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Promethean interactive whiteboards bring the immediacy of touch to your teaching. Learn the tools and best practices for using one in your classroom, in this course from author and educator Aaron Quigley. Aaron shows how to set up your Promethean board; download ActivInspire, the software that drives Promethean boards; and get started creating new presentations that include video, quizzes, and annotations. He'll also focus on teaching methods that get your students actively involved with the Promethean board, and offer challenges along the way to test their skills.
As you're using the ActivInspire software with your Promethean board, either as a white board, or to annotate on your desktop. Sometimes you want the ability to make sure you've got really clean writing, or very straight lines if you're drawing for your students. I came across this issue a lot when I was teaching genetics. I'd like to make a Punnett square, and so I'd quickly scribble out a box on the board, with a line down and a line through the middle to create a two by two square. As I'm doing this fairly fast to make sure that I don't lose the student engagement and attention. My lines were not that straight. Also, as I'm trying to illustrate an idea on the board and I'm writing really fast, my handwriting's not that neat.
Well, inside of ActivInspire there are several tools, one being handwriting recognition, and the other being shape recognition that can help make sure that what we want on the board is crisp and clear and that our students can read and understand it. Let's go ahead and use these tools to add some more to our interactive white board flip chart. I'm going to start by using handwriting recognition. I can turn this on by selecting Tools at the top of the screen, and then selecting Handwriting Recognition. You'll notice at the bottom of the screen, that even though I have a pen icon, my pen is not selected. Furthermore, I don't have a size selected, and it's been defaulted to the color black.
If you ever have this situation where you've got the pen, but you don't see the pen selected, likelihood is that you have handwriting or shape recognition turned on. I'm going to go ahead and start writing out, build a robot, on the board. Now you notice this isn't very neat. Yet as I stop, the handwriting recognition wizard's going to automatically take those letters, try to figure out what I'm trying to say, and put a word in place. Next to that word, it's going to give me a drop down menu. Using the drop down menu, I can see slight variations to the word just in case the handwriting recognition engine accidentally chose an incorrect letter.
When I'm ready to go on to the next word, I can simply click and start writing the next letter. So there is able to quickly write out build a robot, it is typed on a screen nice and clear for students to read. I'm currently doing this by using my mouse to write on the board. This is a lot easier and a lot smoother if you're writing with your finger on a touch board or a pen on one of the ActivInspire pen boards. Let's go ahead and now add some shapes and talk about how the shape recognition wizard works.
To access the shape recognition wizard, I'm going to come back to Tools, and I'm going to select Shape Recognition. I'm just going to go ahead and draw a shape. Let's start just by drawing a basic angle. Let's say that I wanted to have an acute angle. So, I'll just draw an acute angle. Automatically, it's going to recognize that I was drawing two straight lines. And, it's going to snap them to be perfectly straight. So, going back to my problem of making a Punnett square, I'm going to start by drawing a square. The shape recognition engine is going to snap that to a perfect square. I'm now going to go ahead and add my connecting lines, both down the middle and the left and right.
And you'll notice that it automatically snapped them into the perfect place. So using these tools, I was able to create a perfect Punnett square on my board. Furthermore, I can also now change, such as resizing this Punnett square because it's an object on my smart board. To do that, I'm going to use my cursor. I'm going to click and drag a highlighted box over all three of those items. I'm going to come up to the Group icon, and I'm going to choose to group all three of those items. The three items being the square, the down line, and the across line.
Now that all three of those items are grouped, I have to be able to make my Punnett square bigger. And I can also choose to reposition it anywhere I want on my screen. If I'm going to make multiple Punnett squares, I can also select the duplicate button and then quickly create duplicate Punnett squares. So using both handwriting recognition and shape recognition can make sure that the presentations you create in class are crisp, clean and the best possible experience for your students.
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