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SmartBoard vs Promethean



Does anyone have any information on these two products? My school just purchased me a SmartBoard (whoohoo). They are looking into getting every teacher in the building one as well, but we are discussing the differences in between the two interactive boards. Does anyone have any information?

Also, if anyone has any good sites or ideas for how to use the Smartboard it would be greatly appreciated!



Junior Member

My school has Smart Boards that we are allowed to check out to use in our classrooms. They are being utilized but they are extremely cumbersome and awkward to manipulate. Our PTA is buying us all something called an E-Beam for next year. Apparently it will do all of the same functions as a Smart Board but it is small (about the size of a Lemony Snicket Chapter Book) and it is the shape of a right angle. It attaches to your white/chalk board with suction cups and projects onto it. The teachers who already have them absolutely LOVE them. You may want to check them out to see if it's something you may be interested in. I've heard that it will capture whatever you write on the board and you can download it and print it out. I don't know that personally because I have not ever actually played with one. Sorry I don't know anything about those other boards.


Senior Member

You'll probably have to look up eMints websites for uses on the Smartboard. There's probably everything you want to know and more on these sites.


New Member
Some Smartboard ideas

When I student taught in a 3/4 combo class, the students were doing reports and had made Power Point presentations using the board. You can also type up lessons in Microsoft Word and present them with the Smartboard. When I was subbing, one teacher actually had scanned her worksheets into the computer and used the Smartboard to teach the kids. They loved coming up to the board and doing the worksheet. There is also an awesome website called United Streaming. Your school does have to purchase a membership to it but you can try it free for 30 days. Basically, they have different lessons and video clips that you can show on the Smartboard. I use the site in kindergarten and love it. There is also another site called storylineonline which is free. That site has celebrities reading stories. Hope this helps.


Senior Member

i've never heard of prometheon. our school has SMARTBoards. a quality (not cheapest your district will buy!) really makes a difference in the color/value of picture!

here is a link to previous posts about SMARTBoards... http://www.proteacher.net/discussions/showthread.php?t=7529&highlight=smart+board

brainpop.com is excellent--short videos on health, science, technology, language, soc sts, and math topics--funny, to the point--covers several grade levels.

the address for SMARTBoards is: www.education.smarttech.com

you can go there and download lessons others have made on various topics (as well as leave yours!) i also see that there is a page of interactive websites!



We don't have smart boards at my school, but I tried writing on one once with the markers and there was a delay...like you had to hold down before starting to write for a little bit...it also was kind of hard to write on it...my handwriting looked really sloppy when I tried writing on it! Does it get easier to write on as you get use to it? Does it always have the delay?


Senior Member
It must

be something to do with your system. WE don't have the delay. The sloppy part does improve.


Senior Member

a. you might need an adjustment (board, not you)
b. you also need to occasionally go into SMARTBoard tools/options...something...and then "orient" the board--that basically tells the board which cell you're writing in when--if you don't do this, it's off by 1-3 inches from where you're actually writing!
c. yes, your get used to writing on it--and you can pull up "notebook" pages if you need to write on lines.



Thank you so much! I tried it another school, so it must be their system. I hope we can get them because they seem awesome!



We had a promethean sales rep at our school demonstrating the board and it was awesome. It appears to be much sturdier than the smartboard, as well as having many more features. Early next year there will be an upgrade available with the promethean that allows several students to write on it at once, for math races...etc. I'm so excited. My school ordered 2, with the student clickers for quizzes and the walk around slate(I can write on it anywhere in the room.) It should be set up in about a month. I can let you know more then. Also, I googled promethean, and a tutorial came up that taught me a lot. It was free.



My county has both and I am our tech instruction specialist. Promethian tops smart boards because they are more stable and attach to the wall. They also have cool software that lets you use the projector like a rtransperanMy county has both and I am our tech instruction specialist. Promethean tops smart boards because they are more stable and attach to the wall. They also have cool software that lets you use the projector like a transparency, write on it, roll dice and more. They also have software to make flip books. The sales rep will tell you flipbooks rock. They are wrong it is a glorified PowerPoint that you can't spell check. The real kicker is the clickers. They let you get real time data from kids as you teach. You don’t need the board to do this. You can buy just the clickers and a data port and get the same functionality for a fraction the price...cy



There are smartboard models that attach to a wall- I'm surprised a tech specialist doesn't know that. They even have a few that don't require a projector- just depends on the model you buy.

