Teachers who are trying to engage their students of any age with chalk-and-talk are not going to further their education. Students who grew up connected to the Internet with knowledge and entertainment at their fingertips will simply disconnect from a dry lecture.
Interactive boards for classrooms are the answer to help teachers make lessons relatable to their students and to help students stay connected to what they need for their future.
In this review, I’m going to show you why the Vibe Collaboration Smart Whiteboard made it on top of my list and 9 more other options you may consider based on what suits you best.
|1. Vibe Collaboration Smart Whiteboard||
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|2. 50" Touch Force 4K UHD Touch Screen Digital Display||
Great For Preschool
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|3. Smart Technologies Interactive Whiteboard with Projector||
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|4. Quartet Porcelain Whiteboard||
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|5. IPEVO IW2 Wireless Interactive Whiteboard System||
Teach & Play
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Top 10 Of The Best Products Reviewed
To help you narrow down your list, I will separate the review into three options. That way you will find it easier to choose which one is most suitable for your requirement.
Let’s get started!
- Vibe Collaboration Smart Whiteboard
- Google Jamboard
- 50″ Touch Force 4K UHD Monitor
- NIERBO HC40 Interactive Projector
- Epson BrightLink Interactive Projector
- Smart Technologies Interactive Whiteboard with Projector
- Quartet Porcelain Magnetic Whiteboard
- GoTouch Basic 3.0
- eBeam Smartmarker Complete
- IPEVO IW2 Wireless Interactive Whiteboard System
Option 1: Touch Screen Monitor
A smartboard with a touch screen monitor has a computer built-in. Some can be controlled with finger touch or with a stylus. It really can’t be beaten for interactive and attractive teaching for any age group. It has a clear display that’s not affected by ambient light.
The display is a bit smaller than with a projector. You’ll need to take some time to learn how to use this smartboard effectively, but in the end, it’s one of the best smartboards for the classroom.
The Vibe collaboration board is the very latest intuitive technology for an unprecedented experience in the classroom. It allows your class to create, share and communicate.
Students can collaborate and present their original work on one board. All the work done can be shared with personal computers, tablets, or phones so they can work at home and send it to an absent team member. It connects directly to the Internet and your class can work online with a different group across the hall or on the other side of the world.
Nothing is lost or accidentally deleted. It uses all the apps most people know how to use so there is no learning curve. It isn’t a whiteboard, but it is just as easy to use.
The touchscreen interface is understood by most elementary-age students. They use it on their devices at home. This is a 55-inch board that brings children to face to face with numbers, letters, diagrams, historical documents, and a wealth of other things that you, the teacher, can download for a lesson. Based on Android 7.1, it has USB ports, a storage networking application, and much more.
Here are three practical applications in the classroom:
- Show actual clips from history, geography, and biology.
- Let students get up and walk to the board encouraging interactive learning rather than passively sitting at their desk and daydreaming.
- Allows students to collaborate on math problems and other activities such as drawing the solar system creating shapes and matching quizzes.
Best for: If you want to take your teaching to the next level, this is the tool for your classroom. It is a state-of-the-art smartboard that allows your class access to all the information, graphics and applications that will widen their vision and make learning exciting again.
This video will introduce you to the Vibe whiteboard:
The Google Jamboard was developed by Google for real-time cloud interaction. It’s like a very large tablet with a 55”, 4K touchscreen display that offers cross-platform support.
Here are three ways to use this device:
- You may already be familiar with BrainPOP, but did you know it offers lesson plans for smartboards?
- Whatever lesson you’re planning next, consider starting with a problem. Children solve problems in online games all the time, and it’s a great challenge for them. The problem doesn’t have to be subject-related; you may start with a question, such as, “What would you do if your toothpaste tube was empty when you got up in the morning? “
- Let the students do the lesson plan. They support what they help create. They can make quizzes, find videos on the subject, and learn and retain much more than if you do all the thinking and talking.
Best for: The Google Jamboard is one of the top smartboards, and will enhance any classroom.
This video shows how Google Jamboard can be used across devices, and it’s especially useful for collaboration:
The 50″ Touch Force 4K UHD Monitor is one of the best smartboards for schools. It combines the latest integrated reality technology with HD picture quality for a spectacular home theater or awesome smartboard for your classroom.
You can use a stylus, touch, or motion to interact with this board. It has a 10-point ultra-fast response for up to 10 single-point users. It’s the best solution for a small preschool classroom.
- PBS Kids has a wide variety of language learning games that can be played by multiple players on a smartboard., such as Funny Photos for K – 2, where the kids move the parts that are out of place and learn vocabulary words.
