Saturday, January 24, 2015

Smart Notebook...on the iPad?

I love SMART Notebook!  I've been a fan ever since I got a SMART Board in my classroom (about 7 years, has it really been that long?)  The software is so powerful and has so much included from animations and the activity builder to interactive activities and the gallery...I could go on for days. 

So I got really excited when SMART released the Notebook app.

 And then I tried to use it... It didn't have nearly the functionality the computer version had, plus, I wasn't able to use any of the SMART Notebook files I had already created on it.  Big bummer, since I had spent so much time making Notebook files to use for my classes.

So imagine my delight when I can use Dropbox!

Yes, that's right.  Open your Notebook files on your computer and save them to Dropbox.  Then, open Dropbox on your iPad and choose your file.  Your iPad won't be able to open the file, but then you choose 'Open In' and select Notebook.

Now, obviously the iPad is much more limited than your computer when it comes to functionality.  It won't do the cool animations (like your titles sliding in or pictures flipping around) and it won't do the totally awesome interactive activities that require flash (like popping balloons or the soccer game where you guess the letters).  But the meat and potatoes of your lesson is all there.  The double bonus is that everyone with an iPad an interact and do stuff in real time on their own devices.  No waiting for turns at the SMARTBoard.  No kids losing interest because they don't have something to do.

Why would you ever want this? Do you ever have students who are absent?  Do they need to complete a lesson before working on an activity, but you don't want the SMARTBoard on, distracting students working on the activity?  Do you ever have students who just don't get it and need remediation on a topic before they are able to move on?  Do you have advanced students who are ready to go on to something new before everyone else (and can complete work independently)? 

I know what you're thinking - how do I know what they did?  Well, the kids can EMAIL you the assignment they complete on the iPad and you can see everything they did to the Notebook slides.  Or, they can save the file they were working on in Dropbox and you can look at it there.  Your choice.

I think it is so cool!  Really!  One of my biggest complaints from teachers is that only one student is really physically using the SMARTBoard at one time, so how do you keep everyone else engaged?  This way!

Has anyone else ever used Notebook on the iPad?  


  1. Stephanie,
    When you talk about the students all being able to do something on their iPads instead of just one student up at the SmartBoard, do you mean they all have your notebook open on their own iPads?

  2. Caryn,
    Yes, each student that has an iPad is able to open Dropbox and import a clean copy of the Notebook document you are working on in class. At the conclusion of class, students can email the document they were working on in class, or they can save a copy in dropbox (under a different name, to keep the original as is). The teachers at my school that have tried it, love it!
    Thanks for stopping by!