SMART Tips and Tricks

August 15

There is a brand new version of Smart Software rolling out and there are about 30 new features as well as an updated look and feel. Please check out the Learning about Technology section in a week or so to see when Updater classes are going to be held. Also listed there:
  • Full blown SmartBoard Camps for folks who really need to learn the software as well as
  • Senteo trainings for those who need to learn how to use their student response systems.

One of our favorite new features of version 10 is the ability to group your notebooks into subsections for quick accessibility to the exact screens you need to get to. IF you haven't been to an updater class, you need to go and catch all the new things.

May 16, 2008

Join Us for a 2- to 3-Day Summer SMART Board Training!

May 27-29—SMART Board Camp #1—8AM – 12:20PM at H. T. Edwards; 1 PLU -- More Information
May 27-28—SMART Board Updater—8AM – 1:30PM at Cedar Shoals HS; 1 PLU -- More Information
June 2-4—SMART Board Camp #2—8AM – 12:20PM at H. T. Edwards; 1 PLU -- More Information

To enroll, click here:

The National Teacher of the Year is a SMART Board user!

Here is a news item from the SMART website:
SMART teacher named National Teacher of the Year
Oregon teacher receives national honor for integrated teaching style
CALGARY, Alberta – May 9, 2008 – SMART Technologies announces that Michael Giesen, a SMART product user, has been named National Teacher of the Year by the Council of Chief State School Officers and was recognized by President George W. Bush during a ceremony at the White House on April 30, 2008.
Read the entire article at Us/News Room/Media Releases/default.htm?guid={6A2AB3ED-1A90-4F03-9D8F-F22A6BDC7E9E}

Science fun
Here is a fun activity called All Systems Go, a learning game that requires students to drag body parts to the correct location in the body. It’s like the Flash movie in the SMART notebook Gallery, though students will love the Arnold Schwarzenegger voice as an alternative.

--Steve Piazza

May 9, 2008
SMARTBoard Lesson Podcast
by Joel Frey

One of the best technologies that has come along in the last few years is podcasting. If you're not familiar with it, podcasting is basically the Internet version of amateur radio. Anyone with Internet access and a microphone can record their thoughts on a topic that is near and dear to them. Then, through the magic of the Internet, it show up on computers around the world. Ok, it's not that simple, but listening to a podcast is.

The link below is to a popular SMARTBoard podcast from Canada. They are on Episode 124 and each show is very entertaining. So, check out the podcast below. If you like it, sign up for their e-mail reminder. You'll get a reminder whenever the episodes are updated. If you learn something, share it with someone at your school. As they say on the show, "Digital ink leaves a mark in the mind. Go leave your mark!"

external image logoSMbj.gif

May 2, 2008
Google Lit Trips: Combining Geography, Research, SMART Boards and Reading
Google Lit Trip Home Page

As reading, language arts or English teachers we’ve often longed to take our students to new and exotic lands to thrill them and teach them more effectively. With the stories and novels we read in class, we travel to many places through our imaginations. Using Google’s free program, Google Earth, and a SMART Board, a teacher can now get a bit closer to the real thing by taking their kids on “Google Lit Trips.”

“Google Lit Trips” are the brainchild of Jerome Burg, a former high school teacher who saw the wonders of Google Earth and wondered if students might benefit from working their way through books by plotting out places on the globe that are visited by characters. His start with “Lit Tripping” started when he tried it out with a book he had taught for many years: Candide. He discovered so many things by plotting out places the character visited, he felt he had learned more than he ever had about his favorite book. In Burg’s view a Lit Trip is a “full blown 3-dimensionalizing of a character’s journey.”1

Though one can utilize Lit Trips in many ways, perhaps the easiest way is to view one or show one that was made by another teacher or a group of students. Teachers around the world are building them themselves or making Lit Trip projects for whole classes of students. As projects, small groups are given a specific character’s location along a journey (or a book chapter) and the assignment to research that location for the Lit Trip. The students locate the place on Google Earth, search for history, current information, provide a brief connection between the character and the place, copy pictures, and write up extension questions. They give these to the teacher to load to the Lit Trip. Once each group has completed its task and the teacher compiles the information, the class has a full-blown Lit Trip of a story or novel. The entire class can then take the virtual journey along with the fictional or non-fiction character and learn as they go.

To see for yourself, take a look at several of these links:
Google Lit Trip home page:
Download free program, Google Earth: Google Earth (NOTE: You must have this program installed to view Google Lit Trips.)
Tutorial on how to use Google Lit Trips:

“I used to hand out dittoes or xerox copies of maps and ask the kids to mark the locations as we went through, but because we can tilt and zoom and have some 3-D animation going on [in Lit Trips] it’s more like being in the map rather than looking at the map. … I want to put the kids in the middle of the story, not at the periphery at their desks looking at me teaching them…. Putting kids inside the story is my goal.” ~Jerome Burg

1 Interview with Jerome Burg by Steve Hargadon, first posted on The Infinite Thinking Machine, on 3/12/07. Web reference obtained May 2, 2008 from

~Richard Shoemaker, Integration Support Services

April 25, 2008
SMART Notebook Version 10

Earlier this year, we mentioned that SMART had a new version coming out. We do not recommend that you download this version at this time. We field tested it, and it's still full of bugs. For example, Senteo doesn't work with Version 10. Watch this space--we'll let you know when it's safe to get the newest version of SMART.

On a related note, we still have a few spaces left in our introduction to SMART Notebook. SMART Camp runs May 27-29, from 8:00-12:20. Sign up in My Learning Plan today!

We also have limited space left in our SMART Board Updater class, where we plan to roll out Version 10. This class runs May 27-28, from 8:00-1:30. Space is limited, so sign up in My Learning Plan today!

April 16, 2008 - By: Chad DeWolf { Special thanks to Steve Piazza } - Just like - but compatible with our SMART Notebook Software.

Placing a video file into the notebook software is not the easiest thing to do. Perhaps on would have to place the video file in the attachments tab, or add a link to a video on the internet. What if the internet is down when you needed it to complete a lesson? What if you are not comfortable using the attachment tab in the notebook software? No need to worry, is here!