- Storybook Creator allows children from K – 2 to change the words in a story for writing and reading comprehension.
- Cyberchase Lucky Star allows students aged 3 – 5 to problem solve and learn algebraic thinking.
Best for: The 50″ Touch Force 4K UHD Monitor is the smartboard to get If you or your school district has the budget.
This video gives you a great overview of not only how the Touch Force works, but the use of smartboards in classrooms in general:
Option 2: An Interactive Whiteboard with a Projector
With this type of smartboard, you have an ordinary whiteboard and a projector usually mounted on the ceiling, that puts the content on the whiteboard. There are two different types of electronic pens or stylus that allow you to move images or write on the whiteboard.
A smartboard with a projector is interactive with a pen, and you can get excellent software to suit your teaching needs.
It requires a slightly darkened room, as the display may be washed out with too much ambient light. The image tends to fade over time and could cause eye strain, plus the projector is high maintenance and uses a lot of electricity.
Here are four popular smartboards with projectors:
The NIERBO HC40 Interactive Projector is a mini portable projector that can be your home theater, or a great classroom tool for interesting, interactive teaching for students of any age. It offers an interactive function of full 3D 4K for Android or Windows.
Here are three applications for students of different ages:
- Kindergarteners and first graders love to spell words on the smartboard. You can enhance the lesson with exciting graphics and let the children have a chance at the board putting letters together as words.
- The same can be done with words and parts of speech for older students. Put a graphic on the board with a list of words, and ask them to make sentences that relate to the picture.
- A smartboard is ideal for a high school history or civics class. These subjects are traditionally dull, but with graphics and pictures, you can show the three branches of the government along with their functions, and ask the students to align the functions under each graphic.
Best for: The NIERBO HC40 Interactive Projector is a good addition to your classroom if you want to make your lessons fun and engaging. It allows you to provide different kinds of interactive activities.
Here’s a video that clearly shows you the endless possibilities of teaching with the NIERBO HC40:
The Brightlink projector is small and easy to carry with you from the classroom or school to school. The dimensions are 13.58 x 11.69 x 4.09 inches and it weighs 8.51 pounds. Its native resolution is 1280 x 800 with a lamp type of E-TORL.
The contrast ratio is 2,000:1. An interactive projector takes a regular projector to the next level. With added sensors to track movements and infrared light transmitted to the camera, the pen or stylus acts like a computer mouse to move things around the screen.
Here are the benefits of this device:
- This is a top-of-the-line projector that changes any presentation into an interactive presentation.
- It will fit into a large tote bag or backpack for easy transportation.
Best for: This product is for you if you are looking for an analog of a White Board
Watch how the Brightlink works in this video:
This is a Smart Technologies bundle with a 77-inch whiteboard and an interactive projector. It was designed for classrooms but is also marketed for business presentations. The surface is touch-sensitive and it turns into mouse clicks or electronic ink. Children can use their fingers to interact with the board.
The SMART Board software allows you to write over and make notes on any lesson presented and save it in a single file. Lessons can also be created and emailed to students. This makes it a great tool for the background of your online teaching. The reasons why it is great:
- This is a bundle of projector and whiteboard.
- It’s an inexpensive way to have a smartboard.
- If you change schools or retire, you can keep this kit for your next job.
Best for: This device is for you if you want to engage your students and make your lessons interactive
Watch some ideas to make your lessons interactive using the Smart Technologies whiteboard in this video:
The Quartet Magnetic whiteboard comes in six sizes. The porcelain surface is so durable, the manufacturers say it will last for 50 years and not stain. It has an aluminum frame with a full-length tray at the bottom of the six by four-foot board to hold the eraser and markers.
The board is magnetic, so you can use small magnets to post schedules, lesson plans or other things on it. The reason why this whiteboard is great for your classroom:
- It is easy to install and comes with installation hardware.
- The accessories needed are the dry eraser and four colored markers that are sold separately.
- This is a good one to use as a screen for a projector.
Best for: If you already have an interactive projector but need a new screen, this is a good choice. The magnetic feature is an added bonus, and this whiteboard will last for years.
Watch how the Quartet Porcelain Magnetic works in this video:
Either of these projectors is excellent for interactive whiteboard teaching. they’re easy to use and have a lot of smart features. The only drawback is lighting. Too much light on the board will make the images difficult to see.
Option 3: A Smartmarker And A Screen
A light pen allows you to accurately control the cursor for a quick selection of graphics and movement across a TV, computer monitor, or projector screen. You have the ability to expand your lesson using the Internet in real-time, and save each lesson.
