Tag Archive for 'Interactive Whiteboard'

Interactive Teaching Tools for Numeracy and Mathematics

Interactive Teaching Programs for Mathematics and Numeracy were produced by the Department for Education as part of a National Numeracy Strategy. These were designed to be used by primary teachers in helping support the teaching of a whole range of mathematical and numeracy concepts .

Teaching and Learning

They were not designed for use as standalone tools with any pupil working on their own, but were designed to be as adaptable to the needs of the teacher and pupils together in explaining concepts in mathematics and numeracy.


Each tool has a similar interface for ease of use by the teacher. This includes an on-screen help guide – so as a teacher hovers over any item it is explained. There is the option to display or hide elements, meaning only the element required for the teaching point is necessary to display (or to reveal as it becomes relevant to the teaching and learning process). The control panel can be shifted from left-hand to right-hand side, with use with an interactive whiteboard or other display device having been inherent in design of the tools. Feedback (such as numerical data) can be kept hidden or revealed so that in the process of teaching the teacher can guide the pupil to work out an expected answer, which the pupil can reveal to provide confirming feedback.

Help Guides

For each tool there is an extensive helpguide available as a pdf for viewing either on-screen or printing out. These tools are designed to support the teaching and learning process with a teacher guiding a pupil, group or class of pupils, through their learning, and a pace appropriate to them. They are incredibly flexible tools so can be used at many stages in primary school.

Numeracy and Mathematical Topics

The range of topics for which interactive teaching tools are available include: Area, Calculating angles, Coordinates, Counting on and back, Data handling, Decimal number line, Difference, Division Grid, Fixing points, Fractions, Grouping, Isometric grid, Line graph, Measuring cylinder, Measuring scales, Moving digits, Multiplication facts, Multiplication grid, Number dials, Number facts, Number facts, Number grid, Number line, Number spinners, Ordering numbers, Place value, Polygon, Remainders after division, Ruler, Symmetry, Tell the time, Thermometer, and Twenty cards.

Where can you access these resources?

These resources are no longer available from the Department for Education’s own website but are available from the following links:

Primary National Numeracy Strategy Interactive Teaching Programs – this site take you straight to the list of programs, click on chosen program which will take you to a Guide for that specific tool which will start in the browser on clicking “Run..” in the top right corner of each page. The guide for the complete range of tools can be accessed as a PDF from the “ITP Guide”  link on the main page. If you wish to download the programs for use offline (perhaps to embed in the likes of SMART Notebook software to be included in a sequence of support materials for a lesson), then instead of clicking on the program to run any tool, simply right-click on one, and choose “save target as” to save the file to your computer (as a flash swf file) which can then be dragged into SMART Notebook to run from there without the need to be online.

55 Interactive Teaching tools for Mathematics on RuperCollins.com – this includes other resources which can also be either downloaded or used online.

National STEM Centre Interactive Teaching Programs for Mathematics – this site provides further descriptions of each tool and requires signing up to the STEM website to access the resources.

SMART Exchange – SMART Board Resources for the Classroom Teacher

If your classroom has a SMART Board in it then a huge wealth of resources is available free to you online, making use of the SMART Board’s own interactive software, SMART Notebook, at SMART Exchange. This lets you browse through thousands of resources created by teachers worldwide, or you can filter your search to resources suitable for a specific yeargroup or teaching stage, or classroom activities, a curricular area, or by your own country’s curriculum – so, for example, Scottish Teachers can find resources to support experiences and outcomes within the Curriculum for Excellence.

SMART Notebook software combines a straightforward presentation tool with a host of interactive elements to help support the engagement of pupils with the topic being taught. And SMART Notebook software resources can be adapted by teachers to the needs of their own learners. SMART Exchange, in addition to the wealth of teaching resources just waiting to be donwloaded and used in the classroom,  also provides links to how-to guides to using a SMART Board more effectively, and a forum for teachers to share tips and ideas.

