betchaboy_sml.jpgWhat's New in ActivInspire?

Chris Betcher

Promethean recently released the new ActivInspire, the long-awaited (by me!) replacement for ActivStudio 3. Inspire is a total redesign and rewrite of the software, with a completely new codebase and user interface. If you are an ActivStudio user, you will probably find the new interface a great improvement, although it may take a little getting used to at first.

This session is aimed at anyone who uses Activ Studio, and its goal is to fast-track you into quickly becoming an Activ Inspire power user. Learn about the key new features, how to customise the interface to suit the way you work, understand the new interface and use your new skills to quickly get productive with Inspire Edition.

The new software (v1.2) can be downloaded from the Promethean Planet website at

Learn by watching. Consolidate by doing.

For the essential skills covered in this workshop, I've recorded short screencasts of each of them. I've tried to outline the main points of Activ Inspire, and to provide you with a place to go to revise the things we talked about in the session. These movies were created using Screentoaster, a free Web 2.0 tool for creating screencasts.

Some of the new features include:
  • Windows-like behaviour
  • User Profiles
  • Customisable UI
  • The Browser
  • Layer management
  • Resource LIbrary
  • Actions
  • Properties
  • New tools - Connectors, Eraser, Lines and Shapes
  • Desktop Tools
  • Primary vs Studio in one product
  • New Import and Export options

If you want to know more, you might also like to check out the InspireHelp menu, in particular...
  • What's new in a nutshell
  • What's new in more detail

And if you own an iPhone or iPod Touch, don't forget to check out the new Promethean Planet for iPhone app!

For the purpose of this workshop, I'm making the assumption that you've used Activ Studio 3 and have a basic understanding of that software. This session will mainly focus on the key new improvements in Activ Inspire and how it differs to the previous version.


More standard Windows-like behaviour (plus a full screen mode)
Optional placement for toolbar
Why does the screen have that white rectangular area?

Profiles – standard profiles plus make your own
Editing profiles

Pinning behaviour for toolbar and browsers

Browser palettes, including much better layer management

Properties browser

Actions browser

For even more videos about the new Inspire features, be sure to check out the links I made at Screentoaster

About Chris Betcher

Chris Betcher is an Australian teacher, author, blogger and podcaster. He currently works as ICT Integrator at Presbyterian Ladies College Sydney, one of Australia's oldest and most respected independent girls' schools,. In this role he works with students and teachers from Reception to Year 12, assisting them make learning richer and more meaningful through the wise use of technology.

Chris is co-author of "The Interactive Whiteboard Revolution: Teaching with IWBs", a book about the effective use of interactive whiteboards. He blogs regularly about education, technology and ideas at, and also produces a podcast called The Virtual Staffroom, featuring conversations with leading teachers about the use of technology in the classroom. He presents at conferences and workshops in Australia, New Zealand and Canada on the effective use of technology for learning, and is an active contributing member of the online global educational community.

This conference is proudly sponsored by