Schools have begun to search for the latest and greatest new technology for their classrooms. One such example of this development is the desire for SMARTboards or interactive whiteboards. You’ll often hear school boards questioning whether or not to invest in this new software. But, what’s the difference between SMARTboards vs. interactive whiteboards? Is one better than the other, or are they simply two names for the same device? Are they glorified projectors, or is there a practical use for these wireless devices?

Here are the basics that you’ll need to know before you go all-in on one of these fantastic new products.

What Is a SMARTboard?

The name SMARTboards comes from the brand name SMART, a well-known Canadian technology company. SMARTboards typically enable more than one person to use them from separate locations. Imagine them as large interactive tablets that allow users to write remotely. SMARTboards don’t usually have a projector or projector access. Users can connect to apps and cast from external devices.

In the video below, you will see how easy it is to use a SMARTboard during your class.

What Is an Interactive Whiteboard?

An interactive whiteboard is a whiteboard or projector that enables more hands-on learning for students. Some functions of interactive whiteboards are very similar to SMARTboards. You can draw on interactive whiteboards with a pen or marker or even from your own device, and whatever you write will be saved. The projector can sense where the pen moves and easily saves whatever is written. This makes learning fun and easy for students and teachers alike.

Interactive whiteboard systems also fall under the interactive whiteboard category. The advantage of these systems is that teachers can turn any flat surface into an interactive whiteboard. They are so small that teachers can take them to different classrooms and use them on any normal whiteboard.

The video below shows how easy it is to set up an interactive whiteboard system.

Similarities and Differences of SMARTboards Vs. Interactive Whiteboards

SMARTboards and interactive whiteboards are both are interactive and control your computer. The big difference is in the software. People often use the word “SMARTboard” when meaning any interactive whiteboard. But as we mentioned before, “SMARTboard” was invented by the tech company SMART Technology. “Interactive whiteboard” is a broad term for many different smart boards and interactive whiteboards and systems.

Touch is obviously important for both, but touch is the main feature that makes the experience special for the interactive whiteboards. The way that these projectors are used is contrasting.

SMARTboards are essentially computer screens that can be blown up via a projector, whereas interactive whiteboards are whiteboards or interactive projectors with touch functionality.

With SMARTboards, you have access to the internet and a system that supports many fun features. Some interactive whiteboards are relatively limited in terms of the content the system can handle. This depends on the type you get.

The quality and resolution of the images are typically contrasting as well. Resolution of images is another thing to consider before buying either projector.

SMARTboards Vs. Interactive Whiteboards: How Does Each Benefit the Classroom?

There are some logistics that you should be aware of for each one. Firstly, the cost of each is quite important. As it could be surmised, as there’s no uniform price for each, the overall number is sure to vary. However, you’re probably looking at a slightly more expensive product in SMARTboards, as they’re the “name brand” products.

Another logistic to consider is the room in which these interactive devices will be placed. Some spaces work better for an actual screen, whereas others would be best suited for a projector. As long as the system can host the smartboard, you should be in the clear. Projectors and interactive projectors work best for classrooms, whereas interactive smartboards might be perfect for an office room.