Smartboards are so easy to use that generally my training of new users begins with holding up one finger and saying "Mouse. Now go to work." Beginners usually need to practice a bit with their level of touch, but beyond that, using a smartboard is like using a giant desktop. if you know how to use your computer, you can use a smartboard. Every once in a while there is some small problem, usually easily fixed. Here is a small list of problems I have seen or heard about and each one links to a quick explanation of how to resolve that problem. Feel free to ask more questions by hitting the edit this page button and then adding your question/problem to the list. Check back in a day or two and your answer is likely to be posted.

How do I ...

...Make my board space bigger--I run out of notebook page before I am done writing on the board.

...Get my pen to line up with where it is supposed to be writing on the board?

...What if I make something at home that I want to use at school? How do I get it to school?

...practice with smartboard software at home or with a different computer at school?

...I am annoyed that I find these great gallery objects and then the next day during the lesson it takes too much time to find them again. What can I do?

...Sometimes gallery objects change size unexpectedly when I am dragging them around and want them to stay the same; what can I do?

...Sometimes my desktop (that is connected to my smartboard) starts to do weird things independently. Often a thin frame appears around the desktop on my monitor. What is happening? How can I fix it?

...Make my board space bigger--I run out of notebook page before I am done writing on the board.
You can extend your board space as you work by hitting the small blue link at the bottom of the blank page where it says, "extend the page."

...Get my pen to line up with where it is supposed to be writing on the board?
If your pen is not writing properly, one of three things may be happening.
  • It may be that your board needs to be oriented. Even if you have already done this, it can need redoing from time to time. Particularly if you have students who slam doors or a particularly shaky building. To re-orient, select orient from the smartboard toolbar. Then hit each + with your finger as it appears on the board. That should help your board and projector to communicate better.
  • It may be that one of the markers is not in its home or that someone or something is touching the board or mouse while you are trying to write. Check that your computer keyboard and mouse are free of interference and that all your smartboard markers are in their respective slots.
  • Finally, I did have the writing problem once when I updated my smartboard software and the update did not work properly. If this might be the case, you should uninstall and reinstall the software.

...practice with smartboard software at home or with a different computer at school?
This is easy to do if you are familiar with downloading software. Simply go to Smarttech.com and go to software downloads. There you will find downloads of the notebook software and galleries readily available for your operating system. You need to agree that you are a smartboard patron (and not just stealing software to use with some other hardware). If you have a smartboard at school, you have permission to download copies of the software so that you may work freely from home. Obviously, most of us will not be connected to a smartboard at home, but we can use our mouse and just practice with the software, creating gallery items, or just to learn how to navigate around the pages.

Another option is to watch the smarttech.com tutorial videos from home. The videos have some parts that are like smartboard practice modules.

What if I make something at home that I want to use at school? How do I get it to school?
If you make a notebook page with special settings ready for a lesson, you press file/save and give it a good name and an easy-to-find location. You can then email the saved notebook pages (as you would email any attachment) to your school address. Another option is to save the notebook pages onto a flash or pen drive and bring the pen drive to school. When you click on the saved notebook pages, it will open the software and your saved page will be on top.

I am annoyed that I find these great gallery objects and then the next day during the lesson it takes too much time to find them again. What can I do?
You have several options:
  • You can drag the gallery objects that you intend to use onto a blank notebook page. Then, if you save that page it will come up the next day with those gallery objects already on it--no searching necessary.
  • OR you can go to "my content" in the notebook gallery column and create folders for yourself (mine include: math, science, reading, and writing). You create folders by clicking the down arrow next to the words "My Content," and then you select new folder. When the new folder pops up you can name it. Once you have folders, do searches through the gallery for topics and items that match your teaching topics. For instance in math we are working on decimals and division. I do a search for each to find what is identified in the gallery that might help me with division and decimals. The search items appear in the bottom of the gallery column. If I like any of the objects I select them and drag them into "My Content" folders. That way I have weeded through all the gallery content and picked out my favorites ahead of time. During a lesson I can go straight to my content folders which are filled with the objects that I like to use.
  • OR you can create notebook lessons ready to go with all the objects you plan to use already built into the pages of the lesson itself. If you include words and prompts, it will be like you presenting with an interactive powerpoint slide show. You can flip from slide to slide to present the material, but you can also move the material around and mark on it as if it were animated overheads.


Sometimes gallery objects change size unexpectedly when I am dragging them around; what can I do?
When you use a gallery object and drag it if you hit a corner it is likely to think you are changing the size or shape of it. Instead, prior to dragging an object, click th little drop down arrow that appears in the right, top corner of the object. Select "Lock" and then "Lock allow move." That command will allow your object to move without changing shape.


Sometimes my desktop (that is connected to my smartboard) starts to do weird things independently. Often a thin frame appears around the desktop on my monitor. What is happening? How can I fix it?
Usually when the computer is doing things on its own...it is not.:) What is most likely happening is that something is leaning on or touching your smartboard screen and as a result your smartboard is trying to "talk" to your desktop. This can happen even if your projector is turned off. A person could be leaning on the board; you might have left a marker slightly out of the try; or a corner of a poster or display might be touching the white screen. Generally, when you fix these things, the board goes back to normal. If not, try hitting "escape." In the rare situation that none of this works, you may need to reinstall software.