Step 1: In the internet browser (IE) just type in this URL - . The webpage will load.


Step 2: In the search box, type in what you are looking for. For this example, I will type "Education".

Step 3: Find a video you are looking for, and simply left click on the video. I am choosing the picture of the earth "Education Today and Tomorrow".

You will notice that this is a YouTube video. All videos from search and play videos. The user can just download them here!

Step 4: Now all you have to do is click on the "Download Video" link and then choose the save as .flv. Simply save the file to your desktop. Do NOT Open it. Save it! The video will then download to your desktop.

Step 5: The video will be named "get_video". You should rename the video so that you know what it actually is! I will rename this video "Education Today and Tomorrow". The most important thing to remember/do is to add the extension ".flv" to the end of the file. This makes the computer recognize the file as a flash file and will then allow the video to play in any flash video player. The SMART Notebook allows this as well.

Step 5: Open a new Notebook file. Drag your downloaded video file into the Notebook file.


Your video is ready to play in the SMART Notebook program! This is an excellent way to show video and make the video, literally, a part of the notbook lesson. It's that simple!

April 3, 2008

Extracting Flash animation from webpages and putting them in Notebook

There are a lot of great (and not-so-great) animated Flash games and activities made on the Internet that your students can play. Did you know you can take Flash activities you find on websites and put them in your SMART Notebook files? The SoThink SWF Catcher plugin for the Mozilla Firefox web browser allows you to easily strip and download Flash animations from webpages to your computer. From your computer, they can be imported into SMART Notebook. By doing this, you can integrate these animations directly into your Notebook lesson without having to open up a web browser or navigate away from your lesson. Here are the tools you need to do this:

1. The Mozilla Firefox browser. Go to to download this nice alternative to Internet Explorer.
2. The SoThink SWF Catcher plugin for Firefox. You can download the plugin at
3. A website that has Flash animations on it. Below are three sample sites with Flash animations that can be extracted and downloaded:

Note: Please cite the source of any Flash animation you use in class by copying the web address of the animation and pasting it in your Notebook file.

To see the SWF catcher in action, see the video below (available 4/5/08).


March 28, 2008
Doing it Right
One of the most rewarding experiences for me is when I am out on the internet scouting for lesson ideas, and I hit on a run. By this I mean that serendipitous series of clicks that keep opening windows of useful resources, that lead to still more useful resources. Let me share one with you. Recently, while I was out searching for videos on math, I decided to visit Teacher Tube . (If you don’t know this site, it’s a good resource for videos on teaching and is worth a look.) Here I keyed in a general search for math, and luckily stumbled upon a series of Professional Learning videos by two teachers from Naperville, Illinois. These two teachers have produced a number of short, quality videos that nicely, and quite humorously, integrate math concepts (grades 6-12) with SMART Board activities, while at the same time reinforce SMART Board features. Click here for an example: .

From here, I learned that they have taken their videos and turned them into video podcasts, and was directed to their site:

The site is nicely laid out, showing all of the episodes; but, as you might expect in an article on a searcher's luck, I found more. They have made it easy to subscribe to their weekly Teacher Tube videos with a link on their site. In case you can’t wait, though, this is the link to subscribe:

But it keeps getting better. They also have a link so that you can subscribe to their podcast via ITunes. This means that you will be able to download their video podcasts (both as new ones are released as well as the past episodes that you may have missed), and then synch with your iPod and get Professional Learning on the go.

Of course, if you don’t have iTunes, you can get it here . Of course, of course, if you don’t have an iPod, you can still just watch the videos from iTunes if you like.

And as with any truly fortunate search, it can lead to further searches. You’ll also see their iTunes page even has more podcasts to offer in the subject area over on the right, but I’ll leave those to you to view on your own.

I’d like to close by saying that the Naperville teachers have really done a great job making it easy for teachers to use their videos. In fact, they even offer a video that shows you how you can have your students create their own video podcasts in class. All this is to say, that this just goes to show you how somebody’s deliberate and thorough work can lead to another’s plain good luck.

--Steve Piazza

SMART Notebook Version 10 Countdown
If you hadn't heard yet, a new version of SMART Notebook is going to be released in the new couple of months. This newest version of SMART software will have even more teacher-requested changes and additions. The SMART Exchange website has several videos to give you a little peek into some of the features previously mentioned in the SMART Technologies newsletter. Once it's released, we will make an email announcement via our CCSD newsletter. So, keep an eye out for more teasers in the next few weeks. Your summer vacation won't be the same without it!

View sample video from the SMART Exchange website
SMART Has Launched a YouTube Channel

And they would like to invite you to submit your videos to the collection. A single destination for SMART-related videos created by teachers and SMART staff, this channel gives you access to a multitude of resources, from tips and tricks to real classroom stories. To view the videos, visit


Meet SMART Board’s Sibling: Sympodium

While most teachers in the District have received training in SMART Boards, few have had experience with a similar SMART product: the Sympodium. The Sympodium is a screen that allows one to “write over any presentation in digital ink, highlight concepts and take notes,” SMART Tech, the creator of the product, says. The images or text produced on the Sympodium will be projected simultaneously onto a large screen through a LCD projector. Tech Services has placed this technology in larger areas where a SMART Board would be inadequate or inappropriate. Sympodiums, therefore, may be found in school auditoriums, media centers, gyms and computer labs.
Though the screen is touch-sensitive, the user employs a pen attached to the side or top of the Sympodium, rather than one’s finger as in SMART Board use.

If you are comfortable with a SMART Board, learning the Sympodium takes little additional time. On the website below, you’ll find a compact tutorial that will help you get started using the Sympodium. Give it a try the next time you’re in a computer lab or doing a presentation to students, faculty, or parents in the media center.

