SMART Notebook™ 11

The long anticipated update to  SMART Notebook™ was released recently.  You can get your update here if you’ve already got yourself a license.  It’s always interesting to see what new features each company adds in their latest releases. This post aims at providing you with a brief overview of the changes we’re seeing and some advice as to how they might be used.

Let’s take a look….

Chunkier Toolbars!

The first thing you’ll notice is the slight change in the appearance of the tool bars. They’re now a little ‘chunkier’ – having two layers of tools instead of one – and are organised by their tool style.

SMART Notebook 11 - New Toolbars

Image Taken from SMART Notebook 11’s Tutorial

Divided into three sections, you’ll find an area of your tool bar for actions (common software functions like undo, save etc), an area for tools (like your pens, erasers, shapes etc) and an area for the properties of those tools. The properties section is a little like those offered by Starboard, Easiteach (NG) and Promethean (in it’s main tool bar) . It allows you to quickly change pen thickness, colour and settings for the tool you’re working with, without having to head to the properties tab. Of course, the properties tab is still there and is vital for more complex options like “animate object”. I like having these options to hand though, it makes things a little bit faster – which is always much appreciated.

To add icons to the tool bar, simply right click on it and the familiar options will appear, allowing you to drag items to personalise your tool bar and get it the way you like it!

More Opportunities to Personalise Learning

One of the things that has always driven me mad, and I have never fully understood, is Notebook’s inability to pull objects from behind layers.  This is something that is so useful for differentiation and challenge and is something that ALL the other IWB software packages I’ve ever used have done for years.  It’s still not here 🙁  But there is hope that it might be. Perhaps one day it will be an ‘Add-on’?

Needless to say, I am very happy to see the arrival of the “Add Ons” Tab  This brand new tab will become a place for small apps to run, Apps which help you to create activities quickly which personalise learning meaningfully.  It is, in fact, VERY like Easiteach Next Generation’s Widget bar – at least in concept.  Currently, it contains just the one  ‘Add on’ – the Activity Builder.

How the Activity Builder Works:

The Activity Builder actually only lets you create one type of activity – this activity is almost identical to that which can be created in Activ Inspire using containers.  You can have one object on the page accept or reject other objects.  Allowing the students to get instant assessment feedback on their work.

The Activity Builder in SMART Notebook 11

The builder is relatively easy to use. It’s a case of selecting the object that you want to use as the ‘container’ for the right and wrong answers.  Then, you tell Notebook which ones that container should accept and which ones it should reject.  You do so by dragging the items into one of two boxes.  There are also settings which allow a wrong answer to be flung back from where it came from (Promethean call this – ‘return if not contained’) and to have the objects fade out when they are correctly placed in the container.  I like that effect, it makes it look the objects are going into the container.

If you choose to attach a sound to an object you can also have the object play its sound when it is either rejected or accepted.

 

We can record sounds inside the software!

This has been another thing that’s been missing for a while.  When I run courses where the participants are using a range of software I have to send the SMARTies to Audacity before they can add sounds to objects.  Promethean and Easiteach have had inbuilt audio recording facilities for a little while.  This is another welcome addition 🙂  Thanks SMART team.

LOTE / NAP / ESL / Primary school teachers… you’ll love how easy it is to record and attach a sound to an object

Record and Attach a Sound to an Object - SMART NOTEBOOK 11

Record and Attach a Sound to an Object

Place the object you would like to have made the sound on the page.  Right click on it and choose ‘sound’.  From here you can now record a sound straight onto the object.  If you’re on a laptop that should work straight away – otherwise you may have to plug-in a mic.  Either way you’ll find it as easy as hitting “start recording” and “Stop” you can choose (as usual) to have the sound play when you click the object or when you click the corner of the object.

 

The addition of the Browser

 This little trend was started by Easiteach Next Generation.  It’s fantastic to have a browser on the page, within your notebook file. It allows you to connect with what ever web 2.0 wonders your students might be undertaking on their 1:1 laptops or their iPads and can help you to avoid nasty copyright problems. If you’re displaying a video, from another site, inside your file then you don’ t have to download it, you’re not breaching copyright as it remains on the server where it was posted by its original publisher.

They’ve also made it really easy for you to drag images from the website you have in your browser to the page of your Notebook file.  Just left click, hold and drag the image straight from the site and onto your page. That’s great… but be careful that the person who placed that image on-line wants you to make copies. Don’t go breaking copyright there instead!

