Smartboards/Notebook Software/Touch Screens Catch All

I would say that in the SUN program at NEC we really rely on Smartboards everyday for our programming. Is there anyway to go back to the old licensed Notebook software before 16?

Gonna be a problem for the speech paths in the district…we purchase other software just because it allows us to create and use pre-made communication boards. We invest almost 2000 of our budget per year to be able to do that. Anybody else using “related” software???

Diane - Does the software only work with SmartBoards?

Hello, I want to clarify a few things regarding SmartBoard use and SmartNotebook software.

SmartBoard functionality can be used with any computer and program connected to it. The drivers that offer the touch and interactive functions are available outside of the need for specific software.

SmartNotebook is simply software, in which, one can create curriculum that is compatible with SmartBoards and other interactive products such as the BrightLink projector.

You do not need a SmartBoard to use SmartNotebook and you do not need SmartNotebook to use SmartBoards.

The old (no-cost) Smart Notebook license is not supported any more and is not compatible with Windows 10. They have moved to a yearly subscription based model at a cost of around $40/license/year.

If you do not have curriculum built in SmartNotebook, then you do not need it.

Thank you,

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That’s helpful, Kim, thanks! @kmhelgeson

Thank you Kim for that clarification!

that particular software, yes. There are other options if we need to change…but the software is nowhere near as robust…it turns the smartboard into a communication device. It’s not that we can’t change…but we need to know in advance so we don’t spend the money for it and then find out we aren’t using smartboards anymore…and we’ve spent our whole budget.

@DianeGeradsSchmidt What software are you using with the Smartboards that won’t work with other types of boards/touch screens?

I’ve found that using GoogleSlides and other programs besides SmartNotebook software are actually easier for me to create lessons with, load on my computer, and teach in the moment with. I stopped using the SmartNotebook software early last school year because I found it too cumbersome.


I think the dividing line is whether or not you are using the “Interactive WhiteBoard” features or whether you are using it as just a large monitor. In programs like SUN I do see where a lot of the interactive features of Notebook might be indispensable. Getting kids up, touching the board, moving and matching things, etc.

Like Emily, I have shifted to more slideshows and general digital content, I rarely use the Notebook features anymore. My co-teacher continues to prefer Smart Notebook for his guided note sets. Notebook>Slides for writing on with the SmartPens and do graphing and things like that.

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At WEC we are planning on buying just a handful of licenses for the staff that actually create their lessons in SMART Notebook. Most teachers don’t use the SMART Notebook software, rather google slides, docs etc. The main teachers that are using the notebook software are our math teachers.

As a whole, in new classrooms we have built, we have gone away from SMART Boards all together. Instead we have gone to large monitors which are a fraction of the price. I think this is more of the direction our building is going. We are looking into some interactive whiteboards that are compatible with any interactive software.

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This strikes me as a most logical solution. :slight_smile:

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Boardmaker online…am currently checking to see if it will work with others…will keep you posted! They haven’t heard of JTouch…after looking at JTouch’s website, don’t see why it wouldn’t work for speech people. It will be teacher created materials that will be the problem. If it’s decided to change at some point, I think we could do a survey to see what people are using it for…some use it as a projector only, some really do use the smart notebook stuff.

At Headway North I know a lot of us use the smart board as an interactive tool. I use the Smart Notebook slides to create my lessons because I like to be able to add information as I go or have students come up to the board and write as well. However, lately it has not been working like it has in the past. I have a smart display which I do not like as much as the smart board I had w years ago. I wish the smart display would work better when I have a web page up and being able to click on different pages on the display compared to doing it on my computer. This has worked in the past but is not working as well right now. I am very interested in what features JTouch has.

Is there a relatively easy way to import current SmartNotebook lessons into another format so we don’t lose the files that I know teachers have spent hours creating?

Yes there is. In a Notebook file: File Menu–>Export As gives various options (web page, image files, pdf, powerpoint). I suspect that the more interactive and dynamic the Notebook file, the weaker the “translation” will be when exported.

I just tested this on a couple files and it works decently well when exported to Powerpoint.

(Which also makes me think on a related point – do we still need to be paying for Microsoft Office as a district? Seems like most people use Google Docs. In grad school I didn’t want to buy MSOffice and so I used I thought that worked as well if not better.)

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I remember a conversation a few years ago talking about this. At the time, I think the answer was that it was actually super super cheap for us to get the licenses. Maybe they came with Windows or something like that. So even for very occasional use, it made sense to have it.

Things may be different now, of course. I know a lot of people at the DSC use Office.

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I would be interested to try the file export idea. Thanks for that idea!

I agree with Emily. As long as we have a way to still use the Smart Notebook files that everyone has put a lot of time into, then we are good to go!