This year at BETT 2009 Promethean launched its latest range of Active Classroom solutions. These releases included its latest interactive whiteboard software, Activsoftware Inspire Edition. Again the software is a good example of being forward thinking – it runs across all three operating systems (including Linux). Promethean obviously has the netbook and open source market in mind.
I’ve had a chance to play around with Activesoftware Inspire Edition now – although I’ve not used it yet on a whiteboard. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to do this in the next week or so. The first thing I would say about Inspire is that it is incredibly intuitive. I found it took me a bit of time to get my head round earlier versions of Activesoftware. But Inspire seems to be very easy to use, with a lot more drop down boxes and features. I also like the way that you can export flipcharts straight to Promethean Planet so they can be shared with a wider audience.
Inspire edition combines all of the previous Active Software into one application. It combines Active Primary, Active Studio and Active Expression into a very user friendly interface. This is ideal for me as I use Active Expression a lot and means I will no longer have to jump between applications.
The other nice feature about Inspire Edition is that it includes facilities for a multi-touch duel pen capability. This allows two users to use the whiteboard at the same time through the ‘Activarena’ system. I think this is going to be great to use with classes and will add a whole new dimension to the use of whiteboards in the classroom for collaboration, teamwork and competition. Inspire also includes 50 ready made lessons that can be used with the Activarena system. Now all I need is some ActivArena Pens so I can get using this with a class?
Another innovative thing about Activesoftware Inspire Edition is that it’s being given away for free. Promethean are very keen to promote the idea that it’s also available for free to children, families and teachers. All you have to be is a member of Promethean Planet (free to join) and you can download a trail version of the software right away.
What else – oh yes, you don’t have to have a whiteboard to use the software and it would work particularly well on a tablet PC. You can also use the software with other makes of interactive whiteboard. Very clever marketing!