This article will explain how to open, edit, and view SMART Notebook lesson files online with free software. You don't need a SMART Board, or even an interactive whiteboard, but you can still take advantage of the many great Notebook lessons that are available online. Here's how.
No board? No problem!
With so many great SMART Board resources available, it would be a shame if they were limited to those who had SMART Boards in their classroom. Luckily, SMART agrees, or at least they do to a degree.
Once you know how to open Notebook files, you are opening up your teaching to a whole new bank of resources that are available online for you to use with your class. This guide has two ways for you to open, edit, and view Notebook lessons online using free software.
SMART Notebook files
SMART's Notebook files are proprietary files that are intended for use with SMART Boards and SMART's Interactive Response systems. Teachers who use such systems create these files with the included Notebook software.
However, even if you do not own any SMART hardware, knowing how to open Notebook files is very useful. It means you have the option to open, edit, and view SMART notebook files that you may have been sent by a colleague. You can even download ready made lessons from the SMART Exchange website.
Once you know how to open Notebook files, you too can use the lesson with your class, even if you don't have a SMART Board to run it on. Just connect your computer to an LCD projector, or use another brand of interactive whiteboard, and try one of the following methods to view Notebook files.
How to Open Notebook Files
Not all districts are keen to have their teachers download and install programs on their school computers. So, if you want to open notebook files without downloading a dedicated program, you can use SMART Notebook Express - an online version of the SMART Notebook Interactive Viewer.
Notebook Express has many useful functions including pen tools and text functions. You can add and delete slides, sort pages, move objects, run flash files, and even create and save notebook files of your own. Again, it has less features than the full version of Notebook, but it has the convenience of being online, and can again be used with other brands of interactive whiteboards or with an LCD projector.
This software can be used online by both Mac and PC users, and is great for teachers who do not always have access to the full version of Notebook because they are off campus or have computer problems. These solutions are obviously not as good as the original software, but they are still a good backup for a multitude of scenarios. Those running Linux can download a version as well.
Another resource is the Notebook Interactive Viewer, which is available for Windows computers. The software allows you to either view content created by those with a SMART Notebook, or share content you created with those who do not own the full software.