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					          Competitive Tactical Analysis
       Promethean Collaborative Classroom
              Smart Technologies

Tactical Considerations
Dated: July 28, 2008

During a Demo Against Smart Technologies

The overriding themes are that we are curriculum software built from scratch by
fellow educators, not presentation software ported from business to schools.
Also, our functions are broad and deep while SMART is broad and shallow.

      Show the ruler, protractor, compass, fraction tool, ticker tape,
       Activprimary, integrated slate and votes, customizable menu which can
       be saved for each user, some of the 11 ways to selectively erase the board,
       one click for pen/highlighter /eraser (colors and sizes), paint bucket on
       text, block and cursive handwriting recognition on the fly and after the
       fact, symbol recognition, integrated results of Activotes, 15,000 resources
       (“secondary” folder), freehand image capture and save to resources, page
       zoom with a tool like a ruler, clock, dice, calculator with screen output,
       front/middle/bottom properties of objects, inbuilt browser, the barrel
       button on the pen plus hover capability, and fraction tool.

      Show Nettrekker – Many states have this as a standard; don‟t
       underestimate our 4,500 plus flipcharts aligned to every state standard.

      Talk about pen versus finger. A student must learn to use the pen. What
       adult signs a contract with his finger? A pen is much more precise than a
       finger when creating interesting graphics, etc.

      Promethean is written by teachers for teachers. We sell only to schools, not
       military, not businesses. 45% of our employees are former teachers. You
      can see the difference and should point this out frequently. Try to make
      sure that your decision makers/audience is composed of teachers or ex-
      teachers. This will pay huge dividends for you.

                 Different functions found in MAC versus PC

            From SMART’s web site (related to version 9.5)

Function                      Windows Computers                 Macintosh Computers
Import and export Microsoft   You can export Notebook           Not available.
PowerPoint® files             software documents in
                              PowerPoint format if
                              PowerPoint software is
                              installed on the same computer
                              as SMART Board software. You
Customizable                  Not also export
                              may available.                    You can add or remove items
Notebook toolbar, Floating    PowerPoint documents in           from the toolbar by Control-
Toolbar is customizable       Notebook™ format if both          clicking the Notebook toolbar
                              applications are installed.              selecting
                                                                and available.    Customize
Print capture                 You can direct any print output   Not
                              to Notebook software by           Toolbar.
                              selecting SMART Notebook
                              Print Capture from the list of
E-mail support                You can printers in
                              availablee-mail both any          Not available.
                              application. .pdf
                              Notebook and
                              documents using the Send
Microsoft Office ink          You can use the Pen tool to enter Not available.
                              To menu item.
awareness                     text or objects in all Microsoft
                              Office applications.
Handwriting recognition in    You can start the handwriting Not available.
Gallery search                recognition application by
                              pressing the Pen Input button
LinQ™ software                in the Gallery tab.
                              LinQ software can send            Not available.
                              your computer‟s display
                              over the network to an
Auto-hide Page Sorter                           whiteboard
                              interactiveauto-hide the Page Not available.
                              You can
                              withoutin using additional
                              Sorter      Notebook software
                              by selecting the Auto-hide
                              check box at the bottom of the
                              Notebook Page Sorter.

     Show the audience how that even when using the finger, you will have a
      tendency to rest your other hand on the board, tap the board to make a
    point, etc. All of which will make the SMART Board leave a mark or have
    otherwise unintentional consequences.

   Explain how many things SMART from copied us. They now have a ruler
    and protractor, but with shallow capabilities. Does this mean they
    acknowledge they are behind us in creative programming in other areas?
    Does it indicate they are stretching the truth in other representations of
    their product? Think about it.

   Speaking of misdirection … explain that SMART talks about only four
    points to calibrate. SMART calls this a “Quick Alignment”. You cannot get
    it perfectly aligned this way. To get something close to our precise
    calibration, you must use SMART‟s “Standard alignment” of nine points.
    Does it indicate they are stretching the truth in other representations of
    their product? Think about it.