And if you don’t have SMART Notebook software on your computer where you are viewing the resources you can still make use of them by using SMART Notebook Express all online.

Video Tutorials to help get smarter at using your SMART Board interactive whiteboard in the classroom


In order for an interactive whiteboard to become more than simply a projection board, a teacher with a SMART Board interactive whiteboard needs to know how to make use of the interactive features of a SMART Board. And in order to become comfortable in using these tools this site http://www.fuuni.com/smart/smart provides for teachers an easily accessible series of bite-sized videos on specific tasks. So when you need to know how to do a specific task you can quickly find the appropriate video and watch just that video. Each video is only a few minutes in length so is straightforward to get going with just what is needed. Beside the title of each video the length of the video is indicated.

When that skill is embedded there are ideas for moving on to make greater use of the interactive features of the SMART Board. It’s when the interactive features of a SMART Board are used in the classroom that many teachers find the biggest benefits to learning and teaching in their classrooms.

Short task-specific video tutorials are provided for using your SMART Board interactive whiteboard.

These are grouped under categories and then listed as tasks you might wish to need to do.  Each tutorial title indicates the length of each tutorial.  These cover the following:

The Getting Started category includes Get to know your board, How to Check if the Notebook software is installed, Where to Download Notebook from the SMART website, how to Install Notebook on your computer, and how to Find the serial number on your board to activate the full version of the software. It’s worth noting here that SMART Notebook software is free to download to anyone, and the full version is downloadable. However until a user puts in a serial number the software is a time-limited trial version only. This means teachers with a SMART Board in their school can download the software for home use – they just need to have the serial number from their SMART Board.

The Getting Connected category includes videos on how to Connect the cables, and what the status lights mean.

The section on Using Your Computer In A Whole New Way includes orienting the board, Using the onscreen keyboard, right-clicking, and using Ink Aware in Word and PowerPoint. Ink Aware is a neat feature for using Word documents or Powerpoint presentations where the teacher can use the pen tool to write on a Word/Powerpoint document on the SMART Board and then, using Ink Aware, instantly convert it to text within the Word document. This applies to images drawn onto the board too where Ink Aware lets you add them as embedded images in Word/Powerpoint.

A Whiteboard But Smarter – in this category there are videos showing how to Open the Notebook software, Get to know the interface and wide range of tools, Write on the whiteboard, Move and resize your writing, Convert your writing to text, Type text into Notebook, Draw simple shapes using the shape recognition pen, Draw complex shapes using the shapes tool, Fill shapes with colour, and how to Share your created files with pupils and colleagues.

In the final category of video tutorials you will find videos on Creating Engaging Lesson Activities, how to Check if gallery essentials is installed, how to Download and install gallery essentials, an Introduction to the gallery, how to Search for gallery content, how to Browse for gallery content, and where to Find content on the SMART Exchange, Insert content into your lesson, and add your own files to your own My content area.

http://www.fuuni.com/smart/smart is one of many other sites which provide video tutorials on using a SMART Board in an interactive way to support learning and teaching in classrooms.

I can’t see back here! Using a visualiser or document camera in the classroom

A visualiser (sometimes called a document camera) lets a teacher display something small to a whole class via a PC and projector.  This means that a teacher can demonstrate to a whole class something which would be difficult to show to a whole class without the whole class gathered round a table vying for space to see the demonstration.  A visualiser provides a means to take a piece of work from a pupil and immediately show it to a whole class, perhaps highlighting particular features or small details of the work.

In addition to simply creating an enlarged view of any object, visualiser software also enables a teacher to take snapshot pictures of whatever features may wish to be highlighted for later viewing or sharing elsewhere.  Video recordings of the activity or process involved in creating or changing a piece of work can also be made for replaying as required.  These videos can be replayed via the PC or on interactive whiteboard or embedded on a website or blog.

