My favourite desktop application for the Interactive Whiteboard is of course... ActivInspire by Promethean who have just recently announced that they will continue to support it's use and application indefinitely. Which is great news if you are a hardcore user like myself!
Why do I like it so much? Firstly, it is free and you can download it here for use with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. It is one of the desktop applications that I was trained on first, so yes, I am biased. The main reason is that it promotes student interactivity at the board. Unlike Powerpoint which is simply there to show your content you can easily get 1 or 2 students interacting at the board. Other features include high quality graphics features are way better than other programs I have used and I can easily play sound without dialog boxes popping up and getting in the way of what I am teaching. Those are just some of the many reasons I like it so much.
So my IWB tip to bring in the New Year is to set up individual student names that can easily be dragged across to student ideas and work samples etc....
Some more ideas that immediately spring to mind is set up a whole range of templates ready for you to use... some ideas include:
- importing your favourite worksheets into ActivInspire so that students can come up to the boards and demonstrate how to draw in notes/ specific rhythms or whatever content you have.
- create templates for teaching... for music you might like to have a music staff, tone ladder, solfa street, hand staff picture, beat circles/pictures, flashcards that you can easily use in lessons.
Unsure of how to get started? - check out my Tips and Tricks docs to help guide you through the program. Alternately, check out Promethean World who have set up a whole series of training resource videos to help make your life easier.
There is no doubt that this will take time to get your head around - but once it is set up I can assure it will be well worth the effort!
Stay tuned for next time where I will walk you through setting up your 'Resource Browser' where you can set up all your teaching resources for the New Year.