   You must show Activprimary. SMART has nothing like it.

   Inoculate yourself from SMART‟s claim that Promethean is good only for
    lower grades. Make sure you show the compass tool and the math
    resources in our Resource Library. Pull out a Trigonometric sine graph
    and the case is closed. (Images – Math – Trigonometry).

   Always talk about how we installed 1,100 boards in 10 weeks at Forsyth
    County Georgia. Always talk about the thousands of boards we have sold
    to Forsyth (1,500), Bowling Green (750), Philadelphia (1,000), Sarasota
    (3,200), etc.

   Point out that SMART‟s third party CPS votes are infrared. That means
    they must be pointed at the board with no one standing in between. Not
    so with our radio frequency devices.

   Our Activotes are integrated. Don‟t assume that teachers know what
    “integrated” means. What it means to them is they need to go to only one
    company, Promethean, for support. Also, they don‟t need to suspend
    Activstudio to go to another program to take the votes and then return to
    Activstudio. If a SMART user has a problem with the Airliner (Waacom)
    or CPS votes, then they must call that third party for problem remedy. The
    third party almost always points a finger back at SMART. And vise versa.
    What if SMART upgrades their software, will the CPS votes and Airliner
    still work with SMART? The word “integrated” also means that results are
    recorded within Activstudio. The user need not switch between
    Activstudio and another program as in SMART‟s case.