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The TTS Easi-View visualiser combines an ease of use with a price within reach of primary schools (around £88 at time of posting).  It can be used with an interactive whiteboard, you can view documents (pupil work or books), share work with the rest of the class, and pupils can use it to let the whole class see small objects brought in for show-and-tell activities.  When combined with a laptop and projector at whole-school assemblies it can be used to ensure everyone can see details of small objects.  The picture snapshot or video recording tool provides a means to create portfolios for evidence of learning.  When combined with stop-motion animation software (such as SAM Animation software) it can be used to create stopframe animations. Note that less expensive visualisers like this have poorer resolution and refresh rate than more expensive models, menaing that images will be less crisp, and movement of objects will be slightly blurred in comparison to more expensive visualisers. It would always be wise to think about the purpose to which the tool will be put and comparison made to ensure the chosen device will meet the need.

The video below is a demonstration of the TTS Easi-View visualiser:

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Bendy gooseneck, 5 x optical zoom, 1.3MP digital images/snapshot, Video capture, Built-in light/brightness control, USB direct plug (to PC then view on whiteboard).  It also has an audio connection via standard 3.5mm headphone connection so recordings can include sound.

For a visualiser  producing a higher quality image, which would work well in a classroom situation, you may also wish to consider the Elmo MO-1 . The video below gives a demonstration of this visualiser.


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Features of the Elmo – MO-1 include:
Ability to record full motion video in 30fps with audio
Portable –Weighs only 550g and Folds flat
Output resolutions –1080i, WXGA, 720p and analogue RGB output
Flexible viewing options – Can rotate each image in 90 degree increments
Built in microphone
8 x digital zoom

The video below shows how a visualiser can be used to aid Formative Assessment in the classroom (the principles apply to the use of any visualiser but shows the use of an AVerVision visualiser):

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Click on the link below for a video from Teachers.TV about the benefits of using a visualiser with primary pupils, along with useful tips and resources:


Click on the link below for one teacher’s view of the use of a visualiser in a classroom (this mentions both SMART and Avermedia visualisers but the views are applicable to other visualisers):


Click on the link below to read an account by Dughall McCormick about using a Visualiser in the Primary Classroom:

Click on the link below for information from Hertfordshire Grid for Learning on the use of visualisers in the classroom:


Click on the link below for over 100 ideas collected from many teachers of ways to use a visualiser or document camera in the classroom:

Click on the link below for some stage-specific ideas for using visualisers in the classroom:
100 ways to use a visualiser in the classroomhttp://www.edtechnetwork.com/document_cameras.html

Click on the link below for the Wikipedia entry on visualisers which contains links to various uses to consider for the classroom as well as other useful resources:


http://cybraryman.com/documentcameras.html – Jerry Blumengarten’s Cybraryman links to a wide range of resources to support the use of visualisers/document cameras in the classroom.

https://docs.google.com/present/view?id=dhn2vcv5_357zsk34mc6 Interesting Ways to use a visualiser – ideas collated by Tom Barrett

Elmo Classroom Solutions provide details of their range of visulaisers as well as lesson ideas and case studies of the use of visualisers in classrooms.

@eherreid #LiveBinder on Document Cameras filled with lots of resources – http://bit.ly/hadYX0

http://www.visualiserforum.co.uk/ The visualiser forum provides links to resources including lesson plans for using a visualiser across the curriculum.

The Educational Technology Network has a post on Document Cameras which lists various ways a visualiser (document camera) can be used across the curriculum, grouped in different ages and stages.

The visualiser also serves as a webcam which can be used for video-conferencing.  Click here for Interesting Ways, and Tips, to use Web Conferencing

There is a wide range of suppliers of visualisers/document cameras and a range of models from each. Generally the less expensive models will have poorer resolution so that detail will be less crisp, and the refresh rate will be such that movement of objects will be more blurred. As models get more expensive so they add crispness and clarity to images for zooming in or recording video. Each model add further features, with additional cost. Some models will plug and play without additional software needing to be installed while others will require the dedicated software on the PC. So the choice is for the school.

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