SMART Technologies continues its commitment to continually improving their software with the next version SMART Notebook 15! This version is scheduled to be available for download on April 23rd, but for those of you who just can’t wait that long, you can download the beta version here. (Note: It is rumored that there will be additional features in the full release not found in the beta.) Let’s take a look at two new features!
Lesson Activity Builder (LAB)
The Lesson Activity Builder is a very simple and easy way to create interactive and engaging activities for students that take less time to create. This new feature is similar to the activities in the Lesson Activity Toolkit, except they are built using HTML5 rather than Flash. This has already been shown to be more flexible, but it should provide greater stability as well. In the beta version there is only one activity, “Super Sort,” but there are rumors that additional activities will be included with the full release. The Super Sort is based on a simple sorting concept, but it includes many ways to customize the activity including two different themes (Jungle and Space) and different backgrounds (the Moon or Mars). Lists can be created and saved to use again, which can help save time.
This new feature makes creating a concept map at the board simple and intuitive! Adding a new concept map places a colored rectangle on the page with a + underneath it. Double click the rectangle to edit the text. Clicking the + will add new rectangles for more nodes. Another way to add new nodes is to use a pen to circle either ink, text, or images and then draw a line to connect them to the correct parent node.
SMART is very good about improving existing features. Notebook 15 includes many improvements to the Math features added in the previous version. I would also expect to see improvements and new features added to the Lesson Activity Builder and Concept Mapping with future releases.