Although I am not yet a teacher, from observations and learning experiences I have had in and outside the classroom thus far I find a SMART Board to be very effective. Educators are always striving to find not only materials but technologies that will engage their students. I know a SMART Board is not a reality for all school districts due to funding, but its advantages have appealed to me more than the basic whiteboard or chalkboard. Creating fun lessons that will make students interested is made simpler by using this piece of technology. I know from experience in just my classes that student participation increases when individuals are given the opportunity to come up to the board and manipulate it, which is a very simple incentive. On the other hand, I do think that success rates differ depending upon the subject matter and individuals in your classroom. Even though this is a great piece of technology it may still be hard to motivate those students who are already "checked out" because the word Math or Science was just brought up. Because this is our job as educators, or for me a future educator, we need to make it our priority to not let that happen and to have overall student engagement increase. There are endless amounts of technologies and tools out there, this was just one that has been newly introduced to me and I can see becoming more well known in classrooms all across the country.
As a classroom teacher, everyday I use my Promethean Board. I am able to engage students and make learning more meaningful to meet 21 century learning skills and needs.
IWitness is a tool that I find incredibly effective for students learning about storytelling, history, writing, research, information literacy, digital literacy, genocide, the Holocaust. I am currently using it (iwitness.usc.edu) in my elective course. I did work on this project previously at USC (full disclosure!), but as an educator now teaching in a middle school classroom I see firsthand just how transformative it is. The real proof is in the projects students turn in, and the way they reflect on what they learned. If you teach history, social studies, humanities, psychology, English... you should check it out and see what you think. It's free, which is pretty amazing.