Tutorial: Using the Sympodium Interactive Pen Display

~Richard Shoemaker, Instructional Technology Support Services

Using the Smart Board as a Learning Center (K-3)

Article Submitted by Chad J. DeWolf on 02/20/08

For the professional development day this last Monday, the 18th of February, Joel Frey and I presented on how to use the Smart Board as a learning center. The Smart Board, as you know, should be "the" centerpiece of your room. Using it daily through instruction, educational Montage video's, or whatever the standard may bring in your direction, the smart board is a part of your teaching. Still, the idea of using the Smart Board as a learning center will allow the students who do not typically have a lot of "hands on time", well, some "hands on time". As the students rotate through their centers, the Smart Board now becomes the coolest place to be!

Our presentation was geared towards the K-3 teacher, yet still, the center stations can be manipulated into whatever grade level you work with. Please feel free to download the file to your computer to see what is possible. The file is located here and is only accessible when connected to the network:

J:\Administrative Offices\Technology Services\Smart Board Centers

Open it up and get a glimpse as to what is possible when it comes to using your Smart Board as a Learning Center!

February 7, 2008
Stellarium: The Universe on your SMART Board
My shopping trip to the SourceForge Website has once again paid off. While chekcing out the recent additions to this free open-sourvce software site, I came across a wonderful program called "Stellarium". Stellarium is, in a nutshell, a virtual planetarium where students can take virtual trips through space and visit planents, starts, and other celestial bodies. Why read about visiting space when students can simulate exploring it? Some of the key features of the software include:
  • The ability to change perspective and view space from different planets
  • The ability to smoothly look around
  • The ability to smoothly zoom in on celestial bodies (planets, starts, nebulae, galaxies)
  • The ability to speed up time to see the movement of celestial bodies across the sky.
  • The ability to set up automatic "tours" of celestial bodies using a scripting feature.
  • Easier to use than Google Sky.

You can donwnload the software from the following address:

February 1, 2008
SMART Voices and Faces

I always feel fortunate to be part of new initiatives that are both exciting and invigorating, and serving as facilitator of SMART Board trainings has been just that. The six 20–hour sessions I just completed at Whitehead Road Elementary School are no exception.

I really have to credit teachers and paraprofessionals who give up valuable time, which they have so little of to begin with, to attend weekly sessions to take on new skills. I also have to give credit when the new skills are embraced and welcomed with enthusiasm. I have taught a number of SMART Board classes up to now and it’s very rewarding to me to see teachers take something that I share with them, and develop it in ways that are inspiring. Each class I facilitate teaches me new things.

But after I finished teaching the Whitehead sessions, where I enjoyed witnessing much of the same creativity and ingenuity in lesson development as I have elsewhere, I could see by the work they produced what they could do, but as usual I didn’t know what participants really felt about the SMART tools after the sessions were completed. During the weekly sessions, I saw them do wonderful things with the Gallery or the Senteo handheld systems, but I wondered what else they may have walked away with that their work didn’t show me.

So I asked them.

What follows is a number of responses I received to this request I sent via e-mail: Would you please take a moment and send me a quick statement (no more than three sentences) on what you found to be the most useful/and or exciting thing you picked up during the course. Please include how you used it during one of your classes, or how you plan on using it.

I received some very good responses, and I feel they’re worth sharing*:

Lee Ann Callebs (Teacher, First Grade): I don’t think I could possibly narrow down what was useful to just 3 sentences. Every time we met I learned so much. The smartboard has changed the way I teach. I use it everyday, all day. It makes learning hands-on, fun, and interactive. My students love it and so do I. I will never be able to teach without it again. I hated giving up planning every Monday but it was so worth it. It has changed my life and made me a better teacher. Thanks Again!

Dee Elliot (Teacher, First Grade): SMART [training] forced me out of my comfort zone.

Kimberly Fisher (Paraprofessional, First Grade):
I think the best thing I learned about the Smart board class is how it's going to change the future of classroom teaching. The interactions between the teacher and students are greater and more on their level. It gets the kids involved and interested in learning something that could be totally boring, but now it brings it to life in a whole new way.

Eileen Summerville (Teacher, Second Grade): I love the linking to the Internet. I could link Internet tutorials and learning games to the Smartboard and pull these up to reinforce the lesson for the week. This was good to use for centers. The kids stayed engaged and find these learning sites really fun to do. So they are learning at a rapid rate while they are having fun. Can’t get better than that.
Also, teaching vocabulary can be a mundane and daunting task. By utilizing the Gallery for shapes and then applying color to them I was able to create some exciting visuals. Not only that, but I was able to save these visuals as templates in the Gallery so that I would not have to keep creating them over and over. Then I could just pull them up every week when creating a new lesson plan and fill in the new vocabulary words.

Dianne Elam (Teacher, Third Grade): There were so many useful and exciting things that I learned from the training. The one thing that I have found the most useful is the United Streaming. These videos fit in so well with the reading and science curriculum. It is a great learning tool for the students. They can see things actually happening. They get so excited when they see a volcano erupting, thee winds of a hurricane, etc. Such a great program. Thanks.

Jennifer Cannon (Teacher, Third Grade): Because of the Smart Board training that I received we now use the Smart Board daily in my class. In my opinion, learning how to integrate lesson plans and generate quizzes and tests were the most helpful components of this class. Wonderful experience!

Kyle Kirk/Elizabeth McKenzie (Teachers, Fifth Grade): 1.We loved learning about Senteo and being able to use it in our room. 2. We liked learning how to link videos and sounds to our Smart Board pages.

Barbara Taylor (Teacher, Fifth Grade): I am now comfortable using the Smart Board, this is small, but the freeze and the A/V mute buttons. I love being able to download images from the internet and incorporating the images into my lessons.

But that wasn’t it. I was on a roll now and just had to capture some of that enthusiasm in images as well. I heard from some teachers who emphasized their excitement using the SENTEO systems; so, I went to their classes, took some pictures, and thought I’d share that enthusiasm:

From Jennifer Cannon’s Third Grade Class:

1.jpg Mrs. Cannon introduces the remotes (aka clickers).

Mrs. Cannon facilitates the quiz she created.

4.jpg 5.jpg
Students enter their responses using the clickers. This student really thinks about his choices.

From Kyle Kirk’s and Elizabeth McKenzie’s Fifth Grade Class:

Ms. McKenzie facilitates a quiz, while a friend looks on.10.jpg


5th Grade students are seriously engaged.