In addition to these changes the following additions have also been made:

  • You can now reset your page to the last saved version. From the Pages tab simply right-click the page and choose Reset –  A great trick when you’re working in a carousel in your classroom – and something that’s been a long time coming to Notebook!
  • The text options will now appear in the properties part of the tool bar when you type rather than above the text box itself.
  • The addition of a crayon texture in the pens tool
  • You can now choose your own image to make a pen out of (Very Starboard esq.)
  • You can also customise your ink so that when you write it fades away (Also very Starboard!)
  • The Fill tool’s a bit cleverer now. It can be used to fill irregular, hand drawn shapes.  Just makes sure the lines are all enclosed 😉
  • If you have one of the newer, gesture controlled boards you can now shake to group.  I like this a lot.  It means that you don’t have to right-click to access menus any more. You simply select the two objects you’d like to group and give them a shake – they’ll join together straight away.
  • There’s the option to try the Notebook Gallery 2.0 beta.  This gallery gives you access to both on-line and locally stored content.
Here’s SMART Board’s Official Video Introducing Notebook 11.  I have to say, I makes me sad how excited they got over a crayon pen… I’d like to hear the pedagogical justification for developing a crayon textured pen…. I really would!

Comments

  • me
    Reply

    We found a fairly big drwaback to notebook 11 today. One of our elementary teachers noticed that the ink layer found in version 10.8 has been replaced by the ink aware in the new version. This is great for most things but does not work with most non-smart document camera d software.This would be a major problem in our district if we cant find a work around as we dont use Smart doc cams and cant afford to replace them all. Our teachers, especially at the elementary level use their doc cams a LOT.

    • Casey Rimmer

      We too are having the same issue.  The drawing tools in the document camera’s toolkit are not nearly as good as the ones in smart Ink and teachers liked the ink ‘layer’ from before much better…. anyone have any suggestions for making this work?  I guess full screen capture into notebook from the doc camera software is our best bet for now…. 

      • Selena Woodward

        That’s what I’d do.  That way you have a record of your students’ learning inside the Notebook file too.  My students love using the document camera to get their work up on the ‘big screen’ then they get to present how they feel their work meets the lessons’ objectives and get help and support from their peers.  Is that the kind of thing you’re doing too? 

  • me
    Reply

    We found a fairly big drwaback to notebook 11 today. One of our elementary teachers noticed that the ink layer found in version 10.8 has been replaced by the ink aware in the new version. This is great for most things but does not work with most non-smart document camera d software.This would be a major problem in our district if we cant find a work around as we dont use Smart doc cams and cant afford to replace them all. Our teachers, especially at the elementary level use their doc cams a LOT.

    • Casey Rimmer

      We too are having the same issue.  The drawing tools in the document camera’s toolkit are not nearly as good as the ones in smart Ink and teachers liked the ink ‘layer’ from before much better…. anyone have any suggestions for making this work?  I guess full screen capture into notebook from the doc camera software is our best bet for now…. 

      • Selena Woodward

        That’s what I’d do.  That way you have a record of your students’ learning inside the Notebook file too.  My students love using the document camera to get their work up on the ‘big screen’ then they get to present how they feel their work meets the lessons’ objectives and get help and support from their peers.  Is that the kind of thing you’re doing too? 

  • guest
    Reply

    Where can I download just the smartboard 11 tutorial file like of the images shown above (not the actual new software, already have that) .

    • Selena Woodward

      Hi, All you have to do is run Notebook 11 and head to the “Help” menu.  From there, select “tutorial” and the file you’re after will pop up 🙂  

  • guest
    Reply

    Where can I download just the smartboard 11 tutorial file like of the images shown above (not the actual new software, already have that) .

    • Selena Woodward

      Hi, All you have to do is run Notebook 11 and head to the “Help” menu.  From there, select “tutorial” and the file you’re after will pop up 🙂  

  • Scott
    Reply

    I am having many issues with SMART Notebook 11. It lags and opens slowly. When in the Smartboard lessons, the speed is still poor. I attribute this to the old laptop I am using. Is there a way to downgrade back to version 10 from 11? I think this will help my computer and SMART software to run smoother.

    Any ideas?

