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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Thanks for the conversation which has perspectives from many corners of the issue. Thanks also to Ning for providing such a great tool for sharing this ongoing discussion.
The SMART Notebook software that comes with the SMART Board is priceless! I have found nothing else that compares to it! With one board you can use the product key to get a code that will allow you to legally download the software onto 500 computers, free of charge. Our teachers have it on their laptops so they can create lessons at home and transfer them via flashdrive to their school computer.
I understand the idea of a smart board but how do they actually work?
The SmartBoard is a touch-sensitive computer interface. The best way I can explain how a SmartBoard works is to suggest you take a look at some of the videos on YouTube. It is truly amazing! The students love it.
I equate a SmartBoard to a big iPod Touch or iPhone screen but it does much more. You touch the screen to make things happen. It also comes with software that allows you to write on the screen and then convert your handwriting to typed text. This youtube video demonstrates the basics of a SmartBoard. There is so more than what the video shows. When teachers are trained to use it, it's a fabulous tool for student engagement.
I like both, and have done trainings on both, and if I were to pick one over the other, I would choose the Smart product--if for nothing else than not having to use the stylus thing and just use my finger. Additionally, I do part time work for the eInstruction company (that makes the clickers) and do PD around their CPS system. They bought the Interwrite company last year and are selling their IWB's for $849 through the end of summer. I don't have as much experience with those as I do the Promethean and Smart boards, but I'm liking what I'm seeing so far: such as the dual touch screen. Two kids can work on it at once. It also integrates with the CPS system and Examview software and has it's own software called Workspace. I'm starting to sound like a commercial, so I'm going to stop--but if you want info on the special, I can forward the flier to you...just email me: mikefisher821@gmail.com
Nings are an excellent resource for professional development and learning from one another. I would encourage educators to join one of these two Nings:

1. SMARTBoard Revolution Ning at http://smartboardrevolution.ning.com/

2. Promethean IWB Users at http://prometheaniwbusers.ning.com
The Light Speed- smart technology used with airliners - eiki is the way to go- The Smart Board is a novelty that you can use like a team project!
RRuiz
Robin, would you add some more to your comment? I'm not sure what you mean. Thanks.
Sorry Leigh for getting back with you so late! I was finishing my E Portfolio for a graduate degree. We use and have the smart boards and the airliners.
Smart boards are great for students and teachers for many activities: We have noticed a couple problems room space and physical locality. If the boards are mounted in the midle of your white boards then you are limited in how you can use that space. If you have the mobile smart boards then the problem is where do you place them?
( by the way we have the Promethean version)
Airliners- functions and software- Amazing
mobility- THis is like having eyes in the back of your head. No longer up at the front of the room at white board, or behind the overhead in the middle of the room- or by the computer...
Size- small 12"x12"

We have had one problem with the battery. You can not let them become totally dead or you will need to replace the battery.
Promethean ActivBoard is excellent. Not only board which comes recently with entegrated sound on it but also ActivInspire which is a new software includes lots of pedagical tools. It is innovated and entegrated technology. Super than any other brands. It is more fast reacting, accurant and durable surface. I like the ActivPen with full mouse functionality and it makes me control the classroom by not permitting any other potential touch comes from classroom. Promethean Planet is another big big reason to select this board. There are hundreds of free resources plus reputable premium resources from great publishers. I like the ActivWand which makes me confortable feeling when I'm lecturing.
I love my Promethean board. The students love it. There are many resourses out there. I have not had any problems with mine.

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