Mr. Kirk keeps things lively.7.jpg

True, I am very fortunate to participate in initiatives such as this. But, I’m also reminded of the real point here: how fortunate students are to be surrounded by educators who are committed to them and their learning. As Eileen Summerville says, “Can’t get better than that.”
--Submitted by Steve Piazza

January 25, 2008
SMART Learning MarketPlace
With a subscription to the Learning Marketplace, teachers can access digital resources from some of the world’s leading content providers and education publishers. It’s a simple and convenient way to find copyright-cleared content that’s relevant for every subject and grade level.

To learn more, visit:

It is important for teachers to know about resources like these. If your school needs a solution for providing more and better content for use with instruction, sign-up for the 30-day free trial at the site above. With our growing collection of instructional resources, we can continue to set high goals for our students.

January 24, 2008
Last SMART Board Mastery class of year will be offered in February-March
For those of you wanting to learn all there is about SMART Boards before the school year ends, take note: Only one more class will be offered this school year.

Technology Integration Support Services will offer a 20-hour SMART Board Mastery Course beginning Feb. 11 at H.T. Edwards. In this 20-hour course teachers, administrators, counselors and parapros will learn to make the SMART Board an exciting tool for engaging their students in the classroom or their colleagues at meetings. This class will provide participants with many opportunities to become comfortable with the board and hone their skills in a relaxed, supportive environment.
Dates: February 11, 12, 19, 25, 26; March 3, 4, & 18.
Times: 4:15 PM – 6:45 PM
Location: Room 219, H.T. Edwards Teaching & Learning Center, 440 Dearing Extension.
Hours/Credits: 20 for 2 PLUs
Teachers: James Griffin and Richard Shoemaker

Don’t miss this opportunity to master a dynamic teaching and presentation tool before the school year ends!
To register, log in to My Learning Plan.

January 10, 2008
Would you like a SMART Board Users Group to be formed in the District?

We’d like your feedback!

For those of you who enjoy keeping up with “all things SMART Board,” would you like Technology Integration Support Services (TISS) to create a SMART Board Users group to communicate SMART Board news and issues to you in a weekly e-mail?

Our thoughts are that we may benefit from a CCSD global e-mail distribution list similar to the For Your Information group. Instead of sharing information on used furniture for sale, found puppies, and church BBQs, however, the SBU group could e-mail locally-written articles and class lessons created for the SMART Board directly to you. The SBU distribution list could allow interested SMART Board users to receive weekly e-mail messages about non-critical SMART Board matters while not bothering others with potentially unwanted e-mails. In addition, any member of the SBU could send in an article, lesson, or technical tidbit to be e-mailed in the weekly communication. Because it would be set up like For Your Information, CCSD personnel could join anytime and opt out at any time.

If you think it’s a good or bad idea, please drop one of us on the team an e-mail and let us hear your thoughts. TISS members are Dr. Ginger Jewell (jewellg), Beth Crawford (crawfordb), Chad DeWolf (dewolfc), Joel Frey (freyj), James Griffin (griffinja), Steve Piazza (piazzas), Richard Shoemaker (shoemakerr), and Kevin Smith (smithke). We’ll post the results in next week’s technology newsletter.
~Richard Shoemaker, TISS

December 20, 2007
- by Beth Crawford, Technology Integration Specialist

Recently, administrators throughout the district were given a great opportunity—training on technology that allows them to get anonymous feedback at faculty meetings. James Griffin and Richard Shoemaker introduced them to the world of Senteo.


Richard Shoemaker shows Ellen Sabatini, Barrow’s Assistant Principal, some techniques with Senteo

Tad MacMillan, Barrow’s principal, had this to say about Senteo, “I can’t wait to use it. We talk so much about informal assessment. Now we have a way to model it.”


Senteo remotes, or 'clickers', are used to submit answers to quizes or surveys

Senteo works with your SMART Board to record formal or informal assessments. Administrators can use it to anonymously survey their staff at faculty meetings. An administrator could also get grade level or subject level specific feedback, depending on how the survey was created.

Senteo can also be used in the classroom, to quiz students. Senteo grades the quiz and gives charts with student responses. Here is a sample quiz, using an SAT practice question:


Quizzes or surveys can be delivered and scored with Senteo

More administrator classes as well as additional teacher trainings in Senteo will be forthcoming in the new year. On our Professional Learning Day, February 18, Senteo is a possible choice.

December 14, 2007

Recently, I received a message from Library Media Specialist (LMS) Anne McLeod of Burney Harris Lyons Middle School (BHL). She reported to me that a student (from someplace else besides BHL) took control of a BHL teacher’s SMART Board using the SMART LINQ sharing feature. The teacher was quite concerned and alerted an administrator, who in turn requested that Anne have a look. She went to the teacher’s room and noticed that it was “fortunately nothing obscene but just little poltergeist stuff – “Hello, are you going to the mall?” etc.” She tried to get control of the mouse, and soon “played dueling mice for a couple of minutes till I got over to the Start menu to look at the user name.” She was able to determine that it was a student at Cedar Shoals High School (CSHS), clear across the district. She then contacted Dana McDougal, CSHS LMS, who employed the skills of fellow staff members to perform some swift detective work using Infinite Campus. It was soon disclosed that the student was presently in a computer class, and before the end of that class period, the student was sitting in the Assistant Principal’s Office.

A story like this is certainly worth sharing on its own merit; but, as it is not our business to determine here whether this act was intentional or not (that we leave up to due process), it is our business to provide ongoing technology integration support. Thus, here is our SMART tip of the week:

To avoid a random intrusion to your SMART Board via LinQ, you’ll want to make sure that your SMART board settings prevent anybody from taking control of the screen without your permission. To do this, please follow these steps:

1) Get to the SMART Control Panel however you’d like. The conventional way is to Click Start, All Programs, SMART Board Software, and Control Panel.

2) When the Control Panel is open, Click Mobile and Wireless Device Settings.

