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)

Creating Video in the Classroom

I just finished teaching two of my classes related to creating video for use in the classroom.  The first class, Creating Video for Instruction, focuses on filming with handheld video cameras, such as the Flip,then using simple editing software to create a video. The other class, Using Windows Movie Maker to Create Instructional Video, explores how to use free Movie Maker software to piece together video clips (either filmed originally or found on the internet) with still pictures, and music, and words to create the custom video needed for a topic.

I am always blown away by the creativity of the participants in these classes.  It’s great to see the variety of videos created.  Everyone seems very surprised that video can be created so easily and pleased with the professional look of the final result.

Time usually allows me to teach these courses only during the summer.  But now I think that I’m going to try hard to fit at least one of these classes into the Winter-Spring schedule.

In the meantime, check out the class links above for resources to help you get started!

Please let me know with a comment if you make videos with your students or if you’re interested in learning more.

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Common Core Website App

Did you notice a tab on the right side of my blog and home pages?  Click on it and you’ll discover a great pull out app that will let you access the common core standards for language arts and math for all grade levels. Pretty handy!

This app is free from the Mastery Connect website. Follow this link to get the for a pull-out tab like the one on this page or to imbed the app on a webpage:

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