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My school is looking at writing a grant to buy more interactive whiteboards. We currently use Smart Boards and I love them but I heard the Promethean's have a lot of great, cool features that Smart does not have.

What is your opinion on them? Which one do you prefer, and why?

Thanks for the help,
Art Bentheim M.Ed.

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I work in a district that is exclusively promethean. I have loved them for the voters, remote bluetooth slates, and other goodies.

I must admit I have never used a smart board, however, the my understanding is that our district opted for promethean because of the software. I hope that helps!
I echo the sentiments of previous posters. Pros and cons for both. Which ones will be used most? Those are the ones I'd purchase ...
I love my P-Board but it is not as user-friendly as Smarts; however, they have just upgraded the software for added ease of use [which means re-learning a lot pf things, but ok], they are used world-wide so being a French teacher I find that amazing, and they can truly do SO MUCH MORE than a smart. The integrated flash activities are really cool! I suggest them highly. The clickers, the slates ... it makes a classroom so much fun! [in my room fun = learning! =D
Does Smart offer Slates? - That is one thing I love about the pboard.

Amy Kelly Graham said:
I love my P-Board but it is not as user-friendly as Smarts; however, they have just upgraded the software for added ease of use [which means re-learning a lot pf things, but ok], they are used world-wide so being a French teacher I find that amazing, and they can truly do SO MUCH MORE than a smart. The integrated flash activities are really cool! I suggest them highly. The clickers, the slates ... it makes a classroom so much fun! [in my room fun = learning! =D
IDK about Smart but you are right and bring up another wonderful aspect of the Promethean boards - I adore my Activslate and the students love the Activote clickers.

The ActivSlate allows me to control my entire computer from across the room. This includes writing additional notes, annotating a website, doodling over a diagram...all of which can be exported to PDF [w/o any additional software] and posted on our class Google Calendar.

The immediate feedback they get in informal assessment truly helps them know where they are in their learning and what needs further attention on their part. The ease of exporting data from a formal assessment is also a plus.
To be clear, I represent a reseller of SMART products, but prior to this role (when I was still a classroom teacher) I favoured SMART over Promethean. Both companies have comparable products in regards to the general tools available -- SMART Tablet (Airliner) vs. Activslate; SMART Response vs. Activote; SMART Notebook vs. ActivInspire -- I think you get the idea.

There are 2 reasons why I chose SMART over Promethean (again, prior to any affiliation with the SMART brand). The first was that SMART had more penetration into the education market, and therefore I didn't worry about having to 'relearn' software and products if moving among schools/school divisions.

The 2nd reason (and the most important one) was the use of actual touch-based features with the SMART Board vs. the pen that is required with Promethean products. I feel that having direct contact with the product is very important for some students, and as more hardware is released from SMART with multi-touch capabilities, holding numerous pens in one's hands to keep up with this initiative will not be realistic.

Just my thoughts! I think that educators utilizing the technology that's available to them is fantastic for kids!
Like Vanessa,I represent Promethean, as a Teaching and Learning Consultant. Promethean has teaching and learning consultants all over the country who are there to help teachers integrate our technology to transform their classrooms. We are not trainers, but specialists in helping teachers to get the most from our products. We are not sales people either. It is paramount that teachers receive ongoing support so that this investment does not simply gather dust.
When I was in the classroom, I used a SMART board, so I can also compare and contrast the differences.

My teachers and I prefer using a pen on our Promethean ActivBoard because it is very easy to hover, which many websites require, as well as you can see exactly where your pen is. Sometimes you need to see the cursor before you click and it is extremely precise. The pen also has a built in right click feature which comes in very handy. While the touch is convenient, I don't find it to be as functional as the multiple features of a pen.

I'd say the number one thing our teachers love is the depth of premade lessons on PrometheanPlanet.com that are free to use and modify for almost any subject/grade you can think of. We have over 500,000 members who contribute to this community, which offers a great deal of resources.

For anyone interested, please call up your local Promethean and Smart sales folks and have them visit your school or district. You will get a much more detailed breakdown of how each system works.

This whole thing has really opened up a can of worms ;) Its very much like the Mac vs PC thing.
LOL - very true! I also have debates over Internet Explorer vs. Google Chrome vs. Mozilla Firefox. :)

In response to the pen features that you mentioned, there are simple ways around that issue with the SMART Board -- pressing and holding an extra 1-2 seconds will let you 'preview' links before you select them, and the built in "right mouse click" button on the front of the board combats that issue.

Again, SMART also has a teacher based forum/file sharing site similar to Promethean Planet -- http://exchange.smarttech.com

I agree with you that the key to success is two-fold:

1.) School divisions must pick a platform and keep consistent within their peripheral products (for example, purchasing a SMART Board then an ActivVote system is guaranteed to just frustrate the educators involved)

2.) Ongoing professional development is essential. This is why people such as you and I exist -- to help facilitate workshops, train teachers on new products and provide the realistic application of these products in the classroom.

Thanks for the Wednesday morning "debate"! :-)
My district recently purchased 5 sets of Senteo student response systems for the Smartboard. I have used the Smartboard for 3 years now and love it. The Senteo devices will allow me add questions to my lessons and get instant responses from all of my students. The fact that this is fully integrated into the lesson is awesome! Also, as a math teacher, the new Notebook Math software is very intreaguing.
I have used both brands of interactive whiteboards, and I prefer Smart Boards by far. The Smart Boards are VERY intuitive and easy to use. They rarely give me any problems at all. The Prometheans were nothing but trouble. I absolutely would never buy a Promethean Board again. They always seemed to have some kind of problem. With Promethean, you can only use their pens, and often they wouldn't work. Also, they would freeze up quite a bit, and I would have to completely disconnect them from the computer and then reconnect them, before they would start working again. The life of the board is not long, either. After a few years, they would quit working altogether.

With Smart Boards, you do not have to use their pens. You can use any object, including your fingers. This makes it simple to use. Some kids even use a tennis ball to write, because they have a hard time holding the pen while writing on the board. Smart Boards are also very reliable and work well. We have some in our district that have been working for years without any issues. The teachers really love the software that accompanies the board, and there are tons of great features and templates that save the teachers valuable time. My district has decided to standardize to Smart products because of their reliability, ease of use, and also because of their wonderful support staff. We have an awesome rep who is willing to come out at any time and provide our teachers with whatever types of training they need. As a whole, Smart is an awesome company and I highly recommend them.
Yes, they have Airliners that accompany the board. We love them!

Jeffrey D. Blackburn said:
Does Smart offer Slates? - That is one thing I love about the pboard.

Amy Kelly Graham said:
I love my P-Board but it is not as user-friendly as Smarts; however, they have just upgraded the software for added ease of use [which means re-learning a lot pf things, but ok], they are used world-wide so being a French teacher I find that amazing, and they can truly do SO MUCH MORE than a smart. The integrated flash activities are really cool! I suggest them highly. The clickers, the slates ... it makes a classroom so much fun! [in my room fun = learning! =D
Smart has TONS AND TONS of flash activities and templates, and the Senteo student response system they make is excellent, too. They fully integrate into the Smart Board software, so teacher do not have to re-learn anything. I am a huge fan of Smart products, and I say this after using both brands regularly.

Amy Kelly Graham said:
I love my P-Board but it is not as user-friendly as Smarts; however, they have just upgraded the software for added ease of use [which means re-learning a lot pf things, but ok], they are used world-wide so being a French teacher I find that amazing, and they can truly do SO MUCH MORE than a smart. The integrated flash activities are really cool! I suggest them highly. The clickers, the slates ... it makes a classroom so much fun! [in my room fun = learning! =D

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