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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I read on Twitter (hardly an authoritative source) that Promethean funded Marzano's IWB research. I don't recall the video making that plain. It doesn't necessarily mean the data is under suspicion however. It also doesn't mean that the researched benefits apply only to Promethean. Anyone have more information on this?

I am a convert to any interactive surface. Did you see the use of an interactive glass table in the latest James Bond movie?
Leigh. Those are good questions and observations.

I work for Promethean as an educator as I have stated elsewhere.

I believe the CUE keynote video covers both of the points you ask - Research relationship and thoughts on the reapplication of the research findings to other tech.

I also love the idea of "interactive digital groupspaces" and where they may go in the future. Esp. if we come to understand how to make teachers use them well and to encourage teachers to explore the interaction IWBs have with other student technologies that they can mesh with so effectively.

I have not seen the latest Bond film yet. May have to get it now!
Yes, it is fascinating to think where IWB development might lead. I've just watched the whole Marzano presentation, as distinct from the interview that I watched before, and Marzano is very open that the project was funded by Promethean. The data is very forthright and challenging for us if we're wishing to achieve the highest possible results in the classroom.
More information including a full review of the Methodology and Research Design is online.

http://www.prometheanplanet.com/blog/?p=436

The presentation made at CUE was based on Interim findings. As soon as I have details of the final results and data I will post them here for community review and comment.
A comparison between Smart and Promethean is not a simple one-product comparison.

Christopher Klein, a Smart employee, gave me the option as to whether the following info about a Smart Table was posted. I've taken the decision to post an edited version of the letter believing that it is a worthwhile contribution to the discussion. This interactive table would seem to be highly desirable for younger students and (from watching the video) I can see it being very popular in schools.

Funny that you mentioned the glass table from the Bond movie. (Consider the new) SMART Table...designed for education.
A lot of pedagogical research went into the design of this table that is geared for ages 4-9 and all of the activities that have been developed are created to foster collaboration and communication amongst the users. While this particular product is geared for Pre-K and Early elementary, the underlying technology can be scaled up as needed based on what the education field states they want. The biggest challenge is our hardware has outpaced the software industry. Very few applications are A. multi-touch and B. promote the collaborative aspect of where we envision education going.

Anyway, you said you love this type of stuff, just thought I'd throw this one your way:)
Also, there is a video.
I used a Promethean Board for several years, and my student test scores, as well as engagement improved dramatically. It was easy to use, and we loved the tablet and Activotes. The drawback is the pens, students need to get used to them, but once they do, it is great. Most of the schools I work with have SmartBoards. i love not using the pens, but miss the tools i had with the ProBoard.
Thanks Dawn. Seems that teachers of young kids and special needs kids like the pens but others not so much. I'm still hoping to get my Wii board working soon.

The latest is that I have to go in person to the local Azerbaijan post office and pay them some money to get my IR pens, even though the postage was already paid. That's local Azerbaijan corruption for you. You can imagine how expensive food is here for expats who purchase a lot of imported food. Everything has an 'extra' fee. A friend was told she needed to pay an extra US$10,000 to get her container off the dock. She was able to negotiate down to under $1000.
We are buying several iwb's in July, and we currently have none. What is a minimum pc system to effectively run an iwb? We have Dell Pentuim 4's with 256 kb RAM, and probably enough room on the hard drives. My 256 RAM machine is pretty slow at loading things. I say this because I have my personal laptop, Dell Pentium 4 with 1 gig RAM, and it is a lot faster. Does having extra RAM help a l lot with iwb's? Might we need new computers, too? I would think iwb apps need to load pretty fast to effectively engage students.
Have you researched mimio? Affordable, portable, accessible and same technology. http://www.mimio.com/index.asp
Hi Sue,
Thanks for the input. On this forum, we all try to disclose any relationships we have with companies, as it is important to understand bias in evaluating information. We appreciate input, but realize that a school's perspective is going to be very different from a company rep's perspective.
Thanks Dave, who pointed out that Sue is a Mimio representative. While we don't mind commercial reps making comments it is certainly in the interest of everyone that affiliations are made known at the outside, and I would add, with every post so that participants can make their own assessment.

Sue, would you mind adding your Mimio role in each post thanks.
Just spent time playing with the personal (free) version of Promethean's Inspire software. I'm starting to feel that the 'free' claim is less than sincere.

There doesn't seem to be a way to draw shapes (correct me if I'm wrong) which is a fundamental requirement if you're going to be creating lessons. If they've taken out necessary, fundamental tools in this version then it seems to me that it is basically a reader only version. I'm rather annoyed! In addition it seems there is no attached Manual. When you click on Help>Contents you are taken to a web page saying, "Inspire help placeholder..." Who knows how long you have to wait in order to get assistance.

If Promethean are wishing to create goodwill the company should be upfront about what is included and what is not included in the personal version.

Anyone else had this experience? I'd be glad if you can tell me that my software/hardware is playing up.

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