   SMART sells to corporate and educational accounts. How much of their
    R&D is devoted to education? Is this because they don‟t have the money
    to build their own votes and slates?
Tool              Promethean                       SMART
                  Deep functionality               Shallow functionality
Pen               Sizes 1 to 100, infinite color   7 line sizes, infinite color,
                  palate, can select size and      must go to second and
                  color with two clicks and        THIRD menus to get to all
                  NO extra menu.                   options. Have line “styles”
                                                   like “dashed” and you
                                                   choose lines with different
                                                   beginning, middle and end.
Voting            Integrated with programs to      Not integrated, third party
                  store responses and create
                  questions from a database
                  of previous tests.
Activexpression   Ability to receive text and      Nothing close
voting            other input to determine
                  shades of meaning and
Creative pen      no                               Good tool for drawing lines
                                                   with eye catching objects
                                                   like stars embedded in the
Menu              Customizable means you           Static menu in their
                  can add functions/icons.         “Notebook” and some
                  Also the menus can be            customization in their
                  saved for each users             „Floating Toolbar”, not
                  preference, can save user        close to ours – have menus
                  specific items in third          for Notebook, floating
                  column                           Tools, and
Highlighter       Same as pen, only one click      Combined with pen, you
                  away                             select color and
                                                   translucency on SECOND
                                                   and THIRD menu.
Undo/Redo         yes                              The ONLY options to erase
                                                   board other then erase
Spray Bottle/ Page   Gives 6 ways to clean board.     Nothing close
reset                We have 11 ways to clean a
                     board, only a teacher can
                     appreciate this ability.
Eraser               Sizes 1 to 100, one click does   Three sizes plus a second
                     it, plus can they create a       menu
                     “magic magnifying glass”
                     like we can?
Lines                See “pen”                        See “pen”
Drag a copy -        yes                              no
instant copies of
images by dragging
the original
Shapes               Infinite, We use resources,      15 shapes like rectangle,
                     shape recognition, and right     circle, check mark, etc. Up
                     click on our pen                 to three menus Version 10
                                                      has improved this but not
                                                      exceeded Promethean
Fill Tool            One click on any text or         Must use up to three menus
                     object                           to select line color and fill
                                                      color. Can’t work on text
                                                      on a word by word basis.
Recognition tool     One click, works AS YOU          only “after the fact”
                     WRITE, shapes or block
                     writing or cursive writing
Spell-check text     yes                              yes
objects, pages or
page notes
Text recognition     handwritten words                Same, but this can insert the
                     transformed into typed           recognized text into Excel
                     words and letters or             and WORD as typed text
                     numerals, works during           and other “ink aware”
                     and after you write it. 14+      applications.
Object recognition   handwritten objects or           SMART‟s “Active Pen” but
                     shapes of any shape              no where near the
                     transformed into any             flexibility. Prefabricated
                     shaped object, works during      shapes.
                     and after you write it.
Camera               Area, point-to-point,           Area, freehand, window,
                     freehand, window, full          full screen. Can only send
                     screen. Can save to             to current page or new
                     flipchart, resource library,    page.
                     or clipboard
Resource Library/    15,000 objects, backgrounds,    Called the Gallery – 5,250
Gallery              activities, images, sounds,     objects, 780 flipcharts on-
                     movies                          line
Reveal/ Screen       Up/down and left to right,      Same, but at the same time
Shade                but not at same time
Page zoom/           The best, picture is not        Either a very ugly, poorly
Magnifier            pixilated, can be used on       functioning magnifying
                     tools like ruler. Can zoom to   glass or just a zoom like
                     “infinite” stopping where       used in WORD. Zooms to
                     you want to.                    only one level. Zooms only
                                                     the portion the magnifier
                                                     covers and the magnifier is
                                                     small. Version 10 has
                                                     greatly improved this.
Ruler, protractor,   The best                        Just a cheap IMAGE of a
                                                     ruler and protractor in their
Disappearing Notes   no                              yes
Compass              The best.                       Nothing
Object Actions       By clicking an object, over     By clicking an object, only
                     300 user defined actions can    ~10 user defined actions
                     take place.                     can take place. SMART calls
                                                     this “Animate”
Object layers        Front, middle, bottom,          Front and back only
Text                 Fonts, color, size,             Mostly same but GREAT
                     superscript, subscript,         math symbols, no indent,
                     center, left, right, bullets,   no line spacing
                     indent, line spacing – can
                     “deconstruct and use “paint
Import               PowerPoint. Can import          PowerPoint and
                     each page as single objects     Promethean flipcharts,
                     or multiple objects.            imports pages as objects
Export            WORD doc, PDF, HTML,            HTML, Image (BMP, JPG,
                  SWF, PowerPoint, AND            etc.), PDF, PowerPoint
                  Activote results to Excel.
Tables            no                              yes
Grids/Alignment   Grid is completely              Yes, but no where near the
                  customizable and allow          user controllability.
                  complete control over
                  where and how objects
Video Player      We use embedded videos –        Can play output of VCR,
                  we can write over the movie     etc. Have a neat way to
                                                  write over the movie.
Page Grouping     Promethean has a differing      yes
                  functionality in this respect
                  and has no identical
                  function but the
                  Flipchart Builder allows a
                  user to create any
                  organization of pages and
                  page templates and
                  lesson components
                  accordingly. Users can add
                  pages before or after any
                  other page while
                  presenting and the page
                  organizer allows new pages
                  to be added and
                  reorganized simply by drag
                  and drop.
Themes            Yes, we do this differently     yes
                  from SMART
Page Recording        Teach a lesson and record       Teach a lesson and record
                      each step. Notes, menus and     each step. Notes only
                      applications are recorded.      recorded. Not an event
                      both an event recorder and      recorder and a video based
                      a video based screen            screen recorder. No options
                      recorder. Options to            to drastically reduce disk
                      drastically reduce disk         space usage of recorded
                      space usage of recorded         lesson.
Hovering              We do it easily with pen        Wimpy - MUST first select
                      simply coming close to icon     “hover” tool on the
                      for tools tips, etc.            software
Right click           We do it easily with our        Wimpy - MUST first select
                      barrel button on the pen for    right “mouse click” tool
                      things like context sensitive
                      help and internet navigation
Spotlight             Variable circle and square      Very close functionally, but
                                                      still must use a MENU at
                                                      times for certain actions
                                                      Version 10 has improved
Calculator, recorder, Superior - calculator can       calculator cannot output to
keyboard              output to page including        board like us
                      the complete formula
Dice, clock, ticker   Got it                          Don‟t got it
tape, web browser,
fraction tool
Conferencing          Yes with Elluminate             Yes with Bridgit
Calibration           Five points                     Choice of 4, 9, or 20
                                                      alignment points – the 4
                                                      point is called “quick
                                                      alignment” and is not very
Dueling Cursors       The teacher controls which      nope
                      Activslates are active to
                      reduce fighting for control
                      of the cursor
Nettrekker                                            nothing
Three SMART Menus to do less than Promethean (V 9.5)

