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Bewildered by classroom multimedia options? I will start by covering Smart Boards.

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With the vast array of multimedia options available for the classroom these days it is easy to get a bit lost or confused. By the time you reach the end of this article i hope you will be a little more informed which will make your future buying decisions a little easier.

I will start with Smart Boards, they have been around for the longest time and in our experience seem to be the most popular multimedia addition to a classroom. They come bundled with the fantastic SMART Notebook Advantage collaborative learning software. This software sets the standard for creating delivering and managing interactive lessons all within a single application. Teachers can easily create engaging interactive lessons, and then save notes or content from those lessons to share with other staff and students. SMART Notebook software also provides a common platform for linking a variety of classroom technologies and student mobile devices. This licensed Smart Notebook software is a part of the Advantage software package and Notebook comes free forever . It is linked directly to the board you have purchased.  It is no longer transferable to other boards or touch screens you have in your school. You can not legally use it for any other device. Especially non Smart products.  For the first year you will also been given free access to a suite of tools as part of  Smart Notebook Advantage software package such as:

SMART Response VE
Seamlessly transition between lesson delivery and assessment. Students can respond to planned and spontaneous questions and quizzes from any Internet-enabled device, anywhere.

SMART Notebook 3D tools
Provide truly immersive learning through the use of 3D objects directly in your SMART Notebook lesson.

SMART Notebook Connect
Find and explore new content, resources and professional development within SMART Notebook.

XC basic
Stimulate collaboration and discussion whilst incorporating mobile devices into your SMART Notebook lessons in new and exciting ways.

SMART Notebook Maths
Improve maths functionality for all year levels with more than 55,000 maths content objects and interactive activities for geometry, algebra, calculus and statistics. It supports both Mac and PC.

New tools
Easily create and deliver engaging lessons with new functionality in SMART Notebook, including a paintbrush pen and image editing tool.

Ink editing
Enhance instruction with automatic handwriting recognition and conversion combined with intuitive text editing capabilities. Now you can edit, move, delete, modify or insert text objects without reaching for a keyboard.


At the end of your 12 month free trial of these add on’s you can continue to use Smart Notebook for free and lose the use of the plug in’s or carry on enjoying the full benefits of  SMART Notebook Advantage by paying an annual subscription which ensures that you can upgrade to the latest version of SMART Notebook, unlock add-ons and plug-ins and access live technical support.

For further details on the new software licensing for Smart Notebook Advantage and costs i ask that you contact us directly.

The range of boards offered by Smart has recently been refreshed, they no longer use the resistive touch technology which relied on pressure applied to the board to sense touch and all now come with DViT (Digital Vision Touch) this technology uses cameras to distinguish between different actions and respond accordingly . A very effective and reliable solution.

They come in three distinct flavors the 400, 600 and 800 series from which you should be able to find the perfect match for your needs.  You can use a Smart Board with any projector, we would recommend you use an Ultra Short Throw  which look great and cut down on shadows cast across the working area when in use but a short throw or standard throw projector will fulfill the task effectively enough.

You will also need to consider what type of audio you want installed with your chosen Smart Board. We prefer to install wall mounted speakers and amps while providing wall mounted connections for your most common devices such as VGA, HDMI, USB etc.  You should talk to your installer well in advance of your installation to specify what your preferred connections are.  Integrated speakers are available on some of the premium Smart Boards models and we can also source Smarts own speakers which hang on the side of the boards and look integrated.  All boards can be wall mounted or mounted on a fixed or height adjustable mobile stands allowing you more flexibility in their use.

(For advice on installations,  projectors & audio options give us a call 01787 221166)

Smart Boards Explained

400 series 400 Series

The entry level 400 series now comprises of just one variant. The Smart Board 480.

This easy-to-use, touch-sensitive interactive whiteboard combines quality and affordability. It enables teachers and students to interact with lesson content in a natural way using either their finger or a pen. It is a single touch model so it can only be used by one person at a time and it will not support gestures such as flicking or pinching an image. The 77″ (195.6 cm) 4 x 3 touch sensitive display uses two cameras to track user input and the board is a good size which can been seen from the back of your average classroom.


600 series smartboard600 Series

The mid range 600 series is comprised of four variants. The Smart Board 680, 680i, 685 & 685i.

Students and teachers can naturally interact with content, writing, erasing and performing mouse functions using a finger or pen. Its a dual touch board so will support  two users using single touch or one user using intuitive gestures such as flick, rotate and zoom, which makes content easier to conceptualize and comprehend. All models in the 600 series use two cameras to track user input. The i models are the same boards as the numbered variants but come bundled with Smarts own projectors, they also come with projector controls that are integrated into the pen tray for basic projector management. Because of this they come at a premium price and i models may not offer the best value for money option.

The 680  has a 77″ (195.6 cm) 4 x 3 display.

The wide-format 685 has a 87” screen  giving you more workspace and room to show images and videos. It’s ideal for classrooms that use widescreen laptops and monitors.


800 series 800 series

The 800 series is a new class of interactive whiteboard available in two variants.The Smart Board 880 & 885.

Both are powerful multitouch interactive whiteboards, which enable two users to simultaneously interact on the system’s surface while using different tools or their fingers to write, draw and manipulate lesson content with gestures utilizing four cameras encased in the boards surrounding bezel. The boards will also support four users at the same time using single touch.

The 880 has a 77″ (195.6 cm) 4 x 3 display

The wide-format 885 has a 87″ (221 cm) screen provides you with 20% more working space than the standard 77″ interactive whiteboard and is ideal for classrooms that use widescreen laptops and monitors.


Whatever Smart Board you decide suits your requirements best you will be joining millions of students and teachers around the world who use a SMART Board interactive whiteboards to help improve learning outcomes. Combining the simplicity of a whiteboard with the power of a computer, the SMART Board interactive whiteboard lets you deliver dynamic lessons, write notes in digital ink and save your work – all with the simple touch.

If this article helped explain the Smart Board range please keep checking our site as i  will be posting similar articles that will cover Promethean interactive whiteboards and also the most popular large format touch screens in our blogs section.

For expert advice on classroom multimedia solutions contact Cablers.







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