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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 use Smartboards, ActivBoards and mimio. Smartboards are great for younger students because of being able to use your hands rather than pens. ActivBoard Notebook software is very comprehensive and the mimio is so much cheaper then them all. If I was given the money to choose whatever I would want to use then I would go Smartboard (mainly because I get fed up with always looking for a pen to use, and your hand is always available :-))
Really it is not the board most people are looking at but the software and I think a lot of teachers get caught up in that. Many seem to think that they can only use the notebook software. It's all about what is already on your computer and what is available on the internet, that is what makes a great interactive whiteboard.
Lovin' our promethean boards. The latest version has what is called an activ-expression where the students can kind of text their answers and they are immediately put on the board - how cool is that? I have the older version with devices that the kids can vote. There are many uses for this - opinions, next book to read, quizzes, and on and on. Promethen also has an incredible forum with resources and help learning how to use it.
not as familiar with smart boards...
Good question and many good answers.
I have used both and found reasons to really like them both - the good news is this is a choice between 2 good products. I think the competition has been good as it has pushed both companies.
The only thing I have to add: promethean's activexpressions (student response systems) are a little better than the senteos because it allows for full texting allowing for open-ended questions etc... and although I haven't seen it I am curious the impact of activarena, which allows multiple activpens on the same board. I've heard it is finally available as a separate purchase for the pens.
Sorry for being late to the conversation, I just joined the PLN. Our school just installed 10 Polyvision ENO boards and we love them. They're a combination of interactive board, magnetic, and dry erase. Anyway, I'm happy to share more. Thanks.
Wow. This is a can of worms you opened up with this discussion. Its like Mac vs. Windows, coke vs. pepsi. well not really?
In my district, smartboards are the IWB of choice. That being said Promethean has some nice features as well such as multitouch capability.

What it comes down to is a matter of preference for the tools your school prefers to work with. I have worked with SMART products and know the resources they have. Both Promethean and SMART have a burgeoning community of educators who contribute lessons so those who are new to IWBs (interactive white boards) can jump right in with ready made lessons.

Naturally, I am partial to SMART. However, if you have the opportunity to trial either board with your staff then you will know what direction to take.

Hope this gives you something to think about.

Lee
Similarly, when you choose an IWB brand, remember why you are doing so. You are not looking for just an IWB, but rather an educational solution, with an IWB as a component. Therefore, it is important to look at the community, ongoing support, PD curricular partners and integration.... Does the company offer free included lessons and support, how many/much? Will they offer free ongoing PD on curriculum integration (not just software)? Do they work with companies and curriculums you already purchase?All things to consider for en effective implementation. We've all seen $$ get flushed due to poor follow-up PD or planning.

Disclosure: I work for Promethean. The Dual pen feature of an ActivBoard (Arena) is even more important now with the advent of that functionality in Windows 7. The pens will work anywhere on the board and are even sensitive to which pen is which, not just "a pen on the board."
I have worked with both. The only 'real' difference I can think of between them is that, with the Smart board, you can literally 'write' with anything, just lift the appropriate tool off the tray and off you go, whereas with promethean, you've got to have the pen.

With younger students, I'd go for Smart boards, because it's more direct to interact with it, whereas older students can (usually) see past the pen. However, the supporting software is way better with the promethean.

There are two things I'd recommend, however:- first, try to see both in use in a classroom; that'll quickly show you how they'd fit in to your location. Secondly once you've chosen one, stick with it through out the school - there's nothing more frustrating for a teacher to get used to one board in their main classroom only to be moved to another room for some reason, which has the other board! They they won't use the resources to their fullest.
I agree with Andrew here on this point that you really should chose one type of IWB and stick with it. Teachers will be able to pool resources and move them from room to room. In my school, we have all Smart boards and even our most technophobic teachers have no problems with using the boards in any room because they are comfortable with how they work. Everyone is familiar with how they work.
ARe Promethean boards similiar to the tablet?
Art,

I personally have a Promethean Board in my classroom. I have used both Promethean and Smart, and I must say that I love them both. After having this discussion many times with my colleagues and friends that all have boards, we have come up with this conclusion. Promethean is by far better for Elementary use, and Smart Board has its advantages for High School Use. When it comes to Middle School you truly can use either one. I teach 8th Grade American History and live and die by my Promethean Board. It’s not only a technological teaching tool; it’s my own personal toy that I love using. My best friend however is a 6th Grade Math teacher that loves his Smart Board and works magic with it in his class. So there is no answer for Middle School. Either way, your school is heading in the right direction.
I'm interested in what you decided on! I am just reading your posts but curious of the turnout! I started out on an Interwrite Board and we changed to SMART Boards. I love Notebook software! I also liked Interwrite--I think they all have a lot of the same bells and whistles--but I am a SMART Board fan! I think I would like Promethean too--and I do think Promethean Planet is a strength for them.
If you are looking for interactive response systems to go along with the boards I would highly suggest Promethean.

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