Interactive whiteboards

here is a little guide I have put together to help you with your Promethean IWB.

What is Activstudio?

Activstudio is software designed to help teachers create interesting lessons on Interactive whiteboards. You can install Activstudio on a home computer you use for preparing lessons as well as the computer you use in class.

1. Using your Whiteboard (Activboard)

Switch on your board before starting your computer. The power indicator light, in the top-left corner of your board, should be illuminated when the board is switched on. When both your board and your computer are running, hold the Activpen lightly on the board, without pushing in the nib. The cursor on the board should line up with the Activpens tip. If it doesn’t, you need to calibrate the board.

2. Calibrating your Activboard

Hover the tip of your Activpen over the power indicator light in the top-left corner of your board. After a few seconds you will hear a tone and instructions will appear on the board. Follow the instructions to calibrate your board.

… or right click on the promethen whiteboard icon on the task bar at the bottom of your screen and choose calibrate

… or go to the dashboard, go to ‘configure’ and choose calibrate.

3. Using the Activpen

If this is the first time you have used a pen, try the techniques below: The Activpen is just like a mouse.

Moving the cursor

Hold the pen nib lightly on the board; don’t push in the pen nib. Move the pen around. The cursor will follow your pen.


Tap the pen nib firmly but quickly on the board.


Hover the pen nib over the board, less than a quarter of an inch away from the board. Press the orange button on the side of the pen.

Click and drag

Click on the object you want to move, hold the pen nib down on the board and then move the pen. The object you have clicked will move with the pen.


Two firm but quick taps with the pen nib is the same action as a doubleclick with a mouse.


4. Launching Activstudio

When your computer is turned on, you will see the Activstudio icon on your display.

Double-click on the Activstudio icon with the Activpen.

Click OK on any messages until you see Activstudio’s dashboard.




5. The Dashboard

The dashboard is your launch pad to open your files and organize Activstudio just how you want it. When you have finished this booklet, explore the dashboard for further training ideas and software updates.


Getting Started

Click on ‘New Flipchart’.

The Main toolbox appears on your display, along with a blank flipchart page.



Move the pen lightly on the board without pressing in the pen nib. The computer’s cursor will follow your movement. If you hover the pen over one of the tools or buttons on the Main toolbox a tool tip will appear. Tool tips remind you of a button’s function. Hover over the tool shown here. You’ll see it is called the Pen tool.


6. Pen tool

To activate the Pen tool, click on it. You’ll see it changes to include an orange background, showing it is active. Click on any colour you would like to select it. I have chosen blue in the picture.

Write the word ‘Welcome’ at the top of the page. Don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. Many staff dislike their writing to start with. It can take a while to get used to writing on the board.

7 Undo and redo tools

The Undo tool is useful if you make a mistake. You can click on the Undo tool many times.

Click on the Undo button now and see your writing start to disappear.

Now click on the Redo tool until all of your writing returns.

8. Changing the pen colour and pen width

Change the colour of the Pen tool by clicking on a different colour. The pen’s width can also be changed – just click on a different number in the Main toolbox. Underneath the word Activstudio write the word ‘to’.

9. Pen Width Selector

If you want a pen width greater than 8, you can use the Pen Width Selector.

Select another bright colour and drag the Pen Width Selector to the right slightly, don’t move it too far or the pen will become too thick. Add the word ‘Activstudio!’ to the page.

10. Highlighter tool

Click on the Highlighter tool. This presentation tool is ideal for highlighting the important parts of a text. Click on 50 and select a bright colour. Write over the word ‘Welcome’.

11. Pen tool tray.

Right click on the pen tool. A toolbox will pop up.  This is the quick way to draw lines which must be horizontal, vertical, to make arrows, pointers and basic shapes.

12. Save

Click on the Main Menu button, the top left button in the Main toolbox.

A menu will appear.

Select Flipchart >Save To>My Flipcharts.

The ‘Save a flipchart’ window should appear. Type

the file name and then click the Save button.

Click on the Main Menu button and select Exit to close Activstudio.


13 Re-opening a saved flipchart

Double-click on the Activstudio icon to re-launch Activstudio. When the dashboard appears, the flipchart you just saved will appear on the dashboard.

Click on the Next Page and Previous Page buttons to look through the pages you have produced using this tutorial.

2. Manipulating and adding objects

 1 Selecting objects

Create another page by clicking on the Next Page button, (it’s in the Flipchart toolstrip to the right of the page)

Select the Pen tool. Change the pen width to six. Choose a colour and write the maths problem ‘2 + 2 =’ (leaving room for an answer on the page.)

Now we want to select the entire maths problem. Click on the Marquee Select tool.

a. Click on a blank area to the top left of the maths problem.

b. Press the pen nib on the board and move the pen to the bottom right of the maths problem. You should see a box follow the pen as you move.

c. Release the pen from the board when the box surrounds the maths problem.

The sum should be surrounded by a dotted rectangle and some squares called pick-up boxes. This means the math problem is selected. It could take a few tries to select the entire maths problem.

Click on a blank area of the page if you need to start again.

2. Changing an object’s properties using pick-up boxes

Pick-up boxes are very useful when you want to change the size or position of an object.



Remember, you can use the Undo button if you make a mistake.


3 responses

30 03 2009

Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
See you!
Your, Raiul Baztepo

8 04 2009

Hello ! ^_^
I am Piter Kokoniz. Just want to tell, that your blog is really cool
And want to ask you: what was the reasson for you to start this blog?
Sorry for my bad english:)
Thank you!

15 04 2009

I started this blog to record all my fun using ICT with small children. Thanks for reading

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