Below is the SMART Notebook with menu choices with red arrows.
Below is the SMART Control Center
Below is the SMART Control panel
More Activstudio 3.6 vs. Smart Notebook 9.7

Toolbar interface

Activstudio’s toolbar is completely customizable which helps with different
heights of teachers and students:
    The toolbar can be placed anywhere on the screen.
    The toolbar can be oriented horizontal or vertical.
    The tools on the toolbar can be small, medium or large.
    Teachers can choose exactly which tools they want to have on the toolbar
      and where on the toolbar they want them.
    The toolbar can be “rolled-up” and out of the way if desired.
    The toolbar and its tools can be used over any application including
      websites, “office” products or educational software.

Smart Notebook toolbar
   While it can be dragged to the bottom of the page, the tools cannot be
      resized. You can on the Floating Tools.
   You cannot choose where each tool is positioned on the Smart Notebook
      toolbar. You can on the Floating Tools.
   Users of Smart Notebook cannot create and save a customized toolbars for
      different uses.
Selection of tools/feature
While many of the simple tools available in each software package are basically
the same, such as pens, highlighters, and erasers, Activstudio‟s tools are clearly
superior in how they were designed. Some tools are simply not available in
Notebook 9.7 at all.

Available in both but different:
   Ruler
   Protractor
   Calculator
   Clear screen
   Clock/timer
   Camera tool
   Zoom tool
   Handwriting recognition

Not available in Notebook 9.7:
   Nothing close to Activprimary
   Protractor
   Dice (only as flash movie; not integrated)
   Page Reset (actually we have 11 ways to clear the screen)
   Page notes
   Slate controller
   Vote controller
   Grid and lined paper options
   Tickertape
   Fill word
   Deconstruct word
   Sound recorder
   Point of rotation tool

Available in both but different:

     Ruler- Activstudio‟s ruler is an actual tool on the toolbar. This tool brings
up a choice of centimeter, millimeter or inch ruler. The ruler can be easily
rotated and the degree of rotation is visible on the ruler. Teachers and students
can use the ruler tool to draw a straight line the length desired on the
Activstudio flipchart page. This ruler works even when zoomed on.
Alternatively, Smart‟s ruler is a flash file. While it can be rotated, the degree of
rotation is not visible. Since the ruler is a flash file, it cannot be used as a
drawing aid on the Notebook page, limiting its functionality in the classroom.

     Protractor- Activstudio‟s protractor is an actual tool on the toolbar. This
tool brings up as a half or whole protractor. The protractor can be easily rotated
and the degree of rotation is visible on the protractor. Teachers and students
can use the ruler tool to draw a segment of the protractor the angle (degree)
desired on the Activstudio flipchart page. This protractor works even when
zoomed on. Alternatively, Smart‟s protractor is a flash file. While it can be
rotated, the degree of rotation is not visible. Since the protractor is a flash file, it
cannot be used as a drawing aid on the Notebook page, limiting its functionality
in the classroom.

