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.


What technology do you “know” the best?

I was asked this question the other day by a college student interviewing me as a Technology Coach. Believe it or not, I Technology Ninja!actually struggled with this question. I know so much “stuff” about technology, what do I actually “know” the best?! I have many projects that I work on, but in my opinion to know something the best, you must have mastered it, right? I know and love Moodle, but can I say I know it best? I am still learning how to use it in a non-hybrid classroom structure.

Could I be a whiz with using the TI-84 calculator with the TI-Navigator system? Not sure, especially I can confess that I don’t use it everyday to get the official guru hat with that system. Hmmm… Could I be the master Smartboard ninja? I can say I know and shared some advanced techniques using this IWB, but there are other electronic IWB that I haven’t even touched. I can go on and on about my lack of mastery of technology, but as I concluded with answering this question. I stated that…

The lesson that I have learned that technology is evolving so fast, what you may “know” the best today; you have become master of an archaic/obsolete piece of equipment the next day.

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?