gbs Resources

What is a Smart Board and what can it do?

In the dynamic landscape of modern education and business, interactive technology has become an integral part of fostering engagement, innovation, and collaboration. Among the myriad tools available, the SMART Board stands out as a versatile and powerful solution. In this blog post, we'll delve into the concept of SMART Boards, exploring what they are and the myriad ways they can elevate interactive learning and collaborative work environments.

So what is a SMART Board?

A SMART Board is an interactive touch panel that combines the traditional whiteboard with modern touchscreen technology. Developed by SMART Technologies, these boards have evolved beyond passive writing surfaces, transforming into dynamic hubs for collaboration and interactive learning. The SMART in SMART Board actually refers to the company SMART Technologies.

Going back in time they used to be an actual whiteboard with a projector to cast the display onto the whiteboard. Nowadays they are an interactive display. Imagine a TV with a Touchscreen and then you have an interactive display.

An example of an old style smart board with whiteboard and projector
An example of an old-style smart board with whiteboard and projector

Smartboards have some key features that make them stand out:

Touchscreen Capability: The hallmark feature of a SMART Board is its touchscreen functionality, allowing users to interact with the board using their fingers or a stylus.

  • Touchscreen Capability: The hallmark feature of a SMART Board is its touchscreen functionality, allowing users to interact with the board using their fingers or a stylus.
  • Digital Ink Technology: SMART Boards use digital ink, enabling users to write, draw, and manipulate content on the board with ease. The technology replicates the feel of traditional writing tools while offering a range of digital possibilities.
  • Connectivity: SMART Boards are designed to connect seamlessly with computers and other devices, facilitating the integration of multimedia content, applications, and online resources.
  • Interactive Software: Accompanying SMART Boards is a suite of interactive software, empowering users to create engaging presentations, collaborative projects, and interactive lessons.

The Capabilities of a SMART Board

Interactive Presentations

SMART Boards bring presentations to life by allowing presenters to interact directly with their content. Annotations, drawings, and multimedia elements can be incorporated in real-time, fostering engagement and audience participation.

Collaborative Learning

In educational settings, SMART Boards revolutionise the learning experience. Teachers can create interactive lessons, encouraging student participation through hands-on activities, quizzes, and group projects.

Efficient Meetings

In the business world, SMART Boards facilitate efficient collaboration during meetings. Teams can brainstorm ideas, annotate documents, and interact with data seamlessly, whether they are in the same room or participating remotely.

Dynamic Brainstorming

SMART Boards are ideal for brainstorming sessions. Teams can ideate, organise thoughts, and visually map out concepts, fostering creativity and innovation.

Document Annotation

Whether it's marking up a document or highlighting key points during a discussion, SMART Boards make document annotation a breeze. This feature is especially valuable in collaborative work environments.

Could a SMART Board be useful for your organisation?

Deciding whether a SMART Board is a good purchase for you depends on your specific needs, context, and how you plan to use the technology. Here are some factors to consider:

Educational Setting

Pros: SMART Boards are widely used in educational environments to enhance interactive learning. If you are a teacher or involved in education, a SMART Board can facilitate dynamic and engaging lessons, encouraging student participation.

Cons: If your teaching style does not heavily rely on interactive or multimedia elements, the full capabilities of a SMART Board might not be fully utilised.

Business and Professional Use

Pros: In a business setting, SMART Boards can be valuable for presentations, collaborative meetings, and brainstorming sessions. They facilitate real-time interaction with digital content, making meetings more dynamic and engaging.

Cons: If your organisation's meetings are typically small and do not involve much collaborative work on a shared digital surface, the investment may not be justified.

Cost Considerations

Pros: SMART Boards can be a significant investment, but they often come with a range of features and software that enhance collaboration. Consider the long-term benefits and how the technology aligns with your goals.

Cons: If budget constraints are a concern, you might want to explore alternative interactive display solutions that offer a balance between functionality and cost.

Integration with Existing Technology

Pros: If your organisation already uses digital tools and platforms, a SMART Board that integrates seamlessly with these technologies can enhance your workflow.

Cons: If there are compatibility issues or if the technology does not align with your existing infrastructure, it may create challenges in implementation.

Room Size and Layout

Pros: SMART Boards are scalable and can be installed in various room sizes. Ensure that the size of the board matches the size of your meeting space or classroom.

Cons: In very small spaces, the cost and complexity of a SMART Board setup might outweigh the benefits.

Training and Technical Support

Pros: Consider the availability of training resources and technical support. SMART Boards come with software and features that may require some learning.

Cons: If there's a lack of training or support, it might be challenging for users to maximise the potential of the SMART Board.

SMART Board can be a fantastic investment if it aligns with your specific needs, enhances your workflow, and fits within your budget. It's essential to assess your requirements and evaluate whether the features and functionalities of a SMART Board align with your goals and intended use. If you want to find out if a SMART Board is suitable for your organisation

To take the first step in getting started, complete the form on our contact page and one of our team will be in touch.