      Calculator- Activstudio‟s calculator is an actual tool on the toolbar. The
calculator comes in choice of child or adult version. Teachers and students can
use the calculators to enter mathematical formulas. Unlike Smart‟s calculator,
the Activstudio calculator allows the students to see the complete formula not
just the last number entered or calculated. The Activstudio calculator has a built
in button to paste the results (and complete formula) on the flipchart page. The
Smart calculator simply calls up the calculator from the computer‟s operating
system and this application cannot interact with the page itself by clicking to
paste the formula on the page. Activstudio‟s calculator tool is superior.

      Clear screen- Activstudio‟s clear screen tool allows the teacher to choose
exactly what they want to clear: annotations (items draw with the pen), objects
(images or text objects), grid paper, backgrounds, or the entire page. Smart‟s
clear screen clears only the entire page.

     Clock/timer- Activstudio‟s clock/time is an actual tool on the toolbar.
This tool brings up a choice of digital, analog or both types simultaneously.
Teacher‟s can also choose for the tool to perform a count up or count down to or
from a specific time chosen. The teacher can choose what action happens the
end of the count such as: capture the screen, reset the page, move to the next
page, play a sound, go to a specific page etc.

    Camera tool- Activstudio‟s camera tool is superior to the capture tool on
the Notebook software. The Activstudio camera tool has the choice to capture:

         the full screen,
         an area of the screen,
          a window,
          polygonal shape or
          a freehand selection.
The advantage of the Promethean camera tool is that teachers can select or draw
a specific shape off of the screen to capture (such as the outline of a country).
Activstudio gives the user the choice of placing the selection on a new flipchart
page, the current flipchart page, in the resource library or on the clipboard.
Smart‟s does not give the user the choice of placing the captured image in the
Gallery (their Resources) or to the clipboard.

   Zoom tool. Both Activstudio and Notebook have a tool that allows the user
    to zoom into the screen. Activstudio‟s tool works differently in that the user
    selects the zoom tool, then clicks and presses the magnifying glass on the area
    that he or she would like to zoom into. Activstudio‟s zoom tool allows the
    user choose where he or she wants to zoom and also to pan around the image
    when zoomed. Users can also write on objects when zoomed and the text is
    crisp, readable and not pixilated. By “double-clicking” with the zoom tool,
    the user can take the image back to the original size. SMART‟s zoom tool
    simply magnifies the area you hover over. It gives you no choice on how
    much to magnify.

   Handwriting Recognition- Both Activstudio and Notebook offer handwriting
    recognition. Activstudio‟s handwriting recognition software is superior. For
    example, when handwriting recognition is turned on with Activstudio, the
    teacher or student can write a word and it is automatically changed into a text
    object … as you go. The Smart handwriting recognition must be done
    manually after the fact. In addition, Inspiration software, the best selling
    graphic organizer application for education uses Activstudio‟s handwriting
    recognition tool. Inspiration will not convert handwriting to text when used
    with Notebook software. Smart‟s handwriting recognition will also not allow
    for shape recognition.

Tools that are exclusive to Activstudio
(not available in Notebook)

       On-screen trashcan- Activstudio allows each flipchart page to have an on-
        screen trashcan so that user can clearly see how to eliminate any object
        from the flipchart page. Smart Notebook 9.5 does not have this feature.
   Compass

   Nettrekker – We have over 1,000 flipcharts in Nettrekker pegged to all 50
    state standards. This is a huge plus for us over any IWB competitor.

   Dice tool- Activstudio‟s dice tool allows teacher to select the number of
    dice desired to roll on the screen. A simple click on the page button will
    paste the sum of the rolled dice on the flipchart page. This tool is not
    available in Smart‟s Notebook software. Teachers report the need for this
    tool for a variety of classroom interactions.
       o For games, this tool is used to allow students to roll the dice to
           determine the number of steps to move in a game.
       o Students can be asked to give the number which they would add to
           the rolled dice that make up a specific number. For example, if the
           dice rolls three, the students could call out “Seven” if asked to find
           the number that would make a 10.
       o To practice math skills such as finding the mode, mean and median
           of a set of numbers rolled on the board.

