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How do you do....it? Thread, Interactive Whiteboards in Technical; Trying to put a case forward to our SMT ... Smartboard or Promethean You Decide!!...
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    Sunderwood's Avatar
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    Interactive Whiteboards

    Trying to put a case forward to our SMT...


    Smartboard

    or

    Promethean


    You Decide!!

  2. #2
    ICT_GUY's Avatar
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    Promethean?

    Just remember to look into what projector they are supplying, I would go with buying your own. Sanyo do a plc-xw55a for around 400 with a 3 year warranty including bulbs and insight are giving away 7MP cameras too.

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    Just avoid Starboards (Hitachi)

    We've had some hassle with these, and found installation problems like spliced power cables, spliced VGA Cables, falling out of sync etc.

    And the software is bloated, and often just doesn't work.. for no real reason.

    things.

    Our Promethean ones haven't been too bad.

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    Sylv3r's Avatar
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    We have 44 Promeathean boards here and will continue to buy them as and when we need new boards but this is only because I want to keep the software and hardware consistant.

    If your buying your first board it will be probably worth getting a quote for both to compare prices.

    I must admit I think the ACTIVStudio software is a little clunky to me.

    Overall, it doesn't really matter which board you put in place as long as you put time in place for training and inset for staff.

    What you don't want is for the newly purchased IWB to be an expensive blackboard used for just displaying powerpoints.

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    sahmeepee's Avatar
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    We have Promethean although my last place has Smart. TBH it used to be that Smart had better hardware (i.e. no pen to lose) and Promethean had better software.

    I think that gap is narrowing now with multitouch options from Promethean and apparently improving software from Smart.

    I would say it doesn't matter greatly as long as you buy the same make throughout as the biggest problem is probably getting staff to get the best use out of what you buy, i.e. training. Promethean do have an online training course you can do for free, delivered via Moodle, as well as some paid-for advanced courses which might be a bit much for most staff. Their ActivStudio software really is good though and allows all sorts of clever magic since v3 came out.

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    sahmeepee's Avatar
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    We have Promethean although my last place has Smart. TBH it used to be that Smart had better hardware (i.e. no pen to lose) and Promethean had better software.

    I think that gap is narrowing now with multitouch options from Promethean and apparently improving software from Smart.

    I would say it doesn't matter greatly as long as you buy the same make throughout as the biggest problem is probably getting staff to get the best use out of what you buy, i.e. training. Promethean do have an online training course you can do for free, delivered via Moodle, as well as some paid-for advanced courses which might be a bit much for most staff. Their ActivStudio software really is good though and allows all sorts of clever magic since v3 came out.

  7. #7

    witch's Avatar
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    I have Smartboards in one school: in 4 years I have NEVER had an issue with the boards, and never need to clean the filters on the NEC projectors (this is because the contractors put them up such that I would have to take each one down to clean them and I don't have the time). And no bulbs have blown either

    I have Prometheans in the other school: in 4 years I have had: 3 VGA cables fail, 3 power supplies fail, countless pens fail,one set of speakers fail, 5 bulbs fail (one exploded) and the projectors have hissy fits if the filters aren't cleaned every 4 weeks (I know that is the projector not the board but these Epsons were provided by Promethean).
    Also, I get a call about the boards not being interactive about once a week - this could mean that it all has to go off and on again or I have to reinstall the driver

    So...SMARTs all the way

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    BaccyNet's Avatar
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    We're Smartboard here. We are also trying to move towards a standard model accross the site (the 680 is quite nice and seems to be holding up well) We currently support a local Primary that has some older Promethean boards, the software just seems to lose the boards on those (and I have installed the latest software/drivers) Then again its what they like and they are the ones who use them.

    Slightly off-topic, anyone know of some free Smart training materials or other online training? I was asked the other day to show some teachers how to use the boards as well as some advanced things on them, which would be great if I had been able to spend some time teaching myself

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    Smart, we have had a large amount of problems with drivers/software with the Promethean. We also bought a large amount last summer and within a year 1/5th of them needed a engineer to repair them.

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    Oops_my_bad's Avatar
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    We only have smart boards here - 680's to be specific. We are an all boys school and have teachers with fudge-fingers, so they get loads of stick. Never had any probs with the smartboards/software itself, just make sure you go for decent projectors

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    I worked in a school with promethean boards in. I found them to be a pain to support. One guy had a laptop and his board was connected via USB and for some reason some often than not the board would not respond to any input. He had re disconnect and then reconnect the USB to re-establish connection. It seemed to be after his laptop went into standby /screensaver mode after sitting idle for a while. Never really managed to sort it out completely before i left.

    There were also numerous support issues and i never liked the installation of the software.

    I use smartboards now and although i have not used the software on the Smarts that much i think they are more refined than the promethean software.

    We use our Smarts with a range of projectors but when the new school is built we will most likely be getting the Hitachi short-throw projectors. A-100 i think they are.

    Smart software also works great on OS X and is deployable through ARD as well. Makes it real easy to install :-)

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    I would DEFINITELY go with Smartboards everytime, i have had experiance of both and find Promethean to be very unreliable, - same as HodgeHi, i have experianced some very annoying problems!
    Smartboards just work and are definitely worth the extra money for this reason alone! The software is great and easy to use.

    some good info:
    Interactive WhiteBoards
    Last edited by Mainy; 28th June 2008 at 09:57 PM.

  13. Thanks to Mainy from:

    SYNACK (29th June 2008)

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    Galway's Avatar
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    We have over 30 smartboards, and 1 Promethean. Everyone loves the smarts.

    I have found the Promethean to be to be far inferiour to the smarts, they are much easier to use, support and the software is very good.

    I personally would recommend the NEC Orange projectors to go with these. Very bright, cheap bulbs and highly reliable.

    CANCOM UK - NEC VT59EDU Projector Edu - The Apple Mac Specialists

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    I'd also go for the SMART Boards - although it's worth seeing what other schools in the area are using, and if the majority use Promethean then maybe go for those (makes things easier for staff if they transfer between schools).

    Both SMART and Promethean do all-in-one systems, with built-in projectors on a boom arm. These can save a fair amount of hassle with regard to mounting projectors on dodgy ceilings and running cabling.

    Stephen

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    Smart is the way!

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