3) Click in the box next to Start the Mobile Device Manager. Then, Click in the box next to Prompt before viewing a shared desktop using LinQ.
4. Click once more in the box next to Start the Mobile Device Manager, unless you’re going to use LinQ. Click OK. Exit the Control Panel.
--Submitted by Steve Piazza

December 7, 2007
Sometimes the SMART Board might be considered the hub of activities in a classroom. In Mr. Jesse Thompson’s classroom, it certainly is that; however, a better way to describe it might be that it’s a portal.

Mr. Thompson, who has been teaching at Burney Harris Lyons Middle School for almost six years, serves as the Gifted Lead Teacher/Gifted Coordinator where he collaborates with teachers in Advanced Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. As you might expect, Mr. Thompson has to develop ways in which he can meet the many needs of students and colleagues, requiring him to be in many places at once. Aside from his seemingly tireless commitment to make himself available to others, Mr. Thompson has implemented ways in which his availability transcends the 8:40-3:40 school day.

Mr. Thompson has become known for using online resources like wikis to interact with his students virtually anytime. “No longer do students have to wait until Monday to ask me or their peers a question, or if a student forgets to bring work to class it can be easily posted online that evening (instead of waiting till the next day).” Mr. Thompson has used a wiki he developed, , so that his students are able to collaborate with other students, interact with him, and/or post work: virtually at any time and from anywhere. Whether students are in school or at home, they are able to create and contribute whenever they are ready.

Mr. Thompson says it’s not unusual for him to get comments from students late at night. “Once in awhile we give out an informal ‘Latest Posting Award.’” And the fact that they see that he is also contributing that late make them realize the substance behind what it means to be a learning community, since teachers, too, work after school.

So where does the SMART Board become a portal? Every day, whenever he sees students in his classroom, whether it’s during class or during what he calls “the working lunch,” the SMART Board can become the focal point of all the activities that have been taking place during, and after school. Students go up to the SMART Board and discuss their contributions to the wiki or present ideas for future contributions, while encouraging immediate responses and/or follow up responses later on. Even during presentations, students at laptops are able to edit and make corrections in real time, something that, since it’s invited, increases a student’s ability to handle constructive criticism publicly.

Mr. Thompson has certainly integrated two very effective, relevant technologies with his teaching, which allows him the opportunity to do what seems to come natural to him: provide qualitative support to his students when needed.
Mr. Jesse Thompson
--Submitted by Steve Piazza

November 30, 2007
Making your SMART Board multi-lingual.
software offers language teachers an option to handwrite on the Board in a foreign language and convert to that language in print form with native accent marks. If this is a feature that peaks your interest, read on.

It works this way. Before class or as a permanent preference, you make a quick switch in your SMART Board control panel to the language you’re teaching (Spanish, German, French, etc.). In your classroom you want to quickly teach a word or phrase on the fly. You simply write out the word or phrase, put down your pen, tap the word, then tap the menu arrow on the selection box, and choose the correct form of four options shown to you.

With practice handwriting at the Board, most of the time one of the four options you see in your menu dropdown will be the right one. As most skill-based activities do, it will take some time to hone your handwriting skill to match the SMART Board software’s capabilities.

In the first illustration below you’ll see the SMART Board control panel window and the settings button to choose. In the second illustration you’ll see how to bring up your desired language on your Board. Remember, in order to switch back to English, repeat the process: click on the SMART Board control panel and go through the SMART Board Software Language Settings. ~Richard Shoemaker, Technology Integration Support Services



November 16, 2007
Including media content in your SMART Notebook files
Most SMART Board users know that the purpose of SMART Boards is to have students learn by interacting with objects in SMART Notebook files. One way that teachers can use the interactive capabilities of the SMART Board is by linking objects in Notebook to content on the teacher’s computer or the Web so that when a student touches the object, this content is opened or played. Objects in SMART Notebook files can be linked to Websites, audio files, video files, Power Point presentations, documents-just about anything. Not only can linking objects to other files on the computer or to Websites make Notebook lessons more interesting, they can also be a way for students to complete self-paced research projects.
For example, consider the 7th grade social studies teacher working on the unit about Southeast Asia. Instead of simply having students read about the culture of China, Japan, and India, the teacher could design a SMART Notebook activity that includes objects linked to media content about the cultures. Click on the link below to see how this is done.

Kevin Smith


November 9, 2007
What is Your Comfort Level?
Depending on your background and training, you may have felt comfortable with your SMART Board once the little green light came on. For others, it could be taking awhile. In the end, I believe everyone will discover something that changes the way he/she thinks about the SMART Board as an instructional tool. For some, it may be realizing how many of your boys (as predominately visual learners) are paying more attention in class. For others, it might be the creative outlet that is produced by thinking about showing the students things you couldn't have before. Whatever the reason, we hope you keep your eyes open for those opportunities.

Each week in our SMART Teaching article, we share something new. This week, I’d like to share a video with you that is available on YouTube. It tells a short story about how a group of students with autism found a new way to communicate with their teachers and parents. It is a program called Google SketchUp. I don’t want you to focus on the use of the software as much as the visual communication skills the students use to demonstrate what they know.
~Joel Frey, Technology Integration Support Services

Cedar Teacher Uses "Novel" Approach With Her SMART Board
While I typically think of the SMART Board as a tool used by a teacher and students in a whole class environment, I saw an effective variation from that norm on Monday. On a visit to Beth Tatum’s 9th grade Communication Skills class at Cedar Shoals, I saw the SMART Board used as a learning center. No doubt, the use of centers is a very common practice in elementary schools, but high school teachers traditionally shy away from using this approach. Beth says an elementary school teacher actually gave her the idea. So for you high school teachers out there—and maybe some middle school teachers, as well--here’s a “different” approach to consider.

