Interactive Whiteboards in Australia

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Archive for January 22nd, 2009

Activsoftware – Inspire Edition

Posted by rosiemacalpine on January 22, 2009

As a true Activaddict, I downloaded this new edition this at home within an hour of release last week. It’s an great new version with lots of useful new tools and functions for teachers to use in their classroom.

One of the most exciting things about the new program is how it will be licenced. It will still be a free upgrade for teachers who already have the board. But if you have a different board, you now have the option of using this software too! The Personal Edition will be free, and there will also be the option of using a Professional Edition at a cost. This means that you will be able to share resources with other teachers, no matter what kind of board they have. I think this will be a huge benefit for the teaching community.

The structure

Previously there were four versions of the software – Activstudio Windows, Activstudio Mac,  Activprimary Windows and Activprimary Mac.

This has now been simplified into one program. This will make training and collaboration between teachers much easier. Activprimary still has its own interface (or skin) but it has the full functionality of Activstudio.

The design

The look of the new program is based on the Mac version (which had a much more stylish interface). It is still similar enough to the old Activstudio to quickly find your way around and start using the board.

Both the Activstudio and Activprimary skins are attractive and easy to use. But as a former Activstudio devotee, I’m surprised how much I like the Primary skin now! It makes it super easy for new users (teachers or students) to pick up a pen and start writing.

Activstudio skinimage

Activprimary skin image

The features

There are so many improvements in the version that it’s difficult to know where to start! So I’ve narrowed it down to a list of my ten favourite things about the new version.

1. Play downloaded videos from the internet directly in the flipchart window + a snapshot button on the video controller for easy screenshots.

2. The eraser button now acts as a true eraser – not a mask. There is a new ‘Magic Ink’ button that lets you do special X-ray effects like the old eraser did.

3. A one click button inserts a weblink on your page.

4. New connector tool and improved shapes library lets you create mind maps and brainstorms (similar to Inspiration).

5. Students will now be able to access the program at home, so they can design interactive presentations as part of their assessment.

6. Activote and Activexpression (see picture of these voting devices below) now work seamlessly inside the program. It’s a one click button to start voting with either device.


7. Text editing is much simpler, with a fixed editing toolbar.

8. Hundreds of new resources are included for teachers. They are ready to use or can be edited to suit the needs of your class. You still have access to all your old resources (more than 25,000 if you’ve added the free resource packs!)


9. The new side browser makes it much easier to add page notes, change the properties of an object, or add actions. This snapshot of the object browser shows how simple it is to change the layer, position or delete an object.


10. Maths tools have all been redesigned and improved. One of my favourites is the ruler. You can have multiple rulers on a page, view the angle as you turn the ruler and compare different units of measurement.


The new edition is available for download here at Promethean Planet. If you are not registered on the Planet, then you’ll need to sign up (but it’s free!) Remember that you don’t have to have a Promethean board to sign up or download the software. It is a Beta version though, so don’t plan to use with your class until the final release date (March).

There’s also a free course here at Promethean Learning. This flash-based course will guide you through the new features. Happy playing!


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