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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Disclaimer: I work for TeamBoard Inc.

That being said, I'd like to mention a few points about TeamBoard IWBs that I trust you will find relevant:
- They do not require proprietary electronic pens. Any dry-erase marker can be used to take notes, and the markerboard surface is guaranteed to clean like new for 10 years.
- This same EVS whiteboard surface can be projected on for IWB functionality, with very low glare.
- TeamBoard Draw annotation software can capture your dry-erase notes and save them to a digital file. This does not require a projector to accomplish.
- ANY software can be used with a TeamBoard. If your preference is to use PowerPoint, of Google Earth, whatever it takes to communicate your point, the TeamBoard will not hinder that.

I invite you to visit teamboard.com to obtain more information. I hope you found this helpful!
I am currently a sophmore in college studying to become an early childhood educator. In highschool, we had the privelage of using smartboards. They were very beneficial for our classes. They were great tools in assisting teachers in lectures, sharing outside sources, and a great way for teachers to keep their students invovled and engaged. Smartboards were mainly used in our computer classes, and math classes. For math, it was easy for teachers to pull up internet sources to help explain lessons. I'm all for smartboards!
My vote would have to be for a SMARTBOARD. I have really only used that in my schooling and through my observations of other schools, there is so many more new advancements in these boards that will continue to shape the minds of the students.
We have ActivInspire running on all the boards in our school and we love it. ActivInspire has so many great features - it is a huge improvement on ActivStudio 2 & 3. The Promethean Planet website is a fantastic resource and the Community forums/blog is also excellent for advice or finding resources. The Promethean team listen to and respond to ideas, offering suggestions and fixing things they find aren't working. It is not perfect but I feel confident that version 1.4 will have improved things even more. I haven't used Smartboard.
I taught on Promethean ActivBoards for four years and loved them. However, the fact is that both Promethean and Smart can be cost prohibitive when it comes to using them in every classroom. In all honesty, most boards are the same -- it's the software that differentiates them. And Promethean offers its ACTIVinspire software for free, to use on any board.

So my suggestion? Create a Wiimote Whiteboard for $55 (more info here) and use the ACTIVinspire software.
Actually, Promethean have been less than honest with their advertising. You cannot create files with Promethean's software on Smartboard. You can however use any files that have been created on their software (my understanding). This was highly significant and frustrating for me. I have reported this frustration to Promethean representatives and they were apologetic about any misleading promotions.
I've used their software to create files and use them on other boards. Is it a problem specific to Smartboard?
You must have a license for the software. Sure, if you buy the software it will work. Sorry that I didn't include that. The early Smartboard software was open for all, however that has changed now.
Sorry Leigh. I work for Promethean. Please let me comment.

Click File > New and you will have a new flipchart... Open the browser to add graphics, etc., save the flipchart, share, use, etc. The Personal Edition does support the 'creation' of flipcharts.

What you may be reflecting is there may be local licensing options re. Personal edition on non-Promethean equipment - but there are currently only two versions of ActivInspire and they both save.

Leigh - are you in a country/region that requires a license for use on non-Promethean equipment?

I should add that this is also in the product sheets and online: "Pricing and distribution conditions may apply in specific countries. Please check with your local Promethean representative for details on ActivInspire in your region."

There are users in well over 100 countries discussing the software online and only a handful may have this restriction which skews trying to second guess Promethean's licensing from the online discussions about it. I would always suggest contacting your local vendor rep. since licensing is such a localised issue.

The feature differences between the Pro Versions and the Personal Edition are listed in the attached doc.

For the latest localised information. please check the website.
http://www.prometheanplanet.com/server.php?show=nav.17010

Hopefully this is clear. Please comment if not.

If you want more information about Promethean specifically, the Promethean Planet user community is also very successful.

It is a great forum to interact directly with Promethean and its users

http://www.prometheanplanet.com
Attachments:
I followed the link but couldn't see localised information. I'm in Australia but I reckon I explored the options when I was teaching in Azerbaijan. It's not relevant for me at the moment as I've landed a room with a Smartboard. It may however be relevant in the future. I had explored the possibility of using a Wii setup while in Azerbaijan.
Leigh,

Chris here from SMART.
One of the new offerings you and others might be interested in is SMART's new web-version of our software, SMART Notebook Express.

This software will allow you to open, use any SMART Notebook file (from the SMART Exchange or from your coworkers/peers) or create a New SMART Notebook File on any computer, using any operating system or Interactive Whiteboard hardware for free with no download or installation required.

That's right, no installation, no activation keys, nothing on any/all interactive whiteboards for free.

If you'd like to try this (it is still in Beta) you can go to:
http://express.smarttech.com

Happy Whiteboarding,
Chris
SMART Technologies
Wow! Let me get this right. It is free and can be used on any OS, any interactive whiteboard and you can create and save your own files?

If so that's worth shouting about.

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