Poll: Smartboard or Promethean?

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Hardware Thread, Promethean vs Smartboard in Technical; Hmm there appear to be two 600i's SMART - 600i for educators and VideoCentric UK SMARTBoard SMART 660i, SMART680i Intelligent, ...
  1. #46
    Alis_Klar's Avatar
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    600i vs 600i

    Hmm there appear to be two 600i's

    SMART - 600i for educators

    and

    VideoCentric UK SMARTBoard SMART 660i, SMART680i Intelligent, Electronic Whiteboard System

    I personally like the look of the second one. Is this now replaced by the top one?

    The thing that really impresses me about these integrated Smartboards is that all the AV functions such as amplifier volume and projector input selection appear to be integrated into the software. Is this the case? Can they be controlled by one remote?

    Has anyone used these and found it to be easy in practice?

    We have all Promethean's and the number of times teachers are confused by the over complicated Cambridge audio amplifiers supplied with the Promethean boards. And don't even get me started on the maze of cabling!!!!!

  2. #47
    Voodoo's Avatar
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    Yeah, the top one is the new model and the bottom one is the old model (now end-of-line I believe). My own staff have seen both models and say the new 680i version looks better.

    We have just put in 5 Smartboards, in 3 different types of configuration. The Smart Speaker sound arrangements are great and lots less cabling required compared to Promethean.

    Don't know if any of our teachers are using the remotes, because the hardware panel mounted beside the board is so simple to use to switch between computer and DVD/VHS/whatever device. One button to press and a single volume control on the speakers makes it all so much simpler all round.

  3. #48

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    600i Vs 600i2

    So what do you all prefer then? 600i 1 or 2? obviously the 2nd generation does look sleek and nice but very basic however with the new smart hub released can add the scratchpad and bridgit software. The gen 1 comes with intergrated sound system and with the new firmware released at SMART - Front Projection SMART Board interactive whiteboard,Firmware update wizard which opens up the lan port to enable conference presentation and lin Q which is video display via network. Please give me your thoughts on this as im using this as a exercise.

    Steven Hayes

    Technical Support

    Steljes

  4. #49
    Voodoo's Avatar
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    We are very happy with the 680i2 model and are now adopting these throughout.

    But there was one feature we liked about the old model that the new one didn't have and that was the ability to switch on the integrated board and projector without needing the computer, allowing you to quickly use the board for simple presentations or writing. We have many visiting lecturers doing S6 courses at our school and they don't have computer accounts so this feature would have been very useful on the 680i2.

    Is that going to be, or is it already, one of the features now available for 680i2's?
    Last edited by Voodoo; 1st December 2008 at 02:03 AM.

  5. #50
    DarrenC's Avatar
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    As far as I am aware the 'scratchpad' feature on the original 600i was seen by smart as more of a corporate feature as virtually all classrooms have a PC in them, and there is no intention of adding them as standard to the new versons.

  6. #51
    Voodoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven19852001 View Post
    however with the new smart hub released can add the scratchpad and bridgit software
    Yeah, I was just wondering because Steve from Steljes had mentioned this "Smart Hub" above.

  7. #52
    fawkers's Avatar
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    Hello fokes,

    We use smart here and never had a problem with them, we do have a 600i in a 'meeting room' which means that it was a complete wast of money since the kids are never in there

    One of the odd things that our school does is to have an inset day where staff get to go and see how things are done in other schools. One of our science guys came back going on about a Wiimote Interactive Whiteboard, aparently the school he visited has done some clever stuff with a Wii contoler, bluetooth adaptor and some home made software.

    I'll let you know when I find out some more information.

  8. #53
    DarrenC's Avatar
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    Yeah there are a lot of very clever things being done with wii remote technology now, there is a video on u tube of a guy using two biros he's adapted to give him a 2 pen iwb system, brilliant!

    The wii technology is, as far as I am aware, a revamped version of the gyration technology used in their wireless mouse (the tricky one you wave in the air) so there is no reason it could not be used as an IWB if you can set up some home spun software.

  9. #54

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    Quote Originally Posted by Voodoo View Post
    We are very happy with the 680i2 model and are now adopting these throughout.

    But there was one feature we liked about the old model that the new one didn't have and that was the ability to switch on the integrated board and projector without needing the computer, allowing you to quickly use the board for simple presentations or writing. We have many visiting lecturers doing S6 courses at our school and they don't have computer accounts so this feature would have been very useful on the 680i2.

    Is that going to be, or is it already, one of the features now available for 680i2's?

    At the moment only the smart hub can give you the features of the gen1 600i however smart released to the press on friday of the 600i gen 3. and it has a new sleek design. Unable to give specs at the momemnt but take a look-
    http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-US/About+Us/News+Room/Media+Releases/default.htm?guid={566A4C45-D80B-4D06-B153-4592E71737A7}

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    Surely it's not a board choice but a software choice...

