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Smart boards are amazing. With a little creativity, they can be used to create lessons that your students will never forget! However, the cost of these devices is incredibly high and many schools cannot afford them on top of other large expenses. The good news is that you do not need a smart board in order to use some of their features- you can simply use your laptop or tablet! In this blog post, we will discuss 12 tricks for making the most out of your Smart Board software without having a physical device.
Tip #12: Use the rainbow pen to create a color spectrum. The beauty of this is that it can then be used as an activity for students by asking them what colors are missing from the board and why they would need those colors in order to make something beautiful.
Tip #11: Have your student use their finger or stylus on the screen instead of using a physical eraser- especially when you have just introduced new vocabulary words! This will not only save you money, but also prevent any possibility of accidentally smudging ink over portions of text which have already been written. Students find it much more fun having control with their hands than trying to awkwardly hold on to a large mouse (which may end up slipping out!)
Each of these tricks is designed to help you use the board software with more intentionality and less frustration. With this in mind, here are some techniques for using a smartboard:
* Pressing on an object can be used to move it around on the screen. You may want to press down harder if you’re moving something that’s already underneath another item or pressing up hard if it’s close enough to the top edge of your digital surface. This technique also works well when dragging objects from one location onto others-you’ll find yourself placing them where they need to go without having to worry about exact pixel counts. Of course, there will still be times where precision matters; just make sure those instances are intentional and not just a habit.
* To copy an object, press and hold the object for at least two seconds before dragging it to its new location on your board. This will ensure that you’ve selected the desired item fully (and copied it). Copying is helpful when working within timelines or other software functions where having multiple copies of objects can make sense-like with arrows indicating direction in order to illustrate movement through time.
* If there’s a need for precision with placing items on your screen, then use gridlines as guides rather than counting pixels from edge to edge. The gridlines are adjustable so they don’t have to be set at any particular size; simply move them into place along one side of the digital surface and do the same for the other side.
* Set up and use keyboard shortcuts. This will make it easier to navigate around your board by keeping hands on the keys instead of having to move them from one side of the screen or another. For example, a user could assign “S” as an abbreviation that would then allow you to change slide (with just two keystrokes).
* If there is a need for precision with placing items on your board, set up gridlines without worrying about pixel sizes from edge to edge. Gridlines are adjustable so they don’t have any particular size; simply move them into place along either side of the digital surface. Setting these lines first before adding objects ensures that everything lines up nicely afterward.
* For presentations, use the draw pane to create an outline of what you want to present on your screen. The more detail in this part, the better! This will allow users to click through slides and see where each section begins and ends. It also saves time later if a presenter realizes they need one extra slide or needs a new ending before going live with their presentation.
* Save often so that important changes can be undone quickly without having to redo them all over again from scratch. To do this, hold down shift while clicking “save” under any file menu choice (file > save). You’ll get both versions saved at once: One version is labeled as “.new”, which means it’s just been created; the other is labeled as “.old” and has the previous version in it.
* Use shortcuts to speed up your work without having to click around on a keyboard or mouse — learn them for both Windows/Mac systems! For example, creating a new slide with more content can be done by pressing “ctrl+n”. You may also prefer using an external USB-compatible keyboard that offers these features instead (HUION is one brand).
Issue: The spacebar key does not release blank spaces when you press down at the end of the sentence. It only releases full words. If this happens, then __? Is there any way I could fix this problem?
Solution: When typing sentences into different lines, make sure to hit the spacebar once before typing your next sentence. This will create a blank space between sentences and allow for easier reading when you are finished editing the content.
* Don’t forget to check which version of software is installed on your computer! Sometimes, teachers will accidentally download an old or expired license from their account in order to make it work with newer versions: this can be problematic if they need something new soon but don’t realize that they still have outdated files saved on their system.
Issue: I’m having trouble opening my project file because __? The file won’t open up and I keep getting error messages about missing extensions, etc.
Solution: Check what type of extension (.ppt) your PowerPoint document is. If it’s an older version (.ppt) and you have a newer one, update the extension to make it more compatible with your computer.
* Make sure that you’re using SMART Notebook software because sometimes teachers will use other programs like Apple Keynote or Google Slides thinking they can put their content in them by connecting via WiFi. They end up wasting time looking for templates when really they should be focusing on teaching!
Problem: I keep getting error messages about missing extensions, etc. Solution: Check what type of extension (.ppt) your PowerPoint document is. If it’s an older version (.ppt) and you have a newer one, update the extension to make it more compatible with your computer. * Make sure that you’re using SMART – Move the board to a place where you can see it from your desk. – Don’t hog the board, share with other teachers. – Use different colors and styles for each content type: text, images, videos, etc. – Avoid drawing too much attention to one thing in an activity by using multiple boards at once or rotating them in and out of use; this will help learners focus on new topics as they come up during instruction time instead of getting stuck on what’s best already identified (e.g., “This is how we do X”). – Share activities online that are not easy to create yourself – there are many options available! You might find something someone else created that was just