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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SmartBoard touch factor seems to be a plus for young children. Children do not have to use the digital pens. They can use their fingers or even a tennis ball to interact with the board which helps teachers with inclusion children. The glare factor is diminished with the Smart Board. I heard that Promethean is difficult to use if the room has a lot of light. Teachers are needing to close the blinds to prevent glare. I was in Louisana talking with some teachers who had Promethean and they reported that the company dictated when and where the training would be held-no flexibility. A number of teachers were not able to drive to the designated location. The teachers ended training each other which hindered their comfort level and integration into the classroom. I know little about Interwrite.
Is warrenty a concern?
Thanks to all those recently who have added to the discussion. I've been without internet at home for a few weeks so have been strangely silent. A few months back I was going to close the discussion but forgot about doing it. I'm glad that I didn't it as the discussion is still firing along. Thanks again everybody.

I'm now gearing up to get a Wii remote IWB going in the classroom using some open source software. Rather cheap for the price of the Wii remote and a infra-red pen. I'll report when it's all happening.
Promethean is great because of the free resources available on line on Promethean Planet. Teachers are always uploading their great "flipcharts" to share. Any teacher can search by state standard or topic. They can even show stats of the most downloaded flipcharts! Promethean has more resources available than any teacher could ever fully use!
What will make this debate interesting is the forthcoming release of the new Promethean ActivInspire software which promethean have said will be released in a free version which can be used on any whiteboard, any system.

This will mean that whatever whiteboard you are using, smart, promethean, ebeam, polyvision etc - you will be able to access promethean resources and use them. All you'll need to do is join their promethean planet website.

I love smartboards, and I think the software is very good. I love promethean boards and software too. It's the other boards I have problems with because the software is pretty lacking in features most of the time. This release would mean that a lot of these other boards could standardise on one software platform - which would actually be a very good move.
This is a major step forward for IWBs. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.
I have been investigating getting interactive whiteboards for our school. Some schools have told me all their Smartboards were moved to the high school and the elementary and middle schools went with Promethean. We are a Mac school so I am leary of getting Smartboards. These posts have been helpful. Thanks
As a result of extensive research, our school decided to go with SMART Boards. The company was very responsive to our questions and offered extensive professional development in using their boards.
Fran G. my school is in the proecess of choosing as well. What research made your school decide on SmartBoards? Do you think you might could post some of that information?
I have used mostly SMART products, but will be using Promethean more in the coming months as our districts we service use each. I do like both and also belong to for SMART as well as what they share at their websites on and some free downloads (when you sign up for a free account) at:
With Promethean, I was searching for a good Ning group, but didn't find one, but am finding many great things at

I know there are tons of others, but thought I'd chip in my 2 cents here as well.
I am a Promethean employee. I can provide an update on this topic.

To the original question, Promethean has always licensed preparation installs for preparing lessons at home.

Product licenses can change over time to accommodate
different user needs - so it is always worth checking with the vendor/reseller for their latest info. It is usually more flexible with muliple options - Often a misconception or old fact from one person can persist online for some time unless addressed by a vendor.

Mention was made of some new Promethean software that some people posting here have been testing (thanks!)

The new version of Promethean ActivInspire software is live now for download. It had been in BETA for a few weeks.

More information here:

A table of differences between the FREE Personal Edition and the Pro version that has also been mentioned is here:

Promethean Planet ( a free user community with a very active forum and where you can get lessons and resource packs to use with either version.
I have been testing the new Beta version of the Promethean software and found that the teachers liked some of the changes. Now it is really easy to utilize both Notebook and Flipchart files. This is handy since we have teachers using both SMART and Promethean.

When will more tutorials be available? I know that some are already online but we are looking at advanced training. Specifically, I am interested in the use of the new software with the Activexpressions, assigning them to specific class/student and retrieval/exporting of the data.
The release of the free Inspire seems to be a useful thing for Promethean. Certainly it opens up more people to discovering its attributes. Twitter has a current conversation on it (search for Promethean on Twitter) and the news is that there are installation problems with the Mac version. Someone says that Promethean is working on it. That aside, the response is positive.

If you have had experience with the beta or full release would you share your responses to it with this community?



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