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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We have been trying the new SMART Notebook 10 and have run into some trouble with the drivers. It caused some issues with Adobe products. Has anyone had problems with that?
Don't rule out Starboards from Hitachi. They are relatively inexpensive compared to other products on the market and Hitachi is making great efforts to expand their business into education. Our district went with them over all the other brands. No special pen required and no expensive board technology like in SMARTboards. You could drill a hole through the board and it will continue to work. You'd have to try one out to see if it fits your needs.
Good comment Scott. Thanks for the info. What do you know about Hitachi's software for educational purposes? That's the most important thing for teachers.
The software is similar to the other products on the market. It has the ability to record, import, export, etc. The only thing that Hitachi lacks is the depth of lesson plans and resources that the others (smart and prometheon) have. As I said, Hitachi is just getting into the game. Another benefit for students is that the newer boards have the ability for 2 students to write simultaneously in certain situations. Also, don't be sold by SMART's airliner and clicker; other boards (like Starboard) have those as well (sold through a third party).
Why confine your search/investigation to only those two IWBs? You should also consider the IWB from Interwrite (now eInstruction) - http://www.interwritelearning.com/products/index.html
What can you say about the educational software that comes with Interwrite? Is it up there with the best? I notice it's available on theirs site at 252Mb
Does its open Workspace do it for you? http://www.interwritelearning.com/products/workspace/detail.html Seems to be as good as what the others offer.
Lessons and images look good. Does it have the ability to create multi-pages for a lesson - like Smart has the Page Sorter over the right of the Notebook screen?
How is the pricing? Why do you call it 'open' Workspace?
personally I have found that Smart or Promethean offer the two best software packages out there and so it becomes a choice between the two.

The software on offer from some of the other boards either lacks in features or in user-friendliness (ie the features are there but take many more clicks to get to them, and customising a user interface is not something a beginner will do, so they get confused and dont use the software at all).

I have used many other boards and at the end of the day it comes back to Smart or Promethean.
I realise this discussion has probably been round in circles enough (and I'm jumping in on it all a bit late), but we considered Smart boards or Team boards at our school and ended up going with Team boards, using the Easiteach software suite to run them. We do also have a Smart board in the school, but I much prefer to use the Team boards.

The great advantage of Team boards is you don't even need a pen - you just use your finger or a plastic stylise. Really good for younger primary aged students. The problem is that Easiteach software, whilst great, is not so great from a copywrite point of view - i.e. you need to buy quite expensive site licenses in order to pop onto everyone's laptops. Having said that, the boards themselves are great - you can even write straight onto them with whiteboard markers (which we do when we don't need to pop the projector on) then wipe it off later and use as an interactive board again.

Anyway, by now I'm sure you've made up your mind - just thought I'd muddy the waters a little more ...

Dave.
Decisions run slowly when money is slow in coming. Doesn't Smart work with finger as well? I know Promethean needs a pen.

I would also steer away from Easiteach software because it doesn't compete with Smart's ease of access for teachers.
Yes, you can use your finger on the SMART board as well as the pens.

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