The New Notebook 11 Software

The eagerly awaited Notebook 11 Software update will be available for download on Monday, April 23. That’s right! You will be able to download the new version of Notebook in just a few days.

You can download the new version of Notebook now!

Click here to go to the Smart Notebook Download page.

Notebook 11 is a major upgrade from version 10 and I must say that Smart Technologies did a fantastic job of adding new features to it that not only make it more powerful but also make it more user-friendly.

To help my readers get ready for the launch of Notebook 11, I called Danny Nicholson of the Whiteboard Blog to discuss the new version and get his reaction. After my conversation with Danny, I came up with a list of my favorite new features. I’ve also included a few videos that demonstrate how these new features can help you create even more engaging and useful lessons for your SMART Board.

Activity Builder

This is a new feature that allows you to create interactive drag-and-drop activities that actually respond to student choices. For example, you can create a Animal Classification activity that spins the correct answer and plays a positive reinforcement message when it is dragged to the correct location. If students drags a wrong answer, it can play a short audio feedback and bounce the answer back to its original location. This new feature is extremely easy to use and provides a powerful method to reinforce information in an engaging manner.

Audio Recorder

With the new version, you can now record audio directly inside Notebook and attach it to an object in one step. You can even save the object with the new recording in the Gallery for later use. This is an extremely useful feature of Notebook 11 and one that should be utilized as much as possible. The only issue with using Notebook 11 to record your audio is that the audio will not play on earlier versions of Notebook.

Here’s a video demonstration that uses the Activity Builder Add-on as well as the Record Audio feature to create an authentic learning activity.

Embedded Web Browser

This is a great new feature that lets you view a web page directly inside Notebook by inserting a Web Browser object onto any page. You can even save your Web Browser object in the Gallery. One of the really useful features of the new Web Browser object is the ability to drag both text and images from the browser object to your Notebook page. I can already think of lots of great uses for this feature!

Customizable Creative Pen

The Creative Pen lets you draw using a collection of small images like a star or a smiley face. This is a fun pen option that is currently available in earlier versions of Notebook. In Notebook 11, you can now add your own image to the Creative Pen collection.

Improved Toolbar

The new Toolbar in Notebook 11 is fantastic! It actually responds and displays Property options automatically depending on what type of object is selected. For example, if you select a Text Object, the Toolbar will automatically display options for changing the basic properties of the text including font type, font size, alignment, color, and even transparency. This alleviates the need to use the Property Tab to set most of the object properties.

Here’s a video demonstration that shows an embedded web browser reinforcing a lesson on the Olympic Games. It also highlights the new features of the Toolbar and the Creative Pen.

Create Freehand Shapes

Notebook 11 now gives you the capability of creating a freehand shape that you can modify just as you would any other shape that you create using the Shape Tool. To create a freehand shape, just draw something with one of the pens and make sure it is enclosed (or almost enclosed) and then click inside your drawing with the Fill Tool. Notebook will create a shape that is the same size as your drawing. You can then change the size, fill color and even the line properties of your new shape. This feature gives you a very easy way to fill in a freehand drawing.

Full Screen Page Border Guides

This feature allows you view a page border guide when creating Notebook lessons. This is an extremely useful tool to use to ensure that you do not place objects below the boundaries of a full page. When objects are placed below the full page boundaries, it may cause your page to narrow when viewing in Full Screen mode on the SMART Board.

Fading Pen

You can now set your pen drawings to fade away after a specific amount of time has passed without using the Magic Pen. This allows you to customize your pen properties and still be able to make your drawing disappear.

 

Conclusion

While there are other new features (including a new Crayon tool, a Reset Page option, and the ability to insert custom Widgets), I’m sure I’ll continue to find some other hidden gems. However, like any new software release, I’ve already found a few bugs and a few changes to functionality. With that being said, I’m very pleased with the new version of Notebook and I’m excited to start using the new features to create even more engaging activities for the SMART Board.

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