   Page Reset- If the teacher sets up a page and the students come to the
    board to do the activity, the teacher can quickly click on the Page Reset
    button to reset the page back to the original settings. This enables the
    teacher to move quickly from student to student or group to group and
    not waste time resetting the page back for the next interaction. This is not
    available in Smart Notebook 9.5.

   Page notes- This exclusive tool allows teachers to write directions for
    students for how to do an activity or notes to themselves or other teachers
    wishing to use their lesson. This feature promotes sharing of lessons and
    more collaboration between teachers. Teachers can also write in this notes
    section to past on the flipchart page with the click of a button. Teacher
    can also place an action on an object that automatically calls up the notes
    so students or other teachers can use this as a “help screen.” This is not
    available in Smart Notebook 9.5.

   Slate controller- The use and control of Activslate for student interaction is
    integrated in Activstudio. Teachers use this tool to “call on” a particular
    student with a slate if multiple slates are used in the classroom or to
    disable a slate (make it inactive) when the teacher does not want student
    input at that time. This tool is a key factor as teachers do want to remain
    in control of their lessons and enables classroom management. We feel
    that Smart‟s absence of the integration of a slate controller in their
    Notebook software shows the lack of understanding of classroom
    management issues that face the teacher. This is not available in Smart
    Notebook 9.5.

   Vote controller- The ability to poll students during a lesson at any time is
    critical to the best use of any collaborative tool. Unlike Smart‟s Notebook
    software, the voting tool is right on the toolbar enabling teacher to built
    assessment right into the lesson without having to launch additional
    applications. Teachers can write their assessment questions in advance or
    ask question without pre-planning. The Activote tool, like other
    Activstudio tools, also work over other applications or websites enabling
    teachers to poll students at will. Result of the voting can be save into the
    flipchart or exported to an excel file if desired. As Smart does not have its
    own student response system, it recommends a third party product called
    CPS by e-instruction. This requires that the teachers learn and use a
    separate application if they desire to poll students for their understanding
    of a concept or to gather opinions. By not having this tool integrated into
    their software makes it less likely that the teachers will take the time to
    use this during instruction and more likely to use it only for summative
    assessment after instruction. This is not available in Smart Notebook 9.5.

   Grid and lined paper options- Activstudio has options for grid paper or
    lined paper that are exclusive. For example, the teacher could desire a
    paper that has a specific spacing. Activstudio easily enables this. Also
    teachers may want to quickly mask the grid or lines to better visualize
    items place on these lines or intersection. Activstudio‟s grid options also
    allow for snap to grid or line so that students or teachers can
    automatically have items lined up correctly or placed at the precise
    intersection on a grid. Smart‟s Notebook software does not allow for this

   Tickertape- Activstudio includes a tickertape tool. This tool allows
    teacher to place words or sentences the scroll across the screen at the top,
    middle or bottom. There are many constructive ways that teachers can use
    this tool for the class. For example: Teachers use this tool for rolling
       reminders, reminders of spelling words or vocabulary words or the words
       of a song. Smart‟s Notebook application does not include this tool.

      Fill word- Activstudio allows teachers or students to use the fill bucket to
       change the color of a particular word in a sentence on the flipchart page.
       For example, the teacher can ask a student to change all of the nouns to
       blue and all of the verbs to green. This feature is not available on the
       Smart Notebook application.

      Deconstruct word- Activstudio has a feature that allows teachers to pull a
       word out of a sentence by right clicking on the word and choosing
       “deconstruct.” This helpful by allowing the teacher to help students
       visualize keywords in a sentence and physically manipulate them. This
       feature is not available on the Smart Notebook application.

      Sound controller- Activstudio allows for teachers and student to record
       sounds into flipcharts that can be played with clicking on a particular
       button or object. Smart Notebook 9.5 does not have this option.

