the presentation. This process is simple and easy. First of all the pre-made themes are located in the gallery in the folder “themes”. To select a theme to use click on the page drop down menu and click insert. Immediately it will ask you if you want it added to: “all the pages, pages of current group, or just this page”. Once you make your selection the Theme is placed accordingly. Now, if I am presenting notes on engineering and I want to use one background and text style to link the unit together, but the themes provided like “Candy” or “Rainy Day” don’t seem to work. I can create my own and save it to use multiple times. First go to the gallery tab on the sidebar. Click once on the themes folder and again on the drop down arrow that appears. Select the first choice “create new theme.” You can also access the “theme creator” through the top menu “format” to “themes” to “create new theme”. Once inside the theme creator select a new name for your theme like “engineering”. Next task is to
find an image to use as a background: use Google images or another search engine. Here is one I have found ahead of time. Most searches allow you to choose the size of the files you are searching for. It is best to find an image that is large, but not too large. Once you have selected your image, copy and paste it into the theme creator. Adjust the size and placement of your image. Then move your image to the rear of the workspace by right clicking on it, go to order, then send backward. Finally adjust the transparency of the image. This is the key step in creating a modest-looking background that does not dominate the page. With the image selected go to the properties side tab and move the transparency dial at least to the middle or ¾ toward the right. You can also add more images in this same way from the gallery, the internet, or a camera. Finally select your font by selecting the text on the page and changing the font and size in the properties side tab. When you are done select “save”, your theme will be saved in your “themes folder”.
The next new feature of Smart Notebook 10 allows you to assign pages to specific groups within the same presentation. So in this presentation there are several groups of pages based on the different subject matter. This feature allows me to keep different topics separate without having to create a different Notebook file. This is a good feature to use if you are creating a large Notebook file to span an entire unit so you can easily review material from previous classes without hunting through file folders and waiting for pages to load. It is also useful to differentiate lessons for honors classes so instead of reinventing the wheel you can add information to pages of notes or tweak an assignment to make it more challenging. To access the groups click on the page sorter side tab and the box “groups”. This button will allow you to jump to any group you have already created or an edit page. The edit page will display all the pages in your Notebook file under their own specific groups. Within this page you can add and name new groups, rename old groups, and transfer pages between groups. You can also delete and clone pages just like in the page sorter. To leave this page simply double-click on any page.
Smart has had a device outside of Notebook that can record screen actions and your voice, but this new feature works within notebook and simplifies the process. The old Smart recorder files (.avi) can be uploaded to the internet which makes the device useful for sharing a portion of a lesson with students at home. This device will only show the recording within the page that you recorded it in and so the usefulness of the feature is limited, but it is easier to use. To record the actions on a page go to the properties side tab of the page and click “page recording”. Click start recording to start, then click stop recording to stop. The playback buttons will appear at the bottom of the page when you are done. Simple, huh? The recorder is not perfect it does not show the mouse nor any actions on the periphery of the page.
Filling objects and backgrounds with colors, patterns, and gradients has been missing from Notebook, but now its here. That’s all I have to say about that.