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Interactive whiteboard2.jpg
Activprimary in use
Initial release January 2004; 13 years ago (2004-01)
Stable release
3.7 / 2008
Written in Visual Basic 6, C++
Operating system Microsoft Windows, macOS

Activprimary is a software application designed specifically for teachers and children in the primary education sector who use an Activboard Interactive Whiteboard, Promethean's Interactive Whiteboard. Activprimary was designed and implemented by Nigel Pearce together with a software development team at Promethean (Blackburn, England). Activprimary is similar in functionality to the software application Activstudio but is designed with a simpler user interface aimed towards the younger learner.


  • Version 1 was released in January 2004.
  • Activprimary won the Worlddidac award for Software Innovation in 2004 and again in 2006.[1][2]
  • Version 2 was released in January 2005.
  • Activprimary 2 won Best Education Technology Solution for Productivity/Creativity at The Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) 23rd Annual CODIE awards in 2006 [2][3]
  • Version 3 was released in January 2007.
  • Version 3.6 was released in December 2007.
  • Activprimary 3.6 won the Worlddidac award for Software Innovation for the third time in 2008.[1][2]
  • Version 3.7 was released in August 2008.
  • ActivInspire, the successor to (and the redesign of) Activprimary, was released in March 2009. ActivInspire contains most of the functionality found within ActivPrimary. It also adds support for the ActiveXpression learner response system and the ActivArena Dual User mode. ActivInspire runs on Windows, Mac and Linux platforms.


Activprimary provides a suite of ‘interactive whiteboard centric’ tools. The main feature is to allow the user to prepare and present files known as flipcharts, an electronic document that can contain a combination of vector and raster object data including lines, shapes, rich text, images, video, FLASH media and other third party document types.

The use of the term 'flipchart' in describing these electronic documents derives from the similarity in the way a physical flipchart is commonly used, effectively starting with a set of 'blank canvas' pages upon which to present.

The flipchart also captures and stores any notes (termed ‘annotations’) which may be written on the surface of the interactive whiteboard using an electronic pen. Additionally the program allows the user to write (or ‘annotate’) directly over other applications, WEB Browser content and live video clips.

Activprimary includes integrated tools to centrally manage additional interactive inputs including remote annotation and telepointing using wireless handheld Activslates and Activote Student Response Devices.

Activprimary incorporates many of today’s standard ‘whiteboard centric’ concepts, including the spotlight, revealer and zoom functions, a sound recorder, resource library and the interactive protractor, ruler and compass tools. A large selection of editable Restrictors, Properties and Actions can be used to enable the creation of interactive multimedia.

Activprimary has been translated into 32 languages and operates on most versions of the Windows and MAC operating systems.

Whilst Activprimary was originally designed for use on the Activboard Interactive Whiteboard, the program can also be used with the standard computer mouse for preparation purposes and is also suitable for running with other types of input device such as a graphics tablet or touchscreen.

File format[edit]

ActivPrimary uses a proprietary 'flipchart' format ending in the file extension '.flp'. This utilizes PKZip compression technology to reduce flipchart file sizes.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]