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    By George

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    A SmartBoard is a touch-sensitive surface that looks like a whiteboard, but instead of writing on it with dry erase pens, you write on it with your finger (or a special no-ink "pen"). How?

    The SmartBoard needs to be used with an LCD projector. Both the LCD projector and the SmartBoard are connected to a computer. The LCD projector shines an image of what is normally on the computer screen onto the SmartBoard. Then, special software on your computer allows you to write on the SmartBoard, point and click as if you were using a mouse, and other things you would normally sit down at your computer to do.

    Here's a brief example of what you can do with a SmartBoard:

    Open a word processing document on your computer to share with the class. Let's say a sample paragraph. Use your SmartBoard to underline and highlight certain words or phrases you wish to emphasize. You can draw right on top of the word document with both pens and highlighters in many different colors. Edit the paragraph together with students, inserting describing words, fixing errors, drawing arrows and using editing marks.


    One big problem with SmartBoards is they depend on an LCD projector (unless you get one of the really expensive boards which project from the rear). So, lighting is an issue. You'll want to get a bright LCD projector and turn off the row of lights directly above the SmartBoard (or all the lights).

    Another related problem is that you will cast a shadow on the board, which makes it difficult to see what you're doing. You need to stand to the side as you use the SmartBoard, which isn't hard to get used to.

    SmartBoards can be mounted on the wall, or mounted on a rolling stand. Mine is mounted on a rolling stand. The ideal set-up would have the SmartBoard mounted to the wall with the LCD projector mounted on the ceiling, but this is quite expensive.

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