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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.
There are several ways to use your ActivInspire software with your Promethean board. Sometimes you're going to create a full presentation and use the Promethean board to walk through the presentation that will have interactive elements to it. You can have students come to the board, and move things around, and open up windows, and drop down answers, and take full advantage of all the features of the interactive whiteboard. But sometimes in class, you just need a place to write on the board. You're doing a lesson and students aren't understanding the concept, and you just need a place that you can quickly illustrate what's going on. Well, simply by opening the ActivInspire software and connecting it to your Promethean board, you have the ability to create that environment.
Using your finger or your ActivInspire pen, based on what type of board you have, you can write on your Promethean the same way you'd write on your chalkboard or your whiteboard. But, there's even some additional features that will allow you to bring up things such as rulers, or to add perfectly straight lines that you don't have the ability to do easily on a chalkboard or a whiteboard. The first thing I'd like to do when I'm using the ActivInspire software, just as a whiteboard to write on during class, is to clean up the interface a little bit. I like to go ahead and close the Page Browser by using the X in the upper left-hand corner. And then from my Toolbox, I'm going to go ahead and move it to the bottom of the screen.
Here at the bottom of the screen, I can quickly tap on and access all of the tools that I need, but they're not a distraction in the upper right hand corner of this screen. Currently because I'm working on a computer monitor, you can see that there's quite a bit of blue space on the left and the right. If this is being projected onto your ActivInspire whiteboard then the entire board would represent the white space in the middle, and you wouldn't have any blue on either sides. Also, the menu bar would only go across the bottom of the board. It wouldn't hang off the left and the right as it does on my computer screen. Now that I have the ActivInspire software configured the way that I like it, I can go ahead and start adding elements as I wish.
For example, I can click on the shapes button, and directly above that, I'll see a variety of shapes that I can add. At any time on the toolbar, if you see these double arrows, it means that there's more options that aren't being displayed. If you tap on that, it'll slide the bar down so that you can see the rest of the options available to you. So for example, maybe I'm making a checklist for my students of things they need to do for homework. I can go ahead and click on the tick, or the check mark shape, come up to the board, and I can just go ahead and start drawing out check marks. So I'll draw a few of them out here. And now I can come back down and click on my pen tool, and I can just start writing all the things I want to remind my students of.
So maybe they've got some homework that's due, I'll go ahead and write homework. Now I'm currently writing using my mouse on the computer. This is often a lot easier if you use the ActivInspire pen, or if you have a touch Promethean board to use your finger to write these things out. If you're like me, however, and your white board handwriting leaves a little bit to be desired, you can also simply type directly onto the board. I'm going to come down here and select the text tool. I'm going to go up to the board. I'm going to go ahead and click, and then just start typing. When I'm finished, I can go ahead and click outside of the area. And I now have text added to the board. If it's not large enough, I can come down to the text editing menu.
I can go and change the size of it, resize the box, and make any changes I need to add it to the board. If you're actually at your board and you'd like to type, you can also come down to the right hand side, and select the on-screen keyboard that will allow you to quickly type out at the board any information you'd like to be presented. The best part about using your Promethean board as a white board in class, is now that I'm done adding information to it, I can go ahead and save this flip chart, use it in my next class, or even upload it to a learning management system. So that my students have access to it after the class session has ended.
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