    It's interesting to see more people discussing the merits of the board rather than the software. Promethean is an education-only company which has bespoke software for the Primary or Secondary environments whereas SMART's notebook is a catch-all application that is focussed more on the Corporate sector.
    Having worked for Steljes before joining Promethean my advice would be to standardise on 1 brand so that only 1 piece of software has be rolled out across the whole estate. The biggest single way to get value and a return on your IWB is to invest in training as otherwise they will gather dust.
    Having not seen it referenced yet I would urge you to look at www.prometheanplanet.com before making a choice as this is the world's largest and fastest-growing education community for IWB users (250,000+ users compared to SMART's 20,000) and has a huge wealth of free resources to save you time when preparing for lessons and for answering any questions you might have.
    Anyway, just my thoughts, hope they help some of you

  11. #56

    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexwood View Post
    (250,000+ users compared to SMART's 20,000)
    250k is a bit inflated though as you must create an account just to download anything really or even do support related things (aka my account wont ever probably use forums/resources but I have to have one to download software updates). Admittedly I had no idea smart had a site though so you guys did better in that sense, I have at least heard of promethean planet

  12. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexwood View Post
    Having worked for Steljes before joining Promethean my advice would be to standardise on 1 brand so that only 1 piece of software has be rolled out across the whole estate.
    It would be better to have a situation where if a teacher feels they have to have a whiteboard then the school can get whatever whiteboard is best value at that particular time, instead of being stuck with one supplier. A school wants a buyer's market, with suppliers competing to offer the best value hardware. Same goes for resources - spend money and/or time buying/creating IWB resources that will work on all whiteboards, i.e. that aren't in a random company's proprietary format. Somewhat ironically, probably about the best format for this is Microsoft PowerPoint - OpenOffice still can't handle snazzy embedded Flash objects, whereas PowerPoint can and has nice annotation tools built in, too.

    While we're talking about whiteboards and/or large front-of-classroom display screens, does anyone know of (or know of anything in development) that goes a bit beyond teacher-stands-at-front-and-teaches usage? Large display screens and interactive content are great and all, but I can see the novelty starting to wear off - if it's still the same basic educational material it won't take today's media-savvy children very long to see through the extraneous bells and whistles. I'm thinking more of something that allows groups of children to work on a collaborative exercise of some kind, with results being used to update a large, central display. Anyone know of anything like that?

    --
    David Hicks

  13. #58

    Michael's Avatar
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    Both companies make fantastic products and the competition is welcome. It forces companies to raise their standards and deliver better products every year. I would say most people on these forums have some form of technical background such as a Technician, Network Manager or of course an ICT Co-Ordinator and administering/maintaining boards is just as important as there use in the classroom.

    I have experience of both and the majority of schools (in my case) have Smart and have far less problems than the few that use Promethean. When I say problems, I am talking about the board itself or indeed using the software as a teaching tool. The poll speaks for itself and each vote is a forum members opinion.

    From a technical point of view, I do prefer Smart. The boards are much lighter so easier to install, they require only a single USB connection to power the board (and don't require external power) and the driver overall is better written. It's only until recently (I believe) an MSI was made available for the Promethean driver.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexwood View Post
    SMART's notebook is a catch-all application that is focussed more on the Corporate sector.

    Whilst Alex has made some valid points around software, training and community I would like to correct a point made in his post. SMART Notebook collaborative learning software is very much aimed at education users, with new version 10 adding in over 30 new features which have been requested by teachers. SMART has produced a separate corporate software product called Meeting Pro.

    For UK users, Steljes has produced further online community resources in the shape of mysmartspaces MySMARTSpaces, bringing together the best of the web for SMART product information and resources etc. This is designed to support SMART's own SMART Exchange where users can share resources and/or ideas to make classrooms extraordinary learning areas.

    In response to an earlier post by dhicks, a good example of the developing technology can be seen in the new SMART Table, a collaborative learning platform designed specifically for primary school users. This can be seen on the SMART Stand at BETT next week, on stand B50 in the main hall should you be there. Alternatively information can be obtained from mysmartspaces. Also on the stand and worthy of a view is the new 600i, the next generation of SMART's integrated whiteboard solution, as well as a number of other new products that will be released in the early part of this year.

  15. #60

    bossman's Avatar
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    I have it on good authority that promethean are to engage the market in the near future with a totally revolutionary product which still encompasses their great software and teachers will still be able to use in the same way with quite a number of new and exciting features.
    Our feeder primarys have a mixture of boards and it seems most problems are with smartboards.
    Anyway some say potatoes and some say potatoes! some say tomatoes and some say tomatoes! potatoes, potatoes!, tomatoes! tomatoes! let;s call the whole thing off hehe!!
    Lol, having a happy moment and thinking out loud!
    just love these debates about what is best, what works for you is best! :-) ;-)

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