Last year, SMART Notebook made an update to its user license agreement. Mac users on the latest iOS were no longer supported … unless you decided to pay for a single-user license at $800 a bang! That meant lesson plans we’d been using on a daily basis were suddenly no longer accessible. This brought a lot of frustration to educators, including myself.
For the past year, I stopped teaching with my Notebook files on a regular basis. I admit I occasionally transferred files on a memory stick to my computer at work, but reviewing lessons at home were now impossible.
The increase in price for a single-user was a terrible marketing move; if the license was under $100, it would easily fit on a classroom budget or the school budget. Even a desperate teacher might even scrounge up the change to pay out of his/her own pocket.
But nearly a thousand dollars just to edit existing files you’d had no trouble with before? No, thank you!
Nonetheless, I decided my students stay better engaged with the Smartboard and that they benefit from the lessons. In November, I purchased a Windows-based HP laptop ($625) and transferred all my lesson plans over. I had to repurchase a Planbook by Hellmansoft license ($43, expensed to the school) so that it links to my Dropbox.*
The transition has actually made my life a lot easier. No more memory stick tag!! That was a lot of work, transferring files back and forth every day. There were numerous technical hurdles** over the last two months, but I’m finally properly hooked up in January!
This morning, we watched a video on gears and wheels on my laptop. It went well. Yay for efficiency!
Of course, my desk is still a mess … not much I can do about that, it happens every day!
*Dropbox is where I store all my lesson plans, so that I can access them anywhere.
**Some of the hurdles were small, such as figuring out how to link up to the Smartboard. Others took a bit more time, like downloading drivers on terrible bandwidth. Still, the worst hurdle was not being able to transfer my lesson plans from Mac software to Planbook. Sadly, I had to start from scratch and retype my lessons!!