I have one mounted in my room along with a ceiling mounted projector. It works pretty well. This is my first year with it.

I recently took a training session and found out there were a lot more features than I initially realized- you just have to know how to use them.

I don't know if it is better than promethean, but they do work well.

That being said, consider other options as well. A tablet PC with an LCD projector- while more expensive than a smartboard- may be a better purchase.

SMART is also pushing a $400 "airliner", which is a bluetooth penpad which you can use wirelessly from anywhere in the room.

It really depends on what you want it to do.

If you only want to show powerpoints, then you are really just wasting $1200 on a screen for your projector.



Can you update on your school's installation of the promethean system?


Senior Member

I am in the process of taking a SMARTboard from the rollers to mounting on the wall. Having it on rollers is a huge problem to begin with - with our spongy floors I was always recalibrating. The boards eventually fell into disuse. My goal is to resurrect it with Bluetooth technology.

I don't know much about Promethean board, but everything I've hears is that they are quite comparable.

Since I've been away from SMARTboards for a long time, I'm interested in workshops. Do any of you at PT have any suggestions?


Senior Member

Everything you mentioned (except the flipbooks) can be done with a Smartboard. Mine is attached to the wall. They have some awesome premade flash files that can give you rolling dice, spinning spinners, interactive clocks, etc. I can easily use Powerpoint and get the flipbook effect. The "clickers" mentioned can be purchased (separately) for use with smartboards as well. I haven't used a promethian, but I use my smartboard all day every day.


2nd grade teacher

Wow, for a "tech" specialist, you really don't have a clue. My SmartBoard is mounted on the wall, my projector is mounted on the ceiling, I have the Senteo Clickers that work seamlessly with my system, and I have tried and scoffed at the Promethean. The Promethean works well enough, don't get me wrong. But if you are a sucker and can get swooped into one of their sales demos, then you should be ashamed of yourself. They are SALES PEOPLE, it is their job to convince you to buy their product.

Like I said, I have used both. The Promethean is light years behind the SmartBoard and it always will be.

The SmartBoard is a product of MicroSoft; need I say more?


Full Member
Not forsure but..

I think my board is a prometheon. Is that made by numonics??? I know the smart has 3 or so different pens and can also be controled by the tip of the finger. Mine can ONLY be controled by its pen. Also my surface is very durable and is under warrenty for many years. Let me check and I'll get back to you. Mine came with RM Easiteach (program) which I LOVE!!!


Smart v. Promethean

Smart is a Canadian company, not Microsoft. The "kleenex" brand it has been the staple of presentations up until five years ago. It is great for presentations and writing. Where the Promethean excels is in the classroom. Not because of the board but because of the software. It allows you to to anything you can do on a computer or a whiteboard. But it is the six thousand FREE lesson plans aligned to state standards that make the difference. Especially for those that use the integrated voting devices. Those are so EASY to use and the kids love them. I liked my old Smart board, but I love my new Promethean!

Ima Teacher

Senior Member
This is my third year with a SmartBoard. I spent one year with it on wheels, and I spent a lot of time adjusting it. I love it mounted! I also have a ceiling-mounted projector, audio enhancement system, airliner slate, document camera, and "clickers". Oh, and the TV system is also wired into it.

I use Promethian flipcharts with my SmartBoard. All I had to do was download the promethian software on my computer. I have both the Notebook and Flipchart programs on my home computer, too, so I can make lessons at home.

We have 17 of the "smart" classrooms. Unitedstreaming and BrainPop are sites I use with my board.


Senior Member
Ima Teacher

I'm jealous! I'm happy for you, but I would love to have all that you have!! I have a wall mounted SMARTboard and a ceiling mounted projector. This is the first year for this. I had the projector on a table last year. I put in for clickers and a document camera. I would love both. I would like to be able to get Brain Pop too. Everything costs so much. :-( I am appreciative of what I do have though! Just a tad jealous of you!!:-)


Explore the full truths, not the sales pitch!

