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How do you do....it? Thread, Interactive Whiteboards in Technical; Just like SteveMC said.... see what other schools in your area use. Get the opinions of the teachers that use ...
  1. #16
    KarlGoddard's Avatar
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    Just like SteveMC said.... see what other schools in your area use. Get the opinions of the teachers that use them. If you have to pitch to SLT, getting the backing of the teaching staff will get you far further than pitching from a purely technical point of view.

    I've used Smartboard, Promthean and even the horrid Mimio devices at various schools I've worked at and Promethean were / are my recommendation.

    Never had any issues with them technically, plug them in install the software and away you go.

    More importantly, the staff at my school love them. The ActivBoard software is pretty easy to pick up and as my boss said above, there's some realy good online courses (moodle based, in fact ) available on one of the promethean websites.

    But no matter which you choose make sure the staff get on with them...
    Last edited by KarlGoddard; 29th June 2008 at 12:31 PM.

  2. #17
    eean's Avatar
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    It really depends on what you want to use them for.
    I'd say Smart for primary, promethean for secondary but there are pros and cons for both.

    I like smart because:
    • - There is no pen to loose. Not just permanently but just over the course of a lesson. When I used marker pens, I was always shoving them in my pockets and could never find them. With smart, I can just use my finger and the software pretty much forces you to get into the habit of putting the pens into the pentray. With the promethian pen, I kept putting it down somewhere, that meant I was less inclined to use the board to, say, quickly demo small things preferring to just explain it, which isn't as good really.
      It's a small thing, but it means that you can operate it very quickly. This helps keeps lessons pacy, which is one of the main advantages of IWBs in the first place.
    • - Great for younger children, especially if you are playing games, involving hitting the board etc... I can’t imagine playing some of our fast maths games with pen – the kids hit the board so hard you’d probably snap a pen.


    Promethian,
    • Are probably more accurate, lots of handwriting on a smart board can be tiring. I wouldn’t want to demo graphics editing on a smartbaord.
    • Software is supposedly better. TBH, I've never felt I've been missing features from the smartboard software though.
    • Kids find drag and drop is hard on a smartboard. Promethean is smoother.
    Last edited by eean; 29th June 2008 at 12:44 PM.

  3. #18

    john's Avatar
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    Smarts all the way for me, had both and fine I guess theres a need for the Promethean someplaces but to me they fall over at the key IMHO to interactivity is touchey feely and they don't do that so Smart have it.

  4. #19
    FatBoy's Avatar
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    We only have Promethean at my school and I have had no experience with smarts. But I find the Promethean boards are fine and no problems with software really, the only problems we have had is with new software and really old boards (4/5 years) but thatís it.

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    farmerste's Avatar
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    smarts here too, but.....

    we have 20 smartboards, and 2 rear projection 2000i smartboards, they are usually very good, the problem i have found are :-

    version 10 of the software is awful,

    software after version 9.5 does not control 2000i smartboards correctly, one example of this is the lamp on projector no longer gets switched off when you shut down the pc.

    getting an onsite replacement under warranty can be a very lengthy process, and i have heard that smart have lost their database of registered boards, so it seems to take ages, tho i cannot confirm that they have lost the database for sure.

    although software up to version 10 is quite good, it really nags the user, and requires a bit of fiddling with the registry in order to remove those nags, and other things it tries to install/update all the time. i also feel smart have the same opinion as microsh@ft, where they actuall ' know whats best', not the end users.


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    roty80's Avatar
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    smart vs promethean

    We have about 10 of each type. While I do like the Smartboards we have had some problems.

    We have had a problem with a few PC's not booting when connected to Smartboards. After some searching it turns out they don't work with some Intel boards (ours are Intel d102 motherboards), the computer freezes before it completes POST and had to replace the PC's with ones with Asus boards.

    The Pens go missing/get stolen a lot.

    For a faulty board we had a member of technical support out 3 or 4 times before they agreed it was faulty and needed replacing.

    Promethean boards have been more robust/damaged less.

    On the other hand though, most teachers love the Smartboards. The software is good and the interfaces are easy to use. Just don't let the naughty kids near them.

  7. #22

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    Projector + Tablet PC + Old-School White Board.

    Can do more with a tablet and projector, apart from that interactive voting thing that some have.

    We have 2 smartboards, and staff also use tablet laptops with projectors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunderwood View Post
    Trying to put a case forward to our SMT...


    Smartboard

    or

    Promethean


    You Decide!!
    Depends on the School, both are very good manufacturer of interactive Whiteboards.

    Primary School's usually prefer Smartboards and Secondary Schools generally opt for Promethean. If a School has used one type of board then they tend to stick with same board.

    Do you currently have either Smart or Promethean Boards?

    I would recommend Smart over Promethean, due to me being Smart certified and have no problems with the software. Version 10 of Smart is also an improvement.

    hope this helps

  9. #24

    bossman's Avatar
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    45 Promethean here, having looked at the smart boards in primary schools to which they were developed for they are too fragile, the membrane easily gets torn when the kids deliberately drag a ballpoint pen along it resulting in new board.

    Promethean are not that expensive as to what they were a few years ago so remain very sustainable and the software and firmware is good.

    Best practise is to attach them to desktop computer in classroom for the teacher to work off as using with laptops can be a nightmare for the teachers if they have to configure using keyboard short cuts. Also do not extend the usb cables as this can cause spiking of the board as there is not enough power getting to the board from the USB connection.

    hope this helps

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    eean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bossman View Post
    Best practise is to attach them to desktop computer in classroom for the teacher to work off as using with laptops can be a nightmare
    Absolutely agree with this. It means that who ever walks into a room (cover teacher, etc...) they have a whiteboard that works without any faffing involved. Also means that Staff laptops aren't so 'mission critical'!

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    Having a PC is a good idea, but I would still recommend laptops. Smart have launch the 'Gowire cable' which plugs into the USB port of the Smartboard.

    You can instantly connect your laptop to the USB cable and can use the Smart board, no install, just plug and play. This allows any teacher entering a classroom and plug in laptop and use the Smart board without any problem and fuss.

    With the quote 'Smart boards too fagile', i would disagree:

    Smart board do have a softer material to promethean, but these are not fagile and of a hard wearing material.

    If someone goes out of their way to damage a Smart board, then they could damage any brand of Interactive Whiteboard if they wanted too.

    david

  12. #27

    bossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave007 View Post
    Having a PC is a good idea, but I would still recommend laptops. Smart have launch the 'Gowire cable' which plugs into the USB port of the Smartboard.
    You can instantly connect your laptop to the USB cable and can use the Smart board, no install, just plug and play. This allows any teacher entering a classroom and plug in laptop and use the Smart board without any problem and fuss.
    I would never recommend laptops and as for plug and play I think we all know what this means don't we that they do not always want to play even though you have plugged them in correctly (which when left in the hands of teachers could be inevitable)

    Quote Originally Posted by dave007
    With the quote 'Smart boards too fagile', i would disagree:

    Smart board do have a softer material to promethean, but these are not fagile and of a hard wearing material.

    If someone goes out of their way to damage a Smart board, then they could damage any brand of Interactive Whiteboard if they wanted too.
    It is recognised around the country that Smart Boards are more easily damaged than Promethean ActivBoards and not maliciously, it has been accidental as young people have been moving around the classroom they have damaged the membrane rendering the board useless. This has been so in a few cases around the primary's that we support.

    I am in no way slating any product just giving my experiences over the past 6 years as to which boards our school uses and what i feel are the best practices to a reliable experience with interactive whiteboards.

    Bossman

  13. Thanks to bossman from:

    farmerste (2nd July 2008)

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