For the IT department of a School District, updating old Smartboards with new technology and software can be an absolute minefield. There are a lot of decisions to be made. What technology? What size LED? How much is it? What software does it come with? This question always leads to the even bigger question we guarantee will come from all the teachers "Can I keep my existing lessons?"
Teachers are renowned for building up a portfolio of lesson content that can be modified and used again and again. The prospect of losing this material or indeed having to recreate it from scratch can be a terrifying thought. Over the last 10+ years Smart Technologies have done a fantastic job of educating schools and universities around the world what an Interactive Whiteboard was and as such, there are a lot of their products in the marketplace. This also means that lots of the content that has been created by teachers is designed for use with SMART Notebook®; Smart's proprietary software.
Recent changes in the sales/pricing model has meant that this software comes at a cost to the School District and many are looking for alternatives to this as budgets have become tighter. At TouchIT Technologies we do have a solution for this which combines our Interactive LEDs, the ideal replacement for aged interactive whiteboards and our Oktopus software.
Oktopus software allows you to import your legacy SMART Notebook® files into the Oktopus format meaning that the teachers do not lose their material. For the District's IT team, it means that the burning question on all the teacher's lips regarding their old content can be answered in the style of the X Factor with "A big FAT yes". The fear quickly drains away from their faces, pulses stop racing and all is good with the world once again.
Importing files in Oktopus is a simple three step process. Click import, select the file and click ok to import it. Imported files will need a little bit of work to bring them up to 100% functionality but this is to be expected when moving from one format to another. The key point is that the content is not lost and doesn't need to be recreated from scratch. As most interactive whiteboards, certainly the old ones were in a 4:3 aspect ratio, the 16:9 ratio of most LEDs will require you to re-position and resize some of your material to make sure that it looks its best on the LED.
As the resolutions are higher on an LED, some of the older low resolution pictures you have used might need updating and changing to higher resolution images but this is more of a personal preference than a must for the content to be used. Next, if you have used any of the SMART Notebook® tools that are specific to them, you will need to make sure that the equivalent Oktopus tools is dropped into the page. A timer or stopwatch for example.
Finally, if you have used a feature that is not yet available in Oktopus, the software will do its best to accommodate what you are trying to import. You may then need to implement a different way of doing this in Oktopus, there is always more than one way of doing things in interactive software.
Interested in learning more, watch our video.
SMART Board® and SMART Notebook® are registered Trademarks of Smart Technologies in the USA and other countries around the world.