Addressing Alberta's Social Studies Critical Challenges using SMART Notebook Software

with Candace Beaton and Wally Diefenthaler

A series of 3 webinars:
Session 1: Critical Thinking with Notebook Tools
Playback the webinar here.
Session 2: Critical Thinking with Notebook Gallery
Playback the webinar here.
Session 3: Sharing Created Learning Resources
Playback the webinar here

Notebook software can be a powerful tool for creating effective, engaging activities for students. In this webinar series, you will learn how to use the tools and features in Notebook to create a lesson resource that addresses and supports the Alberta Social Studies Online Guides' Critical Challenges.

Day 1-Critical Thinking with Notebook Tools: This webinar provides an overview of The Critical Thinking Consortium's (TC2) model of critical thinking. An example of a how you can use a critical challenge to address critical thinking is explored. Furthermore, this webinar delves into the tools available in Notebook Software and models how they could be used to address various Critical Challenges. A sample template for creating a critical challenge learning resource is shared. Notebook tools, such as linking to online resources and using the capture toolbar, are modelled to demonstrate how they can be used to create interactive activities to help students address critical challenges. Participants have the opportunity to use these tools to begin creating their learning resource.

Day 2-Critical Thinking with the Notebook Gallery: This session continues to build upon the features available in Notebook Software and how they can be used to support the teaching and learning of critical challenges. During this webinar, interactive activities from the Gallery and Lesson Activity Toolkit are used to address critical challenges. In addition, other tools such as page recording and the SMART Recorder, are used to address assessment opportunities. Participants continue to have the opportunity to build their learning resource.

Day 3-Sharing Session: During this culminating session, participants share their created learning resources and provide examples of ways in which they could be used in various classroom contexts. Click here to view completed resources.


Candace Beaton is a former educator with the Calgary Board of Education and a former Certified Education Consultant for SMART Technologies Inc. In 2010, Candace launched Teaching Smart, a professional development company whose main goal is to provide relevant, curriculum-based workshops to educators using SMART products in their classrooms.


Wally Diefenthaler is the Alberta Regional Director of the Critical Thinking Consortium and an experienced educator and facilitator. He led the development and writing of the new Social Studies high school curriculum in Alberta. Diefenthaler has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Governor General's Award for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History, the Alberta Premier's Award of Excellence, the Alberta Teachers Association Social Studies Council Award of Excellence and is a founding member of Canadian Council for Geographic Education. Wally has extensive speaking experience on Social Studies related topics to a wide range of audiences and has organized and led hundreds of consultations on Social Studies and critical thinking strategies.

Handouts and Resources:

Webinar Archive Table of Contents and Conversation Guide-Day 1.docx

Webinar Archive Table of Contents and Conversation Guide-Day 2.docx

Webinar Archive Table of Contents-Day 3.docx

Critical Thinking Overview.pptx