Using a projector and a normal whiteboard rather than investing in a full IWB set up is often the case in cash-strapped or possibly clever schools. A discussion on this very topic is going on on the DICTAT mailing list and Education Posts Forum so here was my twopence worth…
I think the projector / whiteboard solution is a great way to phase in Interactive Whiteboards into the school. You’ll find that you can do about 70-80% of everything an IWB can do with just a projector. To add the element of interactivity, there are a few options, which work out fairly cheaply:
- A stick-on IWB like eBeam or Mimio (€700 – €1000)
- A graphics tablet which you pass around the classroom (€100 – €800)
- A wireless mouse / keyboard (€50)
Promethean also do a pseudostick-on IWB where you get the Promethean software and a graphics tablet for €800. The software is excellent but the price tag may put you off.
With regards to the difference between Smart and Promethean, I’ve written extensively on IWBs on my web site www.anseo.net. There is a section dedicated to IWBs so check that out. Also the cbiproject.net web site provides some excellent information too.