An Amazing Website with Links for K-12


Every teacher who visits this resource website returns.  It’s officially titled “Integrating Technology to the Common Core Standards” and is maintained by the Willoughby-Eastlake School District in Northeast Ohio.  It’s one of the very best school websites designed to help teachers use technology for instruction. The site contains many resources connected to common core standards organized by grade level and subject area.  But wait, there’s more!  Scroll down the home page and you’ll see more resources organized by topics such as “Videos”, “Autism”, and “21st Century Skills.” There is much here for all teachers, whether you teach kindergarten or twelfth grade.

Okay, enough already.  Just click the link below to visit and you’ll see for yourself:

Willoughby-Eastlake Schools’ Technology Website

Please leave a comment and tell us about something great that you found!

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How to Change Default Colors in the Smart Notebook Toolbar

Did you know that you can change the default colors of the pens, lines, and shapes that are in your Smart Notebook Toolbar?  Do you know how to change your default font style color and size?  It’s easy!


Here is the video to watch if you are working in Notebook version 10.8:

If you have upgraded to Notebook 11, please view the video below:

I hope this helps you have more fun with your Smart Board!

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New Smart Notebook 11.1 is coming soon!

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!

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I Heart Dropbox!



Dropbox is a wonderful FREE and easy way to transfer your files to all of the computers that you use.  You also have access to the files on your phone and iPad too!  Here’s a video that explains the concept:

Your free account will give you two GB of storage space.  Although this probably isn’t enough to back up your entire computer, it’s plenty for your most-commonly used documents.  You can also purchase additional storage space or earn as much as 16 GB of space through referrals, writing reviews, etc.

If you already use Dropbox, let us know how you like it in the comment section.

If you wish to sign up for a free account, click on this link to go to Dropbox.

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Using a Smart Document Camera!

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.

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P.S.  Here are links to helpful resources to help you learn more about Smart Document Cameras:

Smart Document Camera Links

Printable References:

Smart Document Camera Basics

Smart Document Camera Mixed Reality (3D)

Mixed Reality Mat

Online Videos:Smart Document Camera Links

Video Tutorial – Smart Document Tutorial 330

Smart Document Camera Video on You Tube

Video Tutorial – Smart Mixed Reality Tools (3D)