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A Comparison of Three Interactive Whiteboards

Here, I compare three interactive whiteboard systems: SMARTBoard, Promethean ACTIVboard and Mimio.
by

Jessica Renault

on 4 March 2013

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Transcript of A Comparison of Three Interactive Whiteboards

A Comparison of Three
Interactive Whiteboards: SMARTBoard Summary: The SMARTBoard is an interactive
whiteboard that allows teachers to project and
write on the same screen. The SMARTBoard is
touch-sensitive so teachers and students may use
finger or pen to write directly on the board. It
also connects to the computer and projector to
display images from the computer.

Features: Choose from 48- 87" wide screen, pen tray to hold writing pens or any writing tool, Notebook software is included (basic whiteboard tools), access to SMART Exchange website with learning resources

Cost: The least expensive model, SMARTBoard 480, is priced at about $2000. The top model, SMARTBoard 885 has multi-touch capability so that up to 4 students may work at the board at once and also has features like using the palm to erase notes, and moving objects on the screen. The 885 model is priced at about $3100. (prices exclude projector) Promethean ACTIVboard Summary: Like SMARTBoard, the Promethean ACTIVboard is also a touch-sensitive projection screen that connects to a project and computer to display images from the computer. The 500 series allows for multiple users (up to 4) to be at the screen at once, using their pen or hands to draw, resize, rotate and move objects on screen.

Features: 78-95" wide screen, sturdy construction, ActiveInspire software included (compatible for use with Microsoft Office applications), includes access to Promethean Planet website with lesson plans, additional common core lessons software for purchase

Cost: The 78" 500 Pro series (without projector) is priced at about $2100 MimioTeach Summary: The MimioTeach system is
not like conventional interactive whiteboards.
Instead of installing a large specialized
whiteboard screen, you place the small MimioTeach
device on a conventional whiteboard and use the
stylus (pen)to set up the system for use.

Features: Small, magnetic Mimio bar can be mounted on any white board, Mimio hub connects to USB port, stylus pen is easy to hold, MimioStudio software included, access to MimioConnect website for lessons

Cost: About $900 for MimioTeach system Comparison and Recommendation SMARTBoard vs. Promethean vs. Mimio SMARTBoard
Promethean ACTIVboard
Mimio Teach SMARTBoard (800 series)
Pros:
Finger or pen touch sensitive
Includes pen tray
Large screen
Multi-user
Large bank of lessons on website
Cons:
Very high cost for 800 series
Doesn't seem as user-friendly as
Promethean
Cost of installation may be high? Promethean ACTIVboard (500 series)
Pros:
Finger and pen touch sensitive
Maneuverability of objects by touch
Larger screen
Multi-user
Large bank of lessons on website
Lessons developed for common core
Software designed with Office in mind
Overall, seems user-friendly
Cons:
Price is high
No pen tray
Not sure about installation costs- could be high MimioTeach
Pros:
Easy transport
No installation cost
Small size
Lowest cost
Cons:
Not as wide bank of lessons
Size of screen depends on board available
No hand-touch functions
Not multi-user Recommendation:
While the Mimio system has its perks (affordability and transportability) I feel it comes in last place among the interactive boards. First, it doesn't have multi-user or finger-touch capability, which makes it less suitable for student interactions. This system also requires that a large enough white board is available.

The SMARTBoard and Promethean systems were very similar. Both offer finger or pen touch sensitivity on a large, sturdy board. Both include software with access to a large bank of interactive lessons. The Promethean ACTIVboard is slightly larger than its SMARTBoard counterpart, but is still lower in price. I also had the sense that finger-touch capability of ACTIVboard was better developed (in the ability to manipulate objects on screen). After reading about software, I felt that the ACTIVboard seemed to design its software system with the user in mind, making it more compatible with Office. Finally, the ACTIVboard software for purchase teamed with Houghton Mifflin to produce Common Core lessons. Considering size, price and user-friendliness, ACTIVBoard seems to be a better deal.
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