Educreations & ShowMe

Lately, I have been creating videos for instruction using my iPad. The two apps that I’ve been using are Educreations and ShowMe. I would love to use the Smart Notebook app, unfortunately it does not have recording functionality. I really loved using Educreation app, until I posted a few videos on my website for my students to access. Apparently you cannot view the videos on the iPad/iPod devices because Flash is required. So, now I am forced to use the ShowMe app. Anyway, I will be patient until Notability have a video recording feature. I guess I I shouldn’t hold my breath…

Smart Notebook for iPad: TWO THUMBS DOWN; NEEDS WORK

Okay… This app may have been the reason I have an iPad for having a portable IWB is the greatest tool for an educator. If you cannot tell, I really have been waiting for this app for a while once the word got out Smart tech was on the project.

Honestly, I really wanted to share on this blog to say this is the only IWB app you will need. Please delete all of the others, but I cannot express that positive opinion at this time.  Unfortunately, after dropping eight bucks and downloading this app, I was immediately disappointed in what it failed to offer compared to the other apps such as Notability, Penultimate, Paper and Show Me. Here are the missing features that I was looking for to separate it from the other lame IWB apps:

– Where is the Extend page function! They really missed the boat on this feature. This was the first feature I looked for, and was disappointed not to find it!

– Cannot change thickness of pens; no magic pen; no niffy erase features!!!!

– What? No lines? Ya’ll know I cannot draw a straight line!

– Next page does not mean new page… Okay, I’ll let this one slide.

– Cannot hide preview panel?! Shesh, Smart tech, I cannot utilize the whole page? Or at least have an option to go full screen, homies?

-Huh, no gallery? I’m done…

I’d say it’s only best feature that it will allow you to use existing Smart Notebook files. Honestly, this product is more like a beta product and IMHO should have been free. If you have not purchased this product, don’t until they get it right. If you need an app that’s better that is worth the $$, I highly recommend the purchase of Notability, Penultimate or even Paper to get the job done.

My IWB Dilemma

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Smartboard that is mounted in my classroom. Unfortunately my whiteboard occupies approximately 75% of the dry erase whiteboard board space. Others have complained of this issue too…

If you are a math teacher, you may already know where I am going. My rhetorical question (only because I know that no one with answer) is that… does it matter if students go to the board to display their work?

Hmmm…. my temporary workaround this this issue has been to pass out designated mini-whiteboards and flipping to my document camera to display completed student work on the mini-white boards. Pretty high-tech,eh?

When to Double Up

doubleupI spent my teacher workday at a MathForward workshop. The presenter used a SMARTboard and an additional LCD projector onto the board. Seemed like an exhaustion of technology; however this was a logical a solution if you need to write on that worksheet that is projected by your document camera OR do not want two surface images to interact (Also this allows the user to break away from that goofy SB transparent layer).

Unifix Suduko & Your Smartboard

 This weekend I picked up a few things from the teacher store in preparation of the 1st day of school. I passed by and ended up picking up this cool Unifix Sudoku game. As you can see, when I got home, I ended up placing the blocks in ROY G. BIV order and numbered the tops to match.

I also created a Smart Notebook file to go with this activity when modelling the activity with my students. This is a great hands-on activity for students of any age that has never played Sudoku. The purpose for placing the numbers on the cubes is for you to create your own puzzles with the help of online resources such as ultra-magnificent logic puzzle site of Vegard Hanssen. I will post later reflecting what the students thought about this game.

The Beast is released: SMART Notebook Math 2009 beta

The other day… The guys over at SMART Technologies has released SMART Notebook Math 2009 (beta). I downloaded and gave it a test run. No overwhelming changes. Kinda would like to know what will happen after my (eval period)166 days are over.

There is an integrated equation editor that apparrently is not available yet (Will have to stick with the online LaTex editor for now). Love the instant coordinate plane tool. Looks like they will have some TI 83/84 integration within notebook which is currently a disabled feature. The polygon tool is a welcome addition along with the measurement tools such as ruler, protractor and yes… a compass. I am looking forward for the continued development of this version of notebook!

Attn: SB Math Teachers

Go here to sign up to receive a notice when SMART Notebook Math beta is released! Here are the features of this product:

* Equation creation and editing
* Equation handwriting recognition
* Graphing tool
* Real-time linked relationships between tables, equations and graphs
* More shapes additional to those that come with SMART Notebook 10 software
* Shape manipulation and feedback
* Advanced-measurement tools
* Ability to launch and operate Texas Instruments™ emulators from within SMART Notebook

I personally cannot wait to get my hands on this!