Beth’s class has just finished reading the YA novel, The Shadow Club by Neal Shusterman. She gave the entire class a writing assignment relating to the novel, then asked a group of 3 students to come to the SMART Board. At the Board she took a few moments to explain the center activity: to identify and discuss plot structure (exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, etc.) at work in The Shadow Club. In one SMART Notebook slide Beth had designed a literary terms matching activity. In another slide, she had an activity in which students applied literary devices to specific parts of the novel. In all, Beth had 4 slides. After explaining how to go about the center activity, she left the group to work through it. Student hands reached up to the Board to participate and discussion ensued: real participation, real discussion of the terms and the novel. The students appeared to enjoy themselves at the Board and to enjoy the small group discussion in that “center” environment. The rest of the class continued with their work, and Beth moved among the students encouraging them to work harder or to help them with questions. After one group completed the activity and she checked their work at the Board, she asked another group to join in. The same interest was present; the same participation and discussion ensued.

For a better look at Beth’s class activity for that day, see these photos: . To hear Beth speak on her experiences with the SMART Board, click on the speaker icon in the bottom left corner of the first slide you see. The audio is approximately 3 minutes long.

If you have a innovative method of using the SMART Board that facilitates effective instruction, please share it. You can submit the story to this wiki or write me to help with posting a story. I’ll be happy to write it up if you supply the details—and photos! Everyone loves pictures. ~Richard Shoemaker, Tech Services

Principals, Administrators and Staff Take First Leadership and Support Staff SMART Board Course
The first SMART Board course for District leadership personnel was offered Thursday, Oct. 18 with 13 participants attending. The purpose of the course was to instruct participants in how the SMART Board can be used in group presentations, faculty meetings, etc. Personnel attending this class were Sandra Bland, Tammy Groh, Shannon Herrington, Amy Arnold, Mike Blake, Angela Nowell, Arlyn Hawley, Dan Hunter, Tad McMillan, Tim Jarboe, Phyllis Chandler, Mary Garrison, and Ellen Sabatini. The next SMART Board course to be held for District leaders and support staff is Evaluating SMART Board Use in the Classroom (for Administrators). Two sessions will take place November 15 at H.T. Edwards. The focus will be on using the SMART Board in instruction and for evaluating teachers who use the SMART Board in their classrooms. Interested persons may enroll in My Learning Plan. James Griffin and Richard Shoemaker will be the instructors.

SMART Board Software Updates Coming in Two Weeks!
Tech Services is currently writing a script to push out three SMART Board software updates to all laptops in approximately two weeks. Once the script has been written, it will be tested for at least a week to make sure it will work without a hiccup. We will inform everyone before this download takes place. The three software applications you can expect to receive are Notebook 9.7x (with Essentials for Educators Gallery files), LinQ 1.2 for connecting student computers to the teacher's SMART Board, and Senteo software needed for the audience response systems that are being deployed school by school.

Upcoming SMART Board Classes (Dates, Times, Locations)
Tech Services is offering many SMART Board classes this fall. While the SMART Board courses were originally desiged for specific school faculties, they are now open to all in the district. You may take an entire course or attend specific dates to do a makeup class in a course for which you are already enrolled. To see detailed schedules for each course, click here: SMART Board Course Schedules. To enroll in a class, go to My Learning Plan, search the District Catalog for the course you want, and register.

SMART Board Lesson Activity Toolkit
Want more zing and pizzazz in your SMART Notebook activities? If you do, take a look at a new software component called Lesson Activity Toolkit.

The Toolkit-- a pilot version--is easily downloadable, so you can try it out immediately and begin enjoying its advantages. What makes the Lesson Activity Toolkit patently different from the regular menu tools in Notebook Gallery is that many are made with customizable Adobe Flash® software. This unique feature allows you to easily provide built-in animation and instant answer checking within your lessons. Here’s how it works: Teachers choose an activity or tool from the Lesson Activity Toolkit, add pertinent content, then activate the activity with a click of the mouse or touch of a finger. It’s really that simple. For teachers, the Toolkit provides easy-to-learn-and-use, stress-free templates and more. For students, this Toolkit provides a presentation environment more attuned to young minds.

Let’s take a look at what’s in this Lesson Activity Toolkit:

Activities: It has five different categories of activities: category sort, key word matching, multiple choice, text reveal, and word guess.

Graphics: Toolkit provides additional icons (like buttons) that can be linked to other various locations within a presentation or to the web. It also provides images like title bars and pull tabs that add sophistication to slides.

Pages: Instead of having to create your own colorful backgrounds for slides, Toolkit adds choices for title pages and lesson pages with title bars similar to PowerPoint’s customizable textboxes.

Tools: Toolkit provides dozens of different tools. Here are three suggestions for using these tools: 1) question flippers (switches between question and answer); 2) word generator (reveals key words one at a time by pressing the image); 3) click and reveal (reveals text or an image behind a colorful tool, like a circle or star).

Here’s a helpful document that more fully describes the Toolkit: Quick Reference Guide to Lesson Activity Toolkit.

Finally, here’s where you can get the Lesson Activity Toolkit from SMART Tech for yourself: Click to Download Lesson Activity Toolkit.

Important: Once installed, Lesson Activity Toolkit appears within Notebook software in the Gallery, not as a separate application in your list of programs.

Lesson Activity Toolkit

Have fun!

~Richard Shoemaker, Technology Integration Support Services

SMART helps visually impaired studentsmoz-screenshot.jpgmoz-screenshot-1.jpg
Teacher Carol Anne McGuire may have just a few students, but her work is challenging. McGuire is a vision specialist with Imperial Elementary School in Anaheim Hills, California. She works with nine students, one-on one, kindergarten through sixth-grade.

“For the students who are low vision, the board is a God send. What I had on my little computer screen was far too small to see,” says McGuire. “With the SMART Board interactive whiteboard they have hope.” Half of McGuire’s students are completely blind. The other half are visually impaired. She uses a SMART Board™ interactive whiteboard with a Macintosh computer to teach students braille, math and technology. “The SMART Board helps kids who can’t see, see. It really makes all the difference in my classroom because it gives sight to my kids. They are able to interact with the computer in a way they weren’t able to before. It’s priceless.”

McGuire and her students also use the SMART Board interactive whiteboard to edit movies and videoconference with students on the other side of the world. Video and ichat features from Apple let the California students see and interact with students as far away as Japan and Australia. “This is great for my students because they are able to see who they are talking to. They are able to see for the first time,” says McGuire. Completely blind students use audio or podcasting to help them with the interactive whiteboard.

