ActivInspire guidance and tips: September 2017
ActivInspire was flagged for replacement, due to be replaced with a new cloud based solution called ClassFlow Connect. The latest news is that Promethean are deciding to keep ActivInspire for the foreseeable future and will continue to support it with new software releases, hoorah! With that in mind, here is some guidance and tips for making the most out of the application.
Switching the look/feel of ActivInspire
ActivInspire has two different styles you can use. One is based around ActivPrimary, the program that ActivInspire replaced. The other has a professional feel, for those well used to using programs like PowerPoint. Both provide the same functionality, but depending on your preferences or where you may be teaching you are able to switch between the two. Figure 1 shows the ‘primary’ look and feel, whilst figure 2 shows the ‘studio’ look and feel.
The easiest way to switch between the two styles is when the application is first opened. When you open the application, the ActivInspire dashboard (figure 3) should pop up. Simply click on configure, then click the check box at the bottom to switch to whichever style you are not currently on. The next time you start the application you will see the new style. If this option does not popup on start, go to view > dashboard.
You may have noticed that different installations of ActivInspire have different sets of tools to use in their flipcharts. This is most likely due to someone selecting a certain ‘profile’ from ActivInspire that changes the interface slightly dependent on the needs of the user.
To make use of this feature, click view > switch profile. Each of these profiles have different settings and tools for you to make use of. For instance whilst teaching Maths it may be prudent to select the Mathematics profile. This places all Maths tools in a more accessible way. Some profiles expand the size of the page by sacrificing toolbars. It’s worthwhile checking out which profile may benefit you at a certain time.
Calibrating the pen
We’ve all been there. You come to write on your interactive white board and the pen simply isn’t matching where you are pressing. Panic not, this is an easy error to fix. If you click the up arrow in the bottom right of your desktop, you should see an icon like figure 4. Right click this icon and select ‘calibration’. From here, select either 5 or 25 point calibration, dependent on how far off the pen is from where you are pressing. Once you have completed the wizard the pen will now be perfectly calibrated.
Note: if the icon in figure 4 has a red cross in the middle, it is worth speaking to your R&M technician to get this resolved before proceeding.
The ‘clear’ tool
Let’s imagine you wish to quickly clear a flipchart page of any writing, objects, grids, or even clear the page entirely. The clear tool lets you do that quickly and easily. Find the icon below (figure 5) in your toolbox. Clicking on it presents you with the following options.
1. Clear annotations
2. Clear objects
3. Clear grid
4. Clear background
5. Clear page
Adding a link to a website or document
You’ve got your lesson all planned out, but then you need to switch back to your planning and find that YouTube link or PowerPoint to carry on the next part of your lesson. ActivInspire can help with the useful hyperlink tool.
Click insert > link to be presented with the following options (figure 6).
If you select ‘file’, you can browse for different files stored on your computer or network drives. This will insert a link into your flipchart page which you can click on and be taken directly to that file. Similarly, if you click on ‘website’ and enter a website address, you will be taken directly to that page. This is a really great feature for planning ahead and ensuring your lessons flow as well as they can.
There are far more features and functions not discussed in this blog. If you would like more information, please speak with your R&M ICT Technician who will be happy to lend support. We are also able to arrange training and demonstrations of the software directly with Promethean. Worth keeping in mind for any CPD days in the future, particularly with new features such as ClassFlow.
Written by: Dale Vernon