    -Scott

  • Selena Woodward
    Reply

    Hi Scott,
    You can stll download 10.8 from the SMARTTECH website 🙂 http://smarttech.com/us/Support/Browse+Support/Download+Software

  • Mr. M
    Reply

    I am currently having issues with hyperlinks. everytime I try to click on one it freezes notebook 11. I thought it might be a bad hyperlink so I created my own. Still the same issue. Is there anything that I can do to solve this issue?

    • Selena Woodward

      Hi Mr M 🙂 Are these links you’re adding to objects yourself? Or links in files created in an earlier version? I’ve not experienced this problem myself but if I can help I will.

  • Mr. M
    Reply

    I am currently having issues with hyperlinks. everytime I try to click on one it freezes notebook 11. I thought it might be a bad hyperlink so I created my own. Still the same issue. Is there anything that I can do to solve this issue?

    • Selena Woodward

      Hi Mr M 🙂 Are these links you’re adding to objects yourself? Or links in files created in an earlier version? I’ve not experienced this problem myself but if I can help I will.

  • JL Gassert
    Reply

    With the update, I can no longer use ink layer to write over Keynote presentations. This renders the presentations (that I have spent years perfecting) useless. Why has the ability to use ink layer with keynote disappeared?

  • JL Gassert
    Reply

    With the update, I can no longer use ink layer to write over Keynote presentations. This renders the presentations (that I have spent years perfecting) useless. Why has the ability to use ink layer with keynote disappeared?

  • Eugene Radetsky
    Reply

    I’m also having a lot of issues with Notebook 11. While there are a lot of exciting new features in Notebook 11, I find there are still a few drawbacks (which never existed in Notebook 10).

    First, it opens and works unbearably slowly. I’ve tried it on quite a few laptops (working on Windows XP, Windows 7), so it’s not the issue of just a laptop speed, but the Notebook 11 software, in my opinion.

    Second, with Notebook 11 to pause the sound embedded in a locked image I need to click first elsewhere on the page and only then again on the image. So every time I need to pause a recording I have to click two times, which is so annoying (in the previous version one click on the image was enough). And again it takes a while for the sound to start playing!

    Third, the full screen mode is so inconvenient. Now you have to make a few clicks to make the page fit the screen (I don’t consider scrolling the page every time a good option). In Notebook 10 you had to click just once to get the page in full screen and it automatically made the page fit the whole screen, no unnecessary clicks needed.

    And one more issue, which keeps dragging from one version of Notebook to another without any improvement – Word generator. Why is it that it’s impossible to change the size of Word generator? With what we get now it’s very difficult to see the words that pop out in such a small Word generator window. Actually, in an older version of Notebook (5 or 6, I can’t remember now) you could easily enlarge it or make it smaller by clicking on the right-hand corner of the Word generator window. Then this option disappeared. Now you can change the size only if you are superfast as the option is active but just for a second when you place Word generator on a page. And then you can’t do anything about it apart from moving it on the page. Or is it possible somehow, perhaps? Am I just not aware of a knack or something?

  • Eugene Radetsky
    Reply

    I’m also having a lot of issues with Notebook 11. While there are a lot of exciting new features in Notebook 11, I find there are still a few drawbacks (which never existed in Notebook 10).

    First, it opens and works unbearably slowly. I’ve tried it on quite a few laptops (working on Windows XP, Windows 7), so it’s not the issue of just a laptop speed, but the Notebook 11 software, in my opinion.

    Second, with Notebook 11 to pause the sound embedded in a locked image I need to click first elsewhere on the page and only then again on the image. So every time I need to pause a recording I have to click two times, which is so annoying (in the previous version one click on the image was enough). And again it takes a while for the sound to start playing!

    Third, the full screen mode is so inconvenient. Now you have to make a few clicks to make the page fit the screen (I don’t consider scrolling the page every time a good option). In Notebook 10 you had to click just once to get the page in full screen and it automatically made the page fit the whole screen, no unnecessary clicks needed.

    And one more issue, which keeps dragging from one version of Notebook to another without any improvement – Word generator. Why is it that it’s impossible to change the size of Word generator? With what we get now it’s very difficult to see the words that pop out in such a small Word generator window. Actually, in an older version of Notebook (5 or 6, I can’t remember now) you could easily enlarge it or make it smaller by clicking on the right-hand corner of the Word generator window. Then this option disappeared. Now you can change the size only if you are superfast as the option is active but just for a second when you place Word generator on a page. And then you can’t do anything about it apart from moving it on the page. Or is it possible somehow, perhaps? Am I just not aware of a knack or something?