In the district many people have asked me which interactive whiteboard is better SMART boards or Promethean’s boards. The answer is, it depends on the needs of your school. I will provide a summary of my research including a conversation with a SMART technologies rep. (I called two Promethean rep.’s on Tues. afternoon and still have not received a return phone call), articles and blogs in order to guide you as you consider the board that is best for your school.
Before explaining the differences of the products, I want to share important news about the companies. Futuresource Consulting released a report in February showing that SMART boards are being purchased at more than double the rate of Promethean boards. This coupled with the known fact that Promethean is dropping the price of the boards are indications that this company is declining. If your school purchases products from a company that closes then you will not be given future support and their will be less instructional resources offered for the product.
-Price: They fluctuate based on the amount purchased and incentives at the time so you would need to get a price quote based on your school’s need at the time of purchase.
-Resources: There are plenty of resources for teachers to use with both products. Promethean Planet has 56,912 resources and the SMART Exchange has 42,060; however, SMART teachers have created many websites with a large amount of resources independently from the company.
-Pen and/or Finger: SMART operates with finger or pen, and does not need a stylus to operate whereas only Promethean’s newest board allows for both pen and finger operation. The older boards require a stylus (which could be lost or broken) to fully function.
-Simultaneous users: Both boards allow for simultaneous users. SMART allows for two users to complete tasks individually or collectively, while Promethean users can only complete tasks collectively.
-Training/Support: Both websites have training resources. A big pro for SMART technologies is that our district has a SMART trainer, Jeremy, that is co-leading the Wednesday Drop Inservices. Jeremy and I are also planning classes that will be accessible online so that you may advance your learning about how to operate the SMART Board.
Things to consider as you are deciding:
-The school should come to a consensus on which board would be most practical for their teachers.
-The teachers are encouraged to look at the resources of each. As stated Promethean resources can be found here and I have created a short list to explore resources for the SMART technologies here.
-Find local schools that use one of these boards effectively use and observe them. Consider partnering with them for future training or collaboration.
You may view articles and blogs on my Evernote page for more information: www.evernote.com/pub/jenpeyrot/smarttechnologies
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