“They greatly appreciate the sound that comes from the SMART Board speakers, as it is much louder and clearer than the built-in speakers on their computer,” says McGuire. “The board allows them to work side-by-side with their sighted peers, as lower vision students can control the board, and their higher vision peers can control the computer – making a nice team.” SMART Board interactive whiteboards have large screens. McGuire’s interactive whiteboard measures 66" (168 cm) from corner to corner. “Before we had to zoom everything up on the laptop, but they never got the full picture. The SMART Board is really a blessing, otherwise they would not be able to see what they are doing,” says McGuire.

“One of the things that was difficult on a computer, was moving the mouse around and even finding where the mouse was. Now they don’t have to,” says McGuire. “They can just touch the SMART Board screen and it does what they want it to do.” Educators at Imperial Elementary school are so impressed with the results that they’re purchasing another half dozen SMART Board interactive whiteboards.

One of the most important controls a teacher can have over his/her SMART Board is to have it properly oriented/calibrated. CCSD Tech Services highly recommends that all teachers set their SMART Boards to 20-point orientation/calibration and regularly check it using one of the pens rather than the tip of one's finger. The point is to be precise when one touches the board and attempts to launch a program, move an object or highlight a word. The only way this will happen is to have superb orientation. Even a lack of calibration of .5 inch is enough to slow down a presentation and frustrate both teacher and students who must wait while their teacher struggles for board control. If one senses he/she doesn't have precise orientation it is better to take 1.5 minutes to re-orient the board than fight with it for the next 20 minutes. For those wanting instruction on the method used to achieve perfect calibration, see this document:

Last summer TISS lauched its first SMART Board Camps designed to give teachers maximum hands-on experience with their Boards. The teachers who jumped at the chance to be ready for their fall classes deserve special notice. They were the adventurers who took a chance that the first-ever SMART Board Camp would satisfy their need to be properly trained. Here's a picture of this first group of "campers."

"This changes everything!"
That was one student's reaction as his class was reading Babe. That might not seem so exciting to many of us, but it is if you are learning disabled and struggling to read the same materials your peers are enjoying. What inspired this student to such enthusiasm?
SMART Board™ Interactive Whiteboards
High Interest Titles
Bellevue School District special needs students were reading Babe in WYNN format on an interactive whiteboard for the first time, and they were thrilled with their experience. They were succeeding!

This is the opinion of many special needs students in the Bellevue School District in Washington State. We recently spoke with Cathy Hoesterey, Assistant Technology Specialist for the Bellevue district, about the success the district is having in providing its students with special needs the same general education curriculum as other students. "This has not happened overnight," Cathy says, "but we continue to make steady progress."
This district of 16,000+ students, with a special education population of about 1,800, has a superintendent who believes that all students should experience the same curriculum. Bellevue Superintendent Mike Riley says inconsistent curriculum is "at the heart of what's wrong with education in America." He believes that standardization of curriculum will benefit all students in the district.
To achieve this goal with special needs students, Cathy knew she had to match a student's needs with appropriate technology. She researched technology at the Special Education Technology Center at Central University of Washington. It was there that Cathy first saw WYNN. After going to conferences to see WYNN and other similar software in action, she chose WYNN for the Bellevue School District's special needs population which was struggling with reading and comprehending grade level materials. She says, "It was WYNN's ease of use for students and teachers that was the key factor in the decision-making process."

Soon Cathy gave a demonstration of WYNN at Superintendent Riley's Leadership Conference. After seeing WYNN, Dr. Riley said,
"I want WYNN software available in every school in the district."
How did they accomplish that?

To help achieve Dr. Riley's goal, every school received a laptop on a cart with WYNN Reader and a desktop computer with a scanner and WYNN Wizard. Soon after that, as part of a district technology initiative, SMART Board™ interactive whiteboards were placed in each classroom. The special needs teachers quicklyincorporated whiteboards into their teaching. The result was WYNN could be used for whole group instruction. All students could now be involved in reading grade appropriate novels such as Babe.

One student was so excited about his experience that he called out, "This changes everything!"

Now it was possible to read and discuss high-interest titles with confidence and success both in groups and independently.
An example of differentiated learning at its best!

The Bellevue district has an innovative curriculum Web application where course content and lesson plans can be accessed via the Web.
Parents and the public have a more restricted view of the content currently, but you can take a look at the Bellevue School District Web site. Click on Departments, then choose curriculum to view. The curriculum Web is part of the process Superintendent Riley is implementing to bring about his plan for a standardized curriculum. The Special Education Technology Department is working hard to put this curriculum into WYNN format. At this point in time, they have a large portion of the district's language arts, social studies, and science curriculums available to all students.

Cathy says, "The consistent use of the same textbooks throughout the district insures a standardized curriculum. WYNN supports this concept for our special needs students who are taking general education courses across the district. Once we scan a book into WYNN, it becomes available to every appropriate student in the district."

To further enhance the success of the plan, Cathy thought it best to focus on grades 5 and 6. "These grades are essential to preparing the students to make the adjustment to the reading and writing demands of the middle school. WYNN is facilitating that process," says Cathy. "Students are meeting those demands, gaining more self confidence and are now becoming more self motivated."

Cathy went on to say that she is happy to see that as students are moving up to the next grade, they are calling the Assistive Technology Center asking for their new WYNN materials. She sees this process fostering independence as students recognize WYNN as a tool they need to complete their curriculum requirements.

Cathy says that elementary students who were among the first users of WYNN are still benefiting from WYNN support in their high school coursework. She also explained that other students are successfully being introduced to WYNN for the first time in high school. One junior was thrilled that she would no longer need her mom to read textbooks aloud to her. "It is the first time I have read a book by myself!"
Teamwork - Trial Use - Accountability
"In order to facilitate this process we primarily take referrals for assistive technology consultations from special needs teachers.
They are the case managers and support the special education students who are in general education classes," explains Cathy.
Once a student has been referred for an Assistive Technology consultation related to reading or writing, an AT specialist brings a laptop
with WYNN Reader to the site to train the student. They often also work with the teacher, support staff, and parents as well. Students have the laptop and software for a trial period during which they must keep a log of how they are using WYNN - reading, writing, study tools etc. This process helps the AT team to track if students are motivated to use the technology to its full potential. This accountability also encourages the students to take responsibility for their own success. If the trial has been successful, the students are assigned the WYNN laptop on a long-term basis. This not only allows them to continue to use the technology in the classroom, but also at home.

