SMART Notebook App for iPad Benefits Absent Students: Dan Explains

You and your students enjoyed a great collaborative learning experience with your students using SMART products, but one or two students were absent. You’d like to share the content from that class but know the experience isn’t the same social experience when one student is interacting with a SMART Board interactive whiteboard alone while the rest of the class focuses on alternative activities. Dan Gallagher, a SMART Exemplary Educator from West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District in New Jersey, finds SMART Notebook app for iPad (available on the iTunes App store) is a great way for students to catch up on the lesson using a student device.

By Dan Gallagher

How can absent students catch up if they miss a group activity with the SMART Board interactive whiteboard?

We’ve all been there, you have a SMART Notebook interactive lesson prepared and a couple of students are absent or pulled to go to instrument practice, speech, to the office or nurse, etc. When they come back that day or tomorrow, you would like them to do the activity but do not want to run the SMART Board for just one or two students. What about the rest of the class? Will it be a distraction or too repetitive? You originally took all that extra time to make it fun and engaging for all your students.

This won’t be a problem if you have access to the SMART Notebook app for iPad! Now you can take your interactive lessons, upload them to a Dropbox or Google Drive account and access them on your iPad.

SMART Notebook app for iPad works within the parameters of iPad iOS

Anything you created in the Activity Builder can be completed, reset, and completed again. Sorting activities are now mobile. Each student can cycle through either as a learning center or as a 1:1 activity with the teacher. This provides a chance for students to complete activities using ink, adding text, sounds, pictures, as well as create and move objects. Some of my favorite techniques which bring independence to a lesson are pull tabs and erase to reveal. The pull tab is a way for students to check their work with grouped answers which are accessed by sliding a tab across the page. Another way to cover your answers is with pen ink which the students can then erase to reveal the correct responses.

Note: The SMART Notebook app for iPad, being on an iPad, is restricted to the confines of Apple’s iOS. Anything created using Flash will not operate on the iPad. That means any interactive elements like having your dice spin, adding a timer or a Voki (speaking avatar) created in Flash will only show as a locked image. Creating an Internet browser and having it pinned to a particular page also comes up as a locked image. The math tools like the ruler or protractor unfortunately do not work either. My rule of thumb is to test it out ahead of time to ensure everything in your activity works properly. But, as seen with the latest update, SMART is adding more features from the recommendations of its users.

Additional applications

Since this is SMART Notebook software, your students can also make use of the app to create presentations which can be emailed, uploaded, or projected from the iPad. They have the ability to take photos with the iPad camera, use images on the camera roll or paste images they find online. They could record their own sounds up to a minute in length which are connected to images or objects. This is a lighter version of Notebook, but in the hands of a student, it can be a medium to display knowledge.

Justifying the purchase

We have started to see some fee-based content on the SMART Exchange and the SMART Notebook app is also something to be purchased. It is $6.99 which some teachers might dismiss, but don’t. You might be thinking, “I’ll just use Notebook Express,” but that version of SMART Notebook requires Flash and is not suitable for use on an iPad. Any student, anywhere can be engaged in learning. Lessons can be accessed for those who miss the activity, need remediation, or you can use it to increase the rigor of an activity for your high flyers. No longer will students be completely missing out if they weren’t able to participate on the SMART Board that day. The app enables students to benefit from SMART’s interactivity on a personal device.

Cross-posted at EdCompass Blog:

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