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Pedagogical Uses of SMART Boards and Panels

Handwritten live classroom exercises

Use the writing abilities of the SMART Board or Podium to review a problem or exercise during class time. Examples could include math problems, molecular structures, drawings, diagrams, simple charts, etc.

Think of it as an overhead projector on steroids -- all the written content can be easily captured electronically. Instructors can even record their actions and voice with the Recorder SMART tool. Results can be saved and distributed to students via Blackboard.

How to Write Live Exercises:
  1. Open the SMART Notebook software, which is installed on the classroom computers. 
  2. Use the toolbar to choose your pen. Additional options will appear including color choices, types of pens and line style.
  3. Proceed with your handwritten example, using the pen on the Podium. You can use your finger or the pens with the SMART Board.
  4. If you need additional blank pages to write on, use the icon in the bottom left corner (sheet of paper with a plus sign).
  5. When you're finished, choose File > Save to save it as a SMART notebook file, and/or use File > Export to save it as a Powerpoint or Acrobat PDF file that you can distribute to the students via Blackboard.

Visit this link for instructions on how to download the free SMART Notebook software for your workstation.

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Annotate anything in class - Live!

As you share a Powerpoint presentation, Word document, spreadsheet, web page - anything - draw your students' attention back to you through live annotations

  • Underline important points.
  • Draw arrows for emphasis.
  • Add additional handwritten content.
  • Edit writing examples live.
  • Suggest design changes through your markings and drawings.
How to annotate anything via SmartInk:
  1. Downloading and installing the SMART Notebook software also provides you with the Smart Ink add-on.
  2. The Smart Ink tools float on the screen so that they are useable by anything you display, but they don't have all the special effects that are available in the Notebook software. They also only appear if you are connected to a SMART device.
  3. Open a file in any software or visit a Web page.
  4. To check to see if the Smart Ink tools are available, choose File and Options and then Add-ins. The SMARTInk add-in should be listed under the Active area.  (Powerpoint, Word, Excel, Access) For other programs, view your programs and choose SMART Technologies and SMART Ink.
  5. Choose the tools needed from the floating tool palette and annotate.

  6. Microsoft products will ask if you want to save the annotations upon either saving the file or closing the program.
    For other products that are less "ink aware,"  you will need to take screenshots of each screen before you continue on (Capture) and clear the ink each time (Clear Ink).

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Get students' attention through special effects

Use the SMART Notebook software and/or the Floating Toolbar to add some special effects to your presentations:


The Spotlight tool darkens the screen except where you apply the spotlight to focus attention to a smaller area.


Magic Pen

The Magic Pen fades away after 30 seconds when used to write text or draw. If you draw a circle around something, you'll automatically get a spotlight. If you draw a rectangle, you'll automatically get a magnification of that spot!


Use the Screen Shade tool to expose only certain sections of the screen.

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Use interactive activities to engage students

The SMART Notebook software includes many activities and games that provide interactive, kinetic exercises for diverse learning types. Please contact the Instructional Services team of ITS for individualized help (Email: )

Categorize and Classify:


Concept Mapping:



Visual Aids:


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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 07, 2017 3:54:23 PM
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