How to Adjust to your Interactive Whiteboard: Understanding Layers

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Understanding Layers

As you grow accustomed to using your IWB (interactive whiteboard) on a regular basis, you’ll doubtless come up with ideas that you would like to implement. At the same time, you may not feel ready to experiment with actions, sounds, and other properties. Fortunately, you can do a lot with your IWB if you understand layers and use them wisely. Using layers on your IWB is easy and a great step forward in getting your kids to interact with your board.

Like Pieces of Paper

Every object you put on your IWB – pictures, text, shapes, writing – is like it’s own piece of paper. And just like paper, these objects can be “stacked” so that one is on top of another. Your IWB software automatically places each new object onto its own layer, or its own piece of paper. And like pieces of paper, you can decide what objects should go on top of others. All you need to do this is your right mouse button.

Why Use Layers?

Layers can let you “hide” answers (either text or pictures) behind boxes. When you or your students move a box, the answer is revealed. Another neat trick is to write answers in white text on one side of the board on the top layer. When you or your students move a colored object under the text, it “magically” appears. These are easy ways to quickly design pages for vocabulary, quizzes, or quick games. More importantly, layers help make lessons more engaging and interesting. Your students will be excited to guess what’s hidden and what comes next.

How To

Below are step-by-step instructions on how to adjust layers using both Promethean and SmartBoard software. If you have different IWB software, you will need to adjust the steps accordingly.

How to Change Layers using ActivStudio (Promethean Software)

(WARNING: ActivStudio has 3 “main” layers ” (Top, Middle, Bottom) with several “minor” layers within them. This can be confusing, so I will simplify this by ignoring the Middle layer and making each move a 2 step process. While ActivStudio has an infinite number of layers, it will always place your most recent object on the bottom of the Middle layer. This is useful to keep in mind if you’re in a hurry when designing a page. Create objects/texts that will be on top first and objects/text that you want to hide on the bottom last.)

In the picture below, I created the black square first (1), followed by the red square (2) and then the blue square (3). Note that newer objects are placed below older objects.

But I want the red square (2) on top of the other two. To do this, I right click the red square, select “Edit,” “Layer,” and “Top.”

I right click the red square again, and this time click “Edit,” “To Front.”

By moving the squares around, you can see the red square (2) is on top, the blue square (3) is on the bottom, and the black square (1) is in the middle.

To move the black square to the bottom layer, I would repeat the same steps, but select “Bottom” and “To Back” instead.

Tip: If you have an object or image you want to “lock” onto the background, try choosing “Edit,” “Layer,” and “Lock On Background.”
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How to Change Layers using SMART Notebook (Smart Software)

Notebook has an infinite number of layers. It places each new object on the topmost layer. This is useful to keep in mind if you’re in a hurry when designing a page. Create objects/texts that will be on top AFTER you have created objects/text that you want to hide on the bottom.

In the picture below, I created the black square first (1), followed by the red square (2) and then the blue square (3). Note that newer objects are placed on top of older objects.

But I want the red square (2) on top of the other two. To do this, I right click the red square, select “Order” and “Bring to Front.”

By rearranging the squares, you can see that the red square (2) is on top, the blue square (3) is in the middle, and the black square (1) is on the bottom.

But what if I want to move the black square (1) to the middle? To do this, I right click the black square, select “Order” and “Bring Forward.” This moves the object forward one layer, instead of to the “top” of the pile.

By rearranging the boxes, you can see that I now have the red square (2) on top, followed by the black (1), and then the blue square (3). I can move objects backward or to the back using the same steps.

Tip: You can quickly add text to shapes by double clicking the object. This only seems to work with shapes made from the Notebook, however, and not on pasted objects.
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Was this post helpful?  Leave a comment or check out other IWB posts below:

How to Adjust to your Interactive Whiteboard: Use Old Lessons on your New IWB

How to Adjust to your Interactive Whiteboard: The Chart Page

How to Adjust to your Interactive Whiteboard: Do’s and Don’ts

4 Easy Ways to Get Students to Interact with your Interactive Whiteboard

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