Are you a SMART Board user? If so, you may have heard about the plan to create a SMART Notebook iPad app. Well, you no longer have to wait, as the app was released today, in the App Store! You can find it by clicking here. Thanks to The Whiteboard Blog for first pointing this out.
First impressions and impact on classroom practices:
If I had paid more attention to the initial announcement back in the spring, I would have remembered the $6.99 price tag. That caught me a bit by surprise. I will be running a classroom set of iPads on almost entirely free apps that provide students access to great content creating applications. However, the SMART Board has been my most used tool the past two years, so I went ahead and purchased this app, anticipating that I will find methods of effective integration.
“Using this app, you can create basic multimedia files and complete SMART Notebook lesson activities” – App Store Description. Basic tools like the pen, eraser, text, and photos work smoothly. The text editing ability is quite extensive. Objects can be arranged, re-sized, cloned, or even have sound added to them.
Ever since getting an iPad, I have been frustrated with the inability to even view my SMART Notebook files on the device. With this app, all files that you create on your computer can be opened, viewed, and edited directly from the iPad. Everything you do is auto-saved, however, not back to the original file that I opened through Dropbox. You are given the option to email the file to yourself (or colleagues) as an attachment. This will work, but I hope it is soon updated to be able to sync directly with the original file. Duplicate files are messy!
On my feature request list for this app is the ability to connect directly with the SMART Board and interact with a file opened on a computer. This would be ideal for actually using the app during a lesson. Although, if you have an easy way to mirror your iPad to the screen, then displaying directing from the app would be fine. It even provides an interesting feature of zooming in and out on your slide. Since I do not have an Apple TV or VGA cable to connect my iPad to the screen, I will attempt to use the Reflection app (mentioned here) and see what results I get next week.
How might I integrate this for my students, in math? I have always wished that I could provide time for my students to create slides to either have other students solve problems or for presenting information. However, this would require them being on a laptop with a licensed copy of the SMART Notebook. Plus, a bit of instruction on how to use it would be necessary.
With this app, the tools are very simplified and easy to manage. Students could work in groups on creating math slides. You could implement expert groups with this, breaking your class up into different topic areas and having them build mini-lessons. Additionally, since your regular Notebook slides can be opened in the app, use it for students who were absent. Provide them with the previous day’s lesson and as they work through each slide, all their work/answers are automatically saved to your iPad. There are many options for using this with peer tutoring and small group intervention.
There are still features that I want to see added, but the initial version is packed with potential.
Hopefully coming soon…
- Embed video in slides
- Lock/Unlock objects
- Line/Shape tools
- Interact w/computer
- Sync to original file (Dropbox, Drive, etc.)
- Insert pictures/PDFs other than from camera roll
- Screen capture tool for iPad (probably dreaming too much now)