Jared Taylor, Behavior Intervention Specialist & Special Educational Technologist for the district, says, "With an increase in content to more than 1600 WYNN files, 230 of which are books, the demand for access to the content also increased." To meet this need for access, Bellevue is in the process of moving toward the network version of WYNN. They are developing their WYNN books Web application to increase the availability of their materials and to provide teachers with a method of sharing content with other staff members. "This is such an exciting tool that is helping totruly incorporate WYNN into our standardized curriculum," explained Jared.

To extend this successful experience, students are given WYNN Reader demos to take home. They can then download materials from the Web or use a CD of a novel that has been given to them from a lending library of WYNN materials. This works especially well for summer reading assignments. The demo is good for 30 hours or 30 days, so it also puts the student on a schedule to complete the assignment.

Is WYNN Helping to Achieve the Goal of Standardization?
Cathy feels that the facts tell the story. The district is very proud of the success rate of their special needs students in Advanced Placement courses.
“ In 2001, we had four special need students enrolled in AP courses, and none of them attempted the exams. Although more students enrolled in AP courses the next year, the pass rate in 2002 was only 10 percent. In 2006, 80 secondary special needs students were enrolled in one or more AP classes with a 46 percent pass rate on AP exams by the College Board." Cathy continues, "We feel an important way to support these students is in the use of universal design principles such as providing curriculum in WYNN format."

It must be working; 40 percent of the special needs secondary students are taking at least one AP course during high school!

9/14 Floating Toolbar
Teachers, have you tried using the Floating Toolbar in SMART Notebook? If not, I'd like to sing the praises of it and encourage you to try this fabulous (and somewhat hidden) tool. The Floating Toolbar is found in the list of all SMART software. Next time you go to launch Notebook while connected to your Board, look for Floating Tools and select it. A small default collection of tools will appear on your desktop/Board. The Floating Tools window can then be easily moved about your SMART Board screen for ease of access. It can literally be placed along side of you as you utilize the SMART Board to do presentations. This virtually eliminates the often awkward and repeated reaching across the Board to the horizontal toolbar. In addition, a teacher may customize the Floating Tools to contain his/her favorite and most-used tools. A feature I like even better is the ability to create multiple variations of the same tool. Here's one small example of what I mean: A language arts teacher can create half a dozen highlighter pens giving each a different pastel color. She can then utilize the colored highlighters to teach parts of speech. Having made a pale blue, green, yellow, pink, purple highlighter strip in Floating Tools, students may come to the SMART Board and highlight various parts of speech in a paragraph using a teacher-made legend: blue for nouns, green for verbs, etc. Students will love the ease of use of Floating Tools (They'll catch on in an instant!), and you'll be sold for good on its effectiveness. Once you go with Floating Tools, you'll never switch back to the regular horizontal toolbars. Details and pictures may be found in this document on the SMART Tech website: Click Me: How to Use Floating Tools. ~Richard Shoemaker

9/07 Links to SMART Board Lessons
These helpful links were researched and compiled by Janice Davis, teacher at Hilsman Middle School, during her SMART Board Camp this past summer. Thanks, Janice! ~Richard Shoemaker

Lee Summit, MO School District Site—many links to SMART Board resources:

Engineering Technology teacher, Suzanne Weaver’s site with many lessons she has created in various subjects (math, science, language arts, nutrition, technology, etc.) for Henry Clay HS, Lexington, KY (Fayette Co. Public Schools):

Website created by Julie Thompson that lists websites containing K-3 activities that could be used with the SMART Board:

SMART Board resource list created by Wichita Public Schools Instructional Technology Department:

SMART Board tutorials and links to many SMART Board resources: Board/#1

Kenton County, KY School District website. Provides links to math-based SMART Board activities and website: Board/smartmath.htm
NOTE:If you want to find even more websites with SMART Board lessons, links, and resources, Google: “SMART Board activities.”

8/31 Several new sections of SmartBoard training will be offered beginning Ocober 1st. These sections will inclide a section for parapros, amultiple sections for administrators dependng on your role in the district, and an advanced class for those wishing to do more and better things with the boards. Please check this wiki and My Learning Plan for these options.

8/24 The Smart software suite now has a complete set of Flash beta tools which will give your notebook presentations a polished and professional look. We will be holding an "advanced " Smart class in November to present some of these ore advanced tools for those of you who have had boards for a year or two. Please watch the newsletter for dates and times. Other classes on the horizon are a Smart class just for administrators, due to launch in October and a Smart class for parapros, due to launch in the October-November time frame.

8/17 Many of you have been preregistered for Smart training at the request of yourselves and your principal. Please be sure to check your MLP account for dates and times. We will be developing 2 three other course related to Smart training. One will be strictly for administrators so they can use the boards as well as know what to look for when observing teachers. A second course will be for "advanced" uses of the board and will incorporate a series of Beta tools available for flash development. The third and final course will be how you use classroom response systems for those who took the course prior to this school year.

8/10 For those of you who have not yet taken the Smart Camp course,, you can go to My Learning Plan and sign up now while spaces are still available. Let's talk about some great ways to find resources to use with your board in your class. In future weeks, this space will highlight great uses by local teachers. The best place to start is with
homepage. If you click on the logo, it will take you there but for those of you who like words, here is the link:

One of the things we've done over the summer, is to add local content into your Gallery as well. There are lots of new things to learn with the board. We recently acquired rights to all of the flash content so you can make your own flash applications so be sure to update your software. In addition, we have student response systems in every school now. The Senteo training is only a couple of hours of your time and will be a great investment. Again, go to your MLP account and check out the offerings.

Click on the picture to the left to go to the Senteo site. On the right side of the page, click "view demo" for more information