Nov 15, 2016

Guide to Using SMART Notebook with Students

Have Students Use SMART Notebook When it is Smart

SMART Notebook is a great resource within our district.  Many teachers utilize it in conjunction with our SMART Interactive Whiteboards as an option for content delivery.  But when, and how, can it be best used by our students to increase learning?

Tip #1:  Use Notebook when other resources cannot offer a better or smoother experience.

SMART Notebook allows students to interact with content in some very unique ways.  Let's take a look at how it compares to the most similar tool in our toolkit; Google Slides.
  • Both are set up in a slideshow style with animations, text and image editing, and drag and drop interfaces.
  • SMART Notebook allows for the use of pens and powerful mathematics tools that are unique. 
  • SMART Notebook contains interactive review games and simulations that are unique.
  • Google Slides allows for real-time collaboration between students.
Unique SMART Tools

So when considering if students should be doing work in SMART Notebook, consider the unique tools that it has available and how they can impact student learning.  Am I having students use a unique tool SMART has to offer?  If you are not, consider the following...

Tip #2: It is difficult for BYOD students to interact with SMART Notebook files.  Consider an export.

It may not be the most ideal situation in the world, but the truth is simply that using SMART Notebook through U5 Cloud takes some getting used to.  Many students will not be able to get up and running without some assistance, which will put you on the spot, needing to know how to do it yourself in order to assist as needed (shameless plug for your Instructional Tech Coaches here; we are always happy to help in these cases).

The process for using SMART Notebook through U5 Cloud can be found on our BYOD website (here and video here).  It is very important to note that students cannot save a Notebook file that they are working on back to this U5 Cloud space.  This means that BYOD kids can work in SMART Notebook over only one sitting and cannot save their work.  This makes completing any sort of homework assignment through SMART Notebook quite difficult.  But these students can still open and interact with SMART Notebook files.

If you are providing a SMART Notebook file to your students that only requires them to view the information, consider exporting the Notebook file as a PDF and putting that document on Google Classroom or your website.  A PDF is fully compatible with every possible device that is brought into our buildings.

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