Setup and Fundamentals: Pen Tray and Orientation

show more Pen tray and orientation provides you with in-depth training on Education + Elearning. Taught by Steve Blatt as part of the SMART Board Essential Training show less
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Pen tray and orientation

On this SMART Board, I have two pens magnetically connected and a built-in camera that's picking up my motions. Your pen tray, most likely, has either two or four color-coded pens in the pen slots and an eraser in the eraser slot. Each slot has an optical sensor which detects if there's an object in the slot. When you pick up the blue pen, you can write with blue ink. If you then pick up a red pen, you'll write with red ink, even if you retain the blue pen in your hand.

The SMART Board will know which tool was removed last, and defaults to that tool. Please be aware that the pen is only an object that blocks the light sensor. And that you can write with anything including your finger. If you lose a pen you can replace it with any object. Like a dry-erase marker that will block the optical sensor. The pen tray also has a button to launch the on-screen keyboard, and a button that will be your right-click button. On your board, pressing and holding the screen will also act as a right click and give you the same right click options.

Lastly, some pen trays have a Help button, that gives you access to a help and support menu. One of the first things you will do when you connect to your SMART Board, will be to orient it. Orienting allows the computer to recognize where your finger is touching in relation to the projected image. Without proper orientation, where you're touching will not coincide with the object you're trying to touch. And this can be really frustrating. As a general rule, I will orient my SMART Board whenever I first connect my laptop to my SMART Board.

If my laptop or desktop was already connected, then I'll orient after I've started up my laptop and turned on my projector. If your projector is mounted on the ceiling and the ceiling moves when the heat comes on, then you might find yourself out of orientation and need to orient more often. The easiest way to orient is by holding down the Right-click button and the Keyboard button at the same time. Some models of SMART Boards have a designated Orientation button on the pen tray, like mine. So I'm going to go ahead and click my Orientation button, and you'll see that targets appear on the screen.

And I'm going to go ahead and use my pen to select the target. And I'm going to try to select right in the middle of the cross hairs. And I use a pen because it's got a nice sharp point and the accuracy will help with the orientation. So I'm going to slide to my target, and then release when I'm on my target. Again, I like to slide and release rather than jabbing at the targets. If you jab at the targets, you might actually miss the target, and that's, and we're trying to be as accurate as possible. So I'm sliding, and releasing, sliding, and releasing.

The nine targets is the default number of targets. Finishing my orienting there, and I'm ready to go. So now that you're familiar with a pen tray, and you've oriented your SMART Board, you are ready to begin.

Pen tray and orientation
Video duration: 3m 12s 1h 53m Appropriate for all


Pen tray and orientation provides you with in-depth training on Education + Elearning. Taught by Steve Blatt as part of the SMART Board Essential Training

Education + Elearning
SMART Notebook
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