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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Thanks for your reply! We would actually be looking at getting both ActiVote and ActivExpressions, if we go with Promethean.
Dr Robert Marzano has been researching IWB technology in the USA as part of a wider study of Ed. Tech his research lab is doing. They are also looking at clickers and Internet use - so the picture is broad.

Some very interesting and relevant observations and data.

As should be expected it is as much more about the teacher and their pedagogical skills and competence/support with the technology than the tech itself.

I do work for Promethean - the technology he investigated, but the points he makes should apply to most other Education technology that has similar practitioner networks, PD and support available.
I have been following the discussions concerning Smart and Promethean and which one is best and I have to say that what really intrigues me is an interactive whiteboard that a teacher has installed in the front of the room and then the tech person puts a sign on that board that says "THIS IS NOT A DRY-ERASE BOARD." In effect, you have just limited what the teacher is able to do with the front of the room. Why not install an interactive whiteboard in the front of the classroom that will allow a teacher to use dry-erase markers on it if he/she desires..because quite frankly, sometimes that dry-erase marker in the hands of a good teacher can really be a powerful tool. Who knows, maybe the students could come to the board and do something with that marker also. Maybe a teacher wants to use magnets on the board......They can be powerful teaching tools ...and if the teacher wants to use the board as an interactive whiteboard, all they would need to do is grab the stylus that comes with that board and begin to do interactive things like using digital ink, opening pre-made lessons using software that accompanies the board, opening lessons created with different software the teacher already uses or maybe create a lesson "on-the-fly." And there is one more thing....there are no wires or electronics associated with this interactive tripping over wires, no electronics on board to break. In my opinion, you now have a technology in the front of the room that really allows a teacher to use whatever teaching strategies they want to engage the students. They truly are not limited by the technology. Interactive whiteboards are teaching tools....look at all these tools before deciding what to buy. Do not just go with the BIG BRANDS.... the board I am speaking about is the eno board from PolyVision
Do you work for Polyvision or one of their affiliates? If not, you certainly could. ;) If so, it is polite to state that you do. Otherwise, please keep your salesmanship elsewhere. Thanks.
Dave, At the time of this comment, I was no longer working for PV. I made my comments based on personal experience with PV products and my past experiences before PV with many types of boards as I examined them all when I was a college professor teaching teachers. Apologies....I should have stated that in the initial post. I am now an independent ed tech consultant.
Jim, I see many comments by you on the subject of the Polyvision Eno board. Are you by chance related to Joyce Chiavacci, a trainer for the Eno board?
Thanks Mark. It's always good when someone has collected experimental data. I watched roughly the first half of the interview. The evidence seems to suggest that the next generation will have IWBs in every classroom.
My vote is for SMART. My concern with pen-based boards is that it can make it difficult for students with certain disabilities - everything is tied to holding the pen. The SMARTBoards seems to me to be more accessilble because a student can interact with it in a variety of ways.
Hi Leigh
We currently have both in our school. I use a SmartBoard and think it is a great tool, however, I have used the Promethean board and think that it is a superior tool. To me, it seems as if the Promethean Planet people are more focused on how to help you as a teacher. I think the software is much better than the Notebook software that comes with the SmartBoard. I also like the stylus instead of the touch ability of the SmartBoard, especially with younger children, showing them how to not touch the board while they write can sometimes be difficult.
Also, Promethean has multiple tools you can add seamlessly to the board, such as the "clickers" or remotes that have texting ability as well as the tablet feature.
I am def. interested in getting my SmartBoard upgraded to a Promethean board at some point!
Good luck!
Someone asked if the Marzano CUE keynote was available.

It is online in two parts, you can find it at:

Covers the Ed. Tech research he is engaged with looking at various technologies in classrooms and factors for success.

Will include Internet in class and student tech too! Lots of info around assessment not just IWBs, etc.



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