By: Michael Kieca, Technology Resource Checkout Graduate Assistant SMART Slate

With its wireless mobility and lightweight, ergonomic design, the SMART Slate is ideal for any classroom in which the instructor wants to provide digital interaction.  The SMART Slate is easily connected to your computer, projector, and/or SMART Board through Bluetooth allowing students to interact from anywhere in the room.  Whatever the professor or the student writes on the slate is transferred immediately to the computer screen, projected display, or the SMART Board.  For example, if the professor writes a math problem on the screen, he or she can hand the slate to one of the students or groups and have them solve the problem as the rest of the students watch.  If the classroom also has a SMART Board, one student can use the slate and another can use the SMART Board to compare and analyze their answers.

A unique feature that the SMART Slate has is printable underlays which are easily customized and printed from the SMART Board Software Control Panel and fit right under the active screen area (2).  Each of the underlays has customizable features to give you instant access to different features and tools on the SMART Slate. (To see step-by-step how to do this, see the Tech Tip below the workshop registration form.) Another feature on the SMART Slate is the programmable buttons (1) which are located at the top of the slate and one on the battery-free tethered pen (3).  You can program these buttons to do an array of things such as next or previous page, right or middle mouse click, or you can even program it so one of the buttons opens up the SMART Notebook software.  The SMART Slate also comes with a USB cable which is used to charge the slate when it is not in use.  The slate has a battery life of up to 24 hours of continuous use and a power switch to allow you to turn it off when it is not being used.  So whether you want to solve problems or answer questions during lectures and small group projects for everyone to see, the SMART Slate gives you that power, from anywhere.


  • Battery-free, tethered pen
  • Customizable and printable underlays from the SMART Board Software Control Panel
  • Programmable buttons
  • Bluetooth adapter
  • USB Cable
  • SMART Notebook Software
  • International language support

SMART Slate in Education

  • Classroom mobility
  • Student involvement
  • Comparable answers using slate and SMART Board
  • Screen capture for instruction or step-by-step learning

Tech Tip: Customizing Buttons, Underlay, and Icon Strip on the SMART Slate

By:  Amanda Richards, Interactive Multimedia Lab Assistant

Customize Pen and Button settings:

  • Open SMART Board Notebook Software
  • From the Quick Start screen of the Notebook Software open the SMART Board software Control Panel.

  • Click SMART Hardware Settings.

  • To customize the left and right arrows click on the drop-down menu that reads Previous Page and Next Page.
    • Choose from Next page, previous page, clear screen, print page, right click, middle click, floating mouse, keyboard, floating tools, notebook software, screen capture toolbar, and disabled.
  • To customize the middle menu button click the drop down menu reading Notebook Software.
  • Click Apply on the bottom right.

From this screen you can also find the settings for your Underlay Toolbar.

  • Where the drop down menu reads Pen and Button Settings, click and select Set Up Underlay and Icon Strip.

To choose which icons you wish to use, click Configure Icon Strip.

  • On the right hand side are your Current Tools and on the left are your Available Tools.
  • To add or remove a tool to your icon strip, simply click the tools you wish to add/remove and then click the add>> button or the <<remove button.
  • To rearrange your icons use the Move Up and Move Down buttons.
  • When finished, click OK.

The next step is to customize your Underlay by clicking the Customize Underlay button (as highlighted in green in one of the pictures above.)

  • Selectt Horizontal or Vertical lines, choose Border Color, Center Color, and Icon Strip Color.
  • When finished adjusting, click OK.
  • The next step is to print your underlay by clicking the Print button.
  • Cut out your underlay and put it under your screen to use your newly formatted toolbar.

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