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.

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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You are certainly enjoying yourself. Promethean have the equivalent product I understand and provision is built into their new Inspire software. Is that the same with recent Notebook software?

Thanks for your contribution to this conversation.
Yes Leigh, the Smart Senteo software which runs their clickers integrates into Smart Notebook.
I have to agree with Christopher. I have been using Smart for 2 years now. I have Smart on my Mac at home and use it on a PC at school. I have no trouble going back and forth.

We've been using Smart at our school for 4 years and love it. As an ed. tech. for our school district I am especially pleased with their support. On two separate occassions I've contacted them about board issues. Their tech walked me through the "tests" and I sent him the results. Based on that, Smart immediately sent me replacement parts, which were a snap to swap~ no issues at all.

I'm sorry to hear someone else up this chain felt they had a long wait~ in my four years of using Smart technology, that has definitely not been the case!
I love the fact that I can call Promethean's tech support and they walk me through any concerns at the time or I can email our Promethean rep and she will have the problem fixed within the week, at the latest (and they are located a ways a way from our school district). All upgrades have been free and any functionality of boards are dealt with immediately. Our rep just replaced a board for us because it was "lagging" and we knew that if it wasn't working perfectly the teacher wouldn't use it. We had a new one installed within a week! The rep said that was the first board she'd had to replace in 9 years! That means a lot to our district when you get support when needed and they have tlc's available to come to the district after the purchases have been made to help you set up professional development to get the most for your investment as possible. I would never go with another product when Promethean is meeting all of our teaching and student needs. Mac versions can be created at home and then interchanged on windows machines and edited - it all blends together nicely.
Thanks everyone for the continuing conversation. Chris it's good to have you in the conversation and good to know that a better Mac version of SMART will be out soon.

I've been offline for several weeks with changing apartments and internet hassles so it's good to be back.
Promethean does seem to have lots of support from the company for our teachers. We very rarely need to use it for the interactive whiteboards. Is anyone is trying the Activexpressions and that software? Have you used any of the other types of clickers or voters with the Promethean or SMARTBoards?
I have used both SMART and Promethean. I have found the Promethean Activboard to have much more robust software with many more options and capabilities. They also have a special version for primary grades which is a terrific bonus. I think that the thing that everyone needs to consider though is support, training and resources. If teachers don't get support they won't use it. I had a SMART board in my classroom for a year and never had any support or training at all.

Promethean gives continuous and free support via usergroups that will come to you. Also, the premade flipcharts and publisher materials offer a lot of easy lessons and integration with your curriculum. It was never easy for me to get quality resources for my lessons with SMART.

Bottom line, consider the ongoing support and resources, not just the board itself or even the software. We all know that great products will not get used without proper professional development.
Our school is going to buy either the Smart Boards (Tequipment) or Promethean and also document cameras. Does anyone know if the document camera from Tequipment works well with the Promethean board? The other choice is getting the Elmo. Does this work well with both kinds of boards?
This is an ongoing debate to be sure. I think by the number of responses you can see that there are issues with both. When I was a tech coach, we listened to many of these same arguments at all levels within our county. Look at which issues matter most to you to make your decision. I learned on Smart and liked what Smart had to offer. I love that I didn't need a pen and for small children-using their finger was awesome! For me as the facilitator in the classroom-it was great to not have to find a stylus. The quantity of ready made lessons is great for new users and important in the transition to become an everyday user. WIth both-lots of training with support is the key to success. (To be honest-a willing teacher can let her kids learn and then slowly integrate into presentation as comfort level increases!)
Both Promethean and SMARTBoard are good interactive whiteboards. Most of our schools (20) have gone with SMARTBoard but we do have two schools with Promethean Activboards. It depends on preference so make sure you get a demo before buying one. Both have good software, support, and user websites. Basic difference is that SMARTBoard is operated by your hand and Promethean uses a pen.

For those looking for SMARTBoard user support, see and the SMART Exchange at
I have a Smartboard in my classroom. I teach 4th grade. This my second year with it. The only problem I have with it is that the children have a hard time with the touch screen. It doesn't always recognize their touch. But after about a week or two they become experts. I have used Promethian as well. With the Promethian the power is in the pen not in the touch. The pen is easier to use for the children, but the software can be cumbersome for teachers. The Smartboard software is much easier to manipulate for teachers who are not tech savy. Both boards are great, but consider the tech ability of your teachers. Promethian can be intimidating, where as Smartboard is more like powerpoint.



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