      Point of rotation tool- Activstudio has a tool that allows the teacher to
       select exactly the point of rotation of any object which is great for math or
       science (orbits). Smart Notebook 9.5 does not have this tool.


       Activprimary is lesson development software for elementary school
       classrooms. This software was developed with a specific easy to user
       interface for early learners with big, chunky, and easy to understand tools
       at the bottom of the page and teacher tools at the top. Smart does not offer
       a software application of this type.

 Activslate XR vs. Smart Airliner Slate

Overview: Both Promethean and Smart offer a wireless slate that can be used to
control the application show on their boards. Promethean‟s Activslate XR uses
radio frequency and works to the built-in transceiver on the Activboard. The
Smart Airline Slate uses Bluetooth and thus requires that the teacher‟s computer
either has built-in Bluetooth or use a USB or serial port to attach a Bluetooth
receiver. Promethean‟s Activslate XR was developed as part of a solution and is
fully integrated. Smart‟s Airline Slate is a new addition to Smart‟s line that we
feel is directly a result of demand from clients to have a more complete solution
like Promethean. Manufactured for Smart by Waacom, this new device misses
the mark and once again, Promethean‟s solution is superior.

Teacher control- Promethean‟s Activstudio software has a built-in slate
controller tool that allows the teacher to “call on” a particular slate or de-activate
the student from using the slate. Smart does not have a controller built into the
Notebook application thus the teacher will have no way to choose which slate is
active or to de-activate students from using the slate when needed unless doing
so from the slate itself. On Smart‟s website, you will find the following

       “Involve more students at once - Multiple slate users can write at the same time –
       and at the same time as someone at the SMART Board interactive whiteboard.”

This is misleading. Actually, one cannot write on any whiteboard or use
multiple slates at the “same time” as there is only one cursor available on a
personal computer! If they indeed try to do so, the cursor (or chosen tool) will
chaotically fly around the screen from place to place. The fact that Smart does
not have a controller to manage this is another factor in understanding that the
classroom management needs of the teacher have not been taken into
consideration. Promethean‟s Activslate was built for the classroom as part of a
cohesive well-thought out solution.

Built into the board- Wireless connectivity for the Activslate XR is built right
into the Activboard. No extra connections to the teachers computer to purchase,
manage or support is necessary.

Interchangeable pen- The Promethean Activslate comes with an Activpen that is
interchangeable with the pen that is used at the Activboard. This allows users to
user the same feel on their surface. Smart‟s pen is different that the one used on
the Smart Board. In fact, as Smart feels that it is better to not use a pen at all but
to use a finger to write with, we find it odd that the Smart Airliner does not have
an option to write with the finger.

Battery management- Promethean‟s Activslate XR has battery management built
in. This means that the Activslate will turn off automatically if no ones uses it for
several minutes. This was intentional as it is quite possible and actually
probably that someone may forget to turn off their slate and run the battery
down. Smart‟s Airliner slate does not have these power management
capabilities. If fact, if the battery is left on and it loses all of its charge, it cannot
be recharged at all.

From Smart‟s website (underlined items are our emphasis):

       Charging the battery
       Follow the advice below to conserve battery charge and ensure that the
       slate is always ready for use.
          • Turn off the slate when you finish working with it.
          • Recharge the battery if you don't expect to use the slate for a
       number of days.
       NOTE: The slate still draws a small amount of current from the battery
       even when the slate is turned off.
        When you recharge the battery, you ensure that the battery still has some
       charge when you next use it. There is a built-in protection circuit that
       prevents the battery from overcharging.

       CAUTION: If the battery loses all of its charge, you can't
       recharge it.
          •    If you won't be using your slate for an extended period of time (a
       month or longer), unplug the battery from the slate.
          • When the battery's charge falls below 20%, an alert in the system
       tray reminds you to recharge the battery. When this happens, connect the
       slate to an external power source using the power adapter cable. You can
       continue to use the slate while the battery is recharging.