I love how everyone makes blatantly false statements. There are thousands upon thousands of state-aligned FREE lesson plans for SMART Boards too. But, who really wants all of the MANUFACTURER'S suggested lesson plans - the real proof is in the resources created by other teachers. There are plenty for promethean and there are plenty for SMART Boards - and actually each brand allows you to convert each other's files into their own... everything everyone seems to post here sounds like it is coming from the sales person who gave them 'half-truths' to make one sound better than the other.

All of these boards, whether SMART Boards, Promethean ActivBoards, Numonics Intelliboards, or whatever else are all durable, they all have warranties to cover damage, etc. The all have or work with 'clickers', they all have bluetooth pads/slates, they all have tons of available resources, and more...

The real deciding factor is the support you get from whomever you choose to purchase from - what is the quality of their installation? what is the quality of the PD they offer? What is their post-sales support like?

As for the technology itself - I personally find the SMART Board more intuitive - pick up a pen and write when you want, use your finger when you want to move an object, etc... using a pen to do everything is not as intuitive - TOUCH is important, as you can see by items like the iPhone and the move by most tablet pc makers to now add TOUCH to their systems as well - they found that just a pen is not intuitive for the end user...

Think about a student in a math class - if you didnt have a interactive whiteboard and you wanted students to grasp a concept, you would utilize hands-on manipulatives for them to interact with - well, with a SMART Board, the activity is still tactile (albeit a little different) - still get a hands-on experience in moving objects.

All of these products are improving/revolutionizing the creation of content and the delivery of it in a classroom - you really cant go wrong with any of the products... but if i had to rate them:

1. SMART Boards
2. Promethean ActivBoards
3. eBeam
4. Interwrite
5. Numonics
6. 3M
7. Mimio
8. Hitachi
9. NEC
10. Polyvision


The "Battle" Rages

It's nice to read from some that there is an awareness that both of these companies have their merits. They are both working desperately to be the industry leader in the education market. There are clearly disciples for each. Hmm, sounds a bit like the Apple v. PC battle we've all been around for years. :-) Bottom line is that we are raising a generation of digital natives who will comfortably learn and interact with any of these technologies. So the real question is what you, as an educator, find most intuitive. A lot has to do with practice, with any of this, as we all know. One given is that both companies will continue to assert that their products are the best for a variety of reasons. Reality, they both have pros and cons. Best price and offered local support would be a good place to start. Both companies have "seeding" programs to get your district "hooked" (like any good dealer should), but probing questions about maintenance, warranties and expected product lifespan would be more pertinent for most of us in the educational world. Good luck.



In my opinion SMART Boards are way more advanced and their features and are awesome. their support is very good and free. I do like the fact that I can use both my pen and finger to go through my computer and so on. The problem with Promethean is the fact that it relies itself on its magnetic pens. Imagine if you lose them! or if your students hide them from you or whatever else, you wont be able to use your board unless you were to have a spear pen... with a SMART Board even if you lose your pens you can just cover up the sensors on pen tray with anything and have a working board right away. Plus as I said I love using my finger to go through presentations and so on, I would hate having a pen in my hand all the time to do the same. SMART rules and also its software is light years away from promethean. It is laso more professional.


Junior Member
smart board concerned

hello- i am a first year teacher and i have never worked with a smart board however i have one mounted right in the front of my k5 classroom. i am use to the dry erase boards and not familiar with the smart board. did i understand that there is a website to go to that has premade lesson plans available>? i was wondering how all that works. i can use any word doc. from the computer and it will work on the smart board>


Junior Member
Resources for SMART Board

Yes! You can use Word Documents. And yes, there is a website. The SMART Board site is www.smarttech.com.
You will want to upgrade your version of the Notebook to the latest release. 10.0 (I believe) The gallery has been updated, along with templates and lessons.
As for using your board. The sky is the limit. Any website that you use when your kids are in the computer lab can be used on your board. www.starfall.com is an awesome one for your younger kids. I used it a lot when I taught Kindergarten last year.
You can show movie clips on your board.
You can use it as a math manipulative.
You can use it as a writing center.
There are so many ideas that it gets to be a bit overwhelming.
The Smart Tech site has lessons already designed and ready to go. You can also search "SMART Board Lessons" or "Interactive whiteboard lessons" and find a plethora of information.
If you need any help at all, let me know. I'm not an expert, but I am working on training our staff to use them this year. They are a BLAST!!

2/3 combo teacher