Interactive Whiteboards in Australia

News, ideas and discussion about interactive whiteboards in education

Posts Tagged ‘windows’

Running different activities on your interactive whiteboard and computer

Posted by rosiemacalpine on February 2, 2009

Usually, whatever you do on your computer monitor shows on your IWB (and vice-versa). But did you know that you can have different activities showing on each one? This might be useful if:

  • Students are writing independently and referring to words on the IWB while they are doing so. You want to be able to use your computer to finish a worksheet for the next activity.
  • A student doing extension work is reading an article on your desktop computer while other students are completing an activity at the board.
  • An educational assistant is using the class computer to make a resource for the class while your class is answering comprehension questions that are written on the IWB.

You won’t be able to interact with both screens at once, but it’s very handy for when you just need to view information on one screen and work on another.

To do this, you need to make your desktop much wider. It will then display over two screens.


On your desktop computer and IWB your extended desktop will run over the two screens and look like this (note that there are no icons on the IWB, indicating that it is one long desktop rather than two identical screens).


To change your set up to extended monitor, right click any part of your background and choose Properties… from the drop down menu.


Click on the setting tab. Then click on the picture of the computer screen on the right (your IWB screen). Now look at the check boxes at the bottom of the dialogue box.


Click ‘Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor’ to put a tick in this box.  Now your desktop will extend over the two screens.

You will need to make a change in the Activstudio settings to put flipcharts on the page. Go to Studio Settings… and select Multiple Monitors in the left hand menu. Change Showing Other Tools from Specific Monitor to Mouse Monitor.


Now you will be able to show flipcharts on one page and work on the computer simultaneously.




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Saving time with drag and drop

Posted by rosiemacalpine on December 8, 2008

As I’ve become more confident with using my whiteboard and the software, I’ve discovered some quick tricks to getting things on to my flipchart page. These tricks have been tested with Windows XP and Activstudio – however, it’s worth experimenting with other software and nd operating systems in case some of them work for you, too.

1. Arranging windows.

This is something I use a lot and it’s a big time saver. You can use the buttons in your right hand corner of the screen to minimize your window or change the size of it. Instead of manually adding files or pictures through a menu, you can just drag them on.

When you use these buttons to restore down a window, it usually makes it only slightly smaller (which is not all that useful as you still can’t see your other windows). However, you can now drag the  drag this window so it only covers half the screen. Next time you arrange  it,  it will automatically go to this size.

One more thing:  You can also double-click the title bar (the blue bar at the top of the window) to make your window smaller or return it to the full size. Much quicker!

2. Dragging things from your web browser

In the picture below, I’ve got a Wikipedia page about quokkas in one window, and my flipchart page in the other.


To drag a picture, click on the picture then hold down your left mouse button and drag it onto the other page. In Activstudio you get a pop-up menu asking if you want to add it as text or an image. Choose Image – choosing add text will add the web address of the image to your page.

To add text, select it with your cursor then drag it across.

3. Adding things from your desktop/ other windows.

You can also add sounds (wav or mp3), videos, and other files from your desktop or from folders.  For example:

  • A downloaded YouTube video of building a bridge to kick off your lesson on forces
  • A Word file of the worksheet that accompanies your lesson – so you will find it again next time you use the flipchart
  • A sound file of a rainforest parrot, which you have made transparent and added over the top of a picture of the parrot (found on google images)
  • A picture of your class on excursion, set to the background of your page

When you drag these types of files on, you have the option of adding them as links or as embedded files. I would also recommend adding them as embedded files. If you add them as links you have to keep the original file in the same place. If you’ve made a flipchart for school using a picture from your home desktop you won’t be able to see it on another computer.

Choosing the embed option keeps a copy of the file inside the flipchart so you can always get it. You can share it with other teachers and they will also be able to see your added videos, sounds or other files.

And as always, check copyright before using other people’s stuff.

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