       Promethean offers an Activtablet that allows teachers to develop lessons
       with Activstudio using a pen while away from the Activboard. Smart
       does not offer this option to teachers.

   Activote vs. CPS
   (Smart does not make student response devices.)

   Activote is an integrated component of Promethean‟s Collaborative
   Classroom. Smart does not make a student response system so they
   recommend that it is purchased from a third party e-instruction, makers of
   CPS. Having assessment integrated in the solution promotes best practice,
   ease of use and better technical management.
Integration into the software- Activstudio has the ability to assess student
understanding of concepts and opinion polling built into the software using
the “Voting” tool. If using the Smart solution with CPS, the teacher must use
an additional software tool to ask question and gather responses. In this
scenario, teachers are much less likely to develop lessons that integrate
formative assessment or use spontaneous questioning in their classes. Not
only can teacher prepare questions in advance in their Activstudio flipcharts,
they can also poll students at any time when showing web pages or other
education activities. Smart Notebook does not offer an integrated assessment

Built-in wireless- Promethean‟s Activboard has a radio frequency transceiver
(RF) built into the board. This means that the teacher does not have to use,
set up or manage an additional transceiver in the classroom. The Activboard
requires only a connection to the teacher computer to allow for board user,
slate use and student response device use. The Smart “solution” could
require as many as three different ports: one for the board, one for the
Bluetooth receiver to the Airliner Slate and a third for CPS’s IR receiver.

RF vs. IR- Promethean uses radio frequency (RF) as the method of
communicating with the voting devices. CPS uses an IR receiver as the
method of communicating with the student response devices. (E-
instruction/CPS also offers a more expensive RF solution as well.) RF does
not require a line of site. IR does. When a student is using an Activote device,
he or she can hold the device privately in their lap so as not to show the
response chosen to others who may be watching. With an IR system, the
students physically extend their arm and point the device to the receiver, thus
possibly showing others how they responded and altering the scores.

Constructed for the classroom- Activote devices were developed specifically
for the classroom. This is shown in its design as rounded and meant to be
cupped in the hands and its rubber coating, preventing accidental slipping
from students‟ hands. Each device also has a special battery compartment
that opens only with a special tool (delivered in the case) preventing students
from removing the batteries.

Use without the Activboard- While this is not advised except for in special
circumstances, Promethean also offers a device called an Activhub (USB radio
transceiver) that allows the Activotes or the Activslate to be used without an
Activboard. This solution is destined for classrooms where an Activboard is
not appropriate because of room constraint or size. An Activboard is the
advised solution for most classrooms.

Resources delivered with software

   Activstudio is delivered with over 15,000 resources which include
   flipcharts, page templates, backgrounds, grid and lined paper, images,
   sounds, shapes texts, texts and activities. Activstudio has many times the
   resources than SMART.

   Saving lessons by keyword- Activstudio allows teachers to keyword any
   lesson or resource through an easy to use meta-tagging system. This key
   wording can be incorporate state or national standards or any other way
   the teachers or districts would like to organize lessons or resources. Since
   these resources can be saved on any networked storage device, all
   resources can be made available to other teachers who may want to share
   lessons together promoting a district-wide curriculum delivery vehicle.
   Smart Notebook does not allow teachers to save lessons or resources by

Staff Development options

Promethean believes that great professional development will ensure best
practice and do ensure that we offer a wide variety of professional
development options.

On-line training 24/7- Promethean has partnered with Atomic Learning to
provide on-line basic training for both Activstudio and Activprimary (over 40
lessons for each). The basic lessons are video-based with full voice
explanations and are available free of charge to teachers at any time world-
wide 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Smart does not offer 24/7 staff
development that is video based. SMART has on-line training, but it is
skeletal compared to ours.

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