As reported earlier, Smart Technologies recently released a new piece of software called Notebook Student Edition (NSE). According to Smart, “It caters to nonlinear, higher order thinking and enables them to manage, sort and categorize their in-class and at-home assignments. With more mouse tools, the software is designed for use on a computing device and not on a whiteboard.” This program is just available a a beta right now so not all the bugs have been worked out. Downloader beware.
When you open up NSE it starts on a very different screen than you plain jane Notebook installation. The first stop is the new “My Home” page. Here, Smart gives several templates that allow students to have their own schedule as well as areas to customize with their own pictures.
Across the top of the My home area, there is a new tab bar with three tabs. The first takes you to the “My Home” area, a tab labeled “My Binder” (more on that later) and then a tab with the day’s date called “My Notes”. Any new notebook files opened will create another tab with the name of the file on it. If you hover over a tab, a small x will appear that you can click to close the file similar to most tabbed web browsers.
Down the right (as in the picture above) or left side of the screen depending on the preferences is the normal toolbar tabs with the addition of one new tab at the bottom for Quick Links indicated by a picture of a pencil and ruler. The other tabs, page sorter, gallery, attachments, and property tabs are unchanged from Notebook 10 (though they are a wider width than in Notebook 10 Service Pack 1). The new Quick Links tab provides handy links to recent files that have been opened and links to files that are due in the coming week. Included in the Beta version are some links for some surveys about the new program that I imagine will not be in the regular release.
During the installation process, the user is asked to choose a location on the computer to put the My Binder save date. Here, students can create and import Notebook files. After they add files, students can edit the properties of the document to add due dates, subject and keywords. Students and browse these files under the My Binder tab. The ninja wonders if a teacher could set up and binder save location on a network to multiple installations of NSE in a lab setting. Would that then allow a teacher to drop a notebook file into that save location on the network and it be available to all the student computers.
A new button is also included in the default toolbar.
This new button give you a link to tutor.com which is a pay-for-use website that allows students to fine tutoring help on homework via the internet. This button can easily be removed.
So what are your thoughts on Notebook SE? How can it be used in a class settings? Share your ideas in the comments.