Does anyone have experience with both Promethean and SmartBoard to compare the two? Our school has dipped a toe in the water and is wanting to go much deeper, therefore we're looking for further information. Is there a preference for younger and older primary children?

I've heard there have been problems with SmartBoard. Any comments?

The fact that Smart notebook software can be freely used by anyone is an important factor for teachers preparing lessons at home.

7th April 2009.
I should add that Promethean now have released Inspire that can be freely loaded to ANY computer and can be used with ANY interactive whiteboard and can read several (all?) other IWB brand files, which at least puts them at level-pegging in terms of access to the software.

Later:
The Promethean 'free' software is limited in what it can do. It does not allow you to create lessons, which destroys its usefulness for me.

Tags: IWB, Promethean, Smart, iboards

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Fair point, Kathleen.

Then again, the fastest growing interactive whiteboard community is the SMART Exchange. I should know - I'm the Community Manager there. I'm proud to say that we've more than doubled our members 4 times in 9 months. And that doesn't even take into account the dozens of smaller communities run by our customers, either...
I used a smartboard for 2 years and just got a Promethean. I think it will be even easier for the students to use. Anything that works on a computer works on the smartboard. If you don't move the projector or smartboard after orienting it., then you don't have to reorient it.
The promethean will be even better. The tv, etc. is being hooked up to work through the promethean. It is awesome. Does anyone know how to get the free spelling smartboard activity to work on the promethean. There is a compatiability issue. I think I am going to like the Promethean better! It is bigger, too!
I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to pilot both SMART and Promethean before our district decided on Promethean boards. Yes, the ability to use your finger/or pen on the SMART board is great, but as a teacher of young students, one thing that definitely made Promethean boards stand out as the board of choice was the difficulty the touch technology of SMART proved for my students. With the SMART board, when my students would write with the pen, they would rest their fist on the board for support & since the SMART board creates a mark at the first point of contact, it would begin writing where my students rested their fist, as opposed to the marker. The Promethean board allows students to rest their hands on the board while writing (if needed). Our district is extremely happy with the product. I would recommend contacting both companies and looking into piloting them before deciding. I know resellers of both companies can provide you with a demo board to 'try it out'. It was very important to see how the STUDENTS interacted with the board before we made our decision!! A board is a board, and SMART/Promethean match up feature for feature. One last note....our district decided to go with the Promethean boards with the boom (attached projector) and our boards have the adjustable mount so we can lower the boards to the students' level. The attached boom is amazing! I've callibrated my board ONCE its installation & the minimized shadow is great. The adjustable mount is definitely an asset, too!
Thanks Melissa. Trialling boards sounds like a good idea. I've heard of the issue where kids put their other hand on the board surface. I'm not sure it's insurmountable as kids also are able to quickly learn not to do that. A challenge I guess for early writers however.
A big thankyou to all the contributors over the last few months. If I was to summarise I would say that it seems that Smartboard has the largest market share of the readership but that owners of Promethean are equal in their devotion to their boards. I've found another small discussion that may also be of value to people.

For those wishing to experiment with the Wiimote version of an interactive whiteboard (costing less than US$100) you might check out my del.icio.us search on that. Opensource programmers are refining some software at the moment.

Clarise, Smartboard won't allow you to use their software on other products. There are copyright issues and litigation possibilities.
I have both on my campus. I would have said a month ago that the Promethean has more sophisticated software for the power user, but the newer version for the SmartBoard is improved. I moved rooms this fall, and am back with a SmartBoard....and I must confess that although I wish I were a power user, I'm just not. And I don't miss that darn stylus one bit. Being able to just use my hand is great!
Thanks Karen. Funny how the little things can become big when you're using them all the time.
I use a Promethean every day in my classroom. The whiteboard is non existing! Everything from Morning Message, to Math, to Reading, to Science, to Homework Chart at the end of the day are on it. I teach 4th grade and my students enjoy the interactiveness of it. My colleages and I collaborate and send each other flipcharts to use in our classrooms. Plus, Promethean Planet has great resources from other teachers who have already created flipcharts! I really recommend Prometheans!
We have 18 Smartboards in our school, one of them is 5 years old we have not had any problems with them, they are best fixed onto the wall, I personally love mine.
We also have 2 pen interactive hard boards, one of them is already not working after less than 12 months, I find it frustrating to have to use the pens and much prefer the touch screens of the Smartboards.
The software is great too and easy to use.
Cheers Rebecca McFadyen
Thanks Rebecca. Was it the pen that stopped working?
No more serious than that , everytime you plug in the board with usb plug the curser goes crazy- opens and shuts things- even when the mouse is disconnected. i tried reinstalling the software but to no avail. I think it is a fault with the board itself
This seems to suggest that the problem has not been fixed yet. It must be driving you crazy not being able to use the board! What is Promethean doing about it?

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