By now, most teachers have heard of classroom “clickers”. These are the handheld devices that can wirelessly deliver a student’s response to a question during a group assessment via computer. There are many systems available. Of course, I became hooked on Smart Response because it integrates so easily with Smart Notebook as well as PowerPoint.
I loved using the Smart Response technology with my first graders. I could integrate questions right into my lesson as a formative assessment. The results were immediate. I liked that I could go over the results and make it a “teachable moment” as we discussed items that were more challenging. I also designed more elaborate question sets that could be used as a summative assessment. Grading was instant and could be put into Excel as well as used in student reports. Talk about generating data, Smart Response provides it all at your fingertips!
It really wasn’t hard for my first graders to adapt to the standard PE remotes (or clickers). There are several different kinds of remotes so that you can choose the one that best meets the needs of your students. Smart VE even allows the use of any handheld device connected to the internet, such as a smartphone.
If you already have access to a Smart Response System, here are some resources to get you started:
Informational Resources from Smart Technologies:
Quick Reference Guides (PDF)
Hands On Practice Guides (PDF)
Evaluating Assessment Results Practice
Different Smart Response Systems
The above link will take you to the main downloads page on the Smart Technologies website. Scroll down to find Smart Response link and choose your version.
Just in case you are a little behind the curve, Smart released a significant upgrade to its software with Notebook 11 last year. The new features included are nothing less than a WOW!
- A new toolbar and sleek interface
- The ability to insert an internet browser onto a notebook page so that a webpage can be viewed right in Notebook
- The Activity Builder tool that enables the creation of matching games and sorting activities
- Crayon drawing tool
- Grouping and ungrouping objects with gestures
- Voice recording directly to an object
- A new text editor
- And more! Click here to see Smart’s document about Notebook 11
Here’s a video from Smart introducing Notebook 11:
Unfortunately, I was disappointed by the debut version of Notebook 11. It starts up slowly, occasionally freezes, and just misbehaves a little too often for me to use regularly. I do have it installed on one of my laptops, but I prefer to wait for a more stable version of 11 to use it when teaching my seminars. No one needs to use glitchy software when learning how to use a new program!
But there’s great news! An improved version may be just around the corner! A beta version of Notebook 11.1 was released in February 2013 for product testing. Notebook 11.1 is supposed to be faster and work better with MS PowerPoint and Word than the previous version. If you anxious to try it out the beta Notebook 11.1 version, click here to download.
Me? I’m anxiously awaiting the official full product release of Notebook 11.1 in the (hopefully) near future!
I just loved using my Smart Document Camera with my Smart Board when I taught first grade. After asking my principal to purchase one for two years, I bought one myself for half price on Ebay. It was so convenient to instantly show a book or a worksheet right up on the Smart Board for all to see and be able to take a picture of it and write. My kids would beg me to “put the book on the Smart Board” when I read a picture book aloud to them. They liked being able to see the pictures enlarged on the Smart Board. They loved to use it during “Show and Tell” when sharing those small items that were hard for the whole class to see.
By the end of that school year, the principal purchased three for the building to share. Really, every classroom needs one. A document camera makes it easy bridge using non-techie resources like books, paper, and manipulatives with with technology. If you don’t have one, you might want to put this on your wish list.
Do you have a Document Camera? Please comment about how you like using it in your classroom.
P.S. Here are links to helpful resources to help you learn more about Smart Document Cameras:
Smart Document Camera Links
Smart Document Camera Basics
Smart Document Camera Mixed Reality (3D)
Mixed Reality Mat
Video Tutorial – Smart Document Tutorial 330
Smart Document Camera Video on You Tube
Video Tutorial – Smart Mixed Reality Tools (3D)