It does require you to sit or stand a bit awkwardly to be as accurate as you need to be, and this can result in wrist and back strain if you have a long session. It’s up to you to make the Smartmarker and screen an effective tool for teaching, or it will become just like a dry-erase whiteboard.
The GoTouch Basic 3.0 turns any screen or even a wall into a smartboard. It connects to your PC, smartphone, or Mac. You control the cursor with the stylus and it supports multiple users. If you don’t have a Bluetooth connection, you may need a dongle to go online with the GoTouch.
The GoTouch uses a 4K infrared sensor that transmits your graphics and the other components of your lesson to your screen via Bluetooth. No wires are needed, as it has a battery. It’s so small, you can carry it in your pocket or bag.
Here are three ways to use the GoTouch in the classroom:
- You can control a fully visual lesson on landforms and show your students volcanoes, tsunamis, earthquakes, and different rock formations in real-time, opening a world of wonder, and maybe even wanderlust.
- Make geometry lessons more like games than math, as the shapes and angles can be manipulated with your stylus. You can easily remove an angle and give brightly colored graphic representations of measuring and adding angles.
- Science classes can be confusing for some students, but when they see the concepts of elements, molecules, atoms, electrons, and protons in colorful 3D, it becomes much easier to remember the concepts.
Best for: The GoTouch Basic 3.0 is a very convenient device if you move to different classrooms and can’t carry your smartboard or projector with you. If you want to cut costs, you can share it with another teacher, because it’s easily portable.
Here’s a video that shows you how easy this GoTouch 3.0 device is to use:
The eBeam Smartmarker Complete turns any surface into an interactive whiteboard. It has four different colored light pens. They have automatic Bluetooth pairing, and you can connect with anyone anywhere in the world in real-time and share lessons or discussions. It will turn your writing into the font of your choice and save all of your notes, so you just have to print them.
There are no tools needed for mounting the screen to a magnetic whiteboard. If the surface isn’t magnetic, you can use the kind of mounting brackets that leave no trace when they’re removed. Here are three resources for a wealth of fun things to do that will engage your students:
- Graspable Math allows students to have fun while learning math. The board will tell them at each step if they’re going in the right direction, so they learn along the way and always end up with the right answer. They can use strategic thinking in games like chess, and the board will keep track of their moves.
- PBS Learning Media allows you to find interactive whiteboard lessons according to subject and grade level.
- Crickweb and Eduscapes both offer ready-made lessons covering a variety of subjects and age groups.
Best for: The eBeam Smartmarker Complete is definitely your best choice if you’re looking for a smartmarker.
This video shows you why the eBeam Smartmarker Complete is the most advanced of its kind. You don’t need a special light pen, as regular whiteboard pens fit into the eBeam case. It makes any surface digitally connected, and you can save your lesson or send it to anyone.
The IPEVO IW2 Wireless Interactive Whiteboard System is a small, inexpensive device that has three pieces and turns almost any flat surface into a smartboard. It doesn’t require Wi-Fi, because it includes a software app. It’s wireless, lightweight, and portable.
The device includes an interactive pen, a sensor cam, and a wireless receiver. It will show 3D objects, and only takes a few minutes to set up and calibrate. It doesn’t come with a computer or projector.
Here are three more ways to use a smartboard in your classroom:
- Scholastic offers a wide range of games and lessons for interactive whiteboards in math, social studies, science, and language.
- See the planets, Milky Way, constellations, and more in the night sky with Stellarium, a free planetarium for smartboards.
- Topmarks offers up-to-the-minute information about a variety of topics for every age group.
Best for: The IPEVO IW2 Wireless Interactive Whiteboard System is the best choice if you need to turn a flat surface into a smartboard.
This video will give you a clear idea of how to use the IPEVO IW2 Wireless Interactive Whiteboard System:
Interactive Smartboards allow teachers and business presenters to use larger-than-life images in the same way they use a touch-screen tablet or smartphone. They support Windows and other operating systems as well as Bluetooth. Some boards require a projector for the image, and there are great projectors available for this.
The only drawback for me is darkening the room. Projectors usually provide a paler image and require a darkened room. This may make it difficult for students to write or draw at their desks during a presentation.
How To Choose A Smartboard For Your Classroom
Smartboards for online teaching are becoming quite common in schools around the world. They are the perfect tool for teaching students who were brought up in the digital age and relate more to graphics than text.
Before you choose a smartboard, take a look at all the variations of smartboards and the different ways they allow your class to have access to information, graphics, and applications online. Here are a few things to consider:
- Check the place it will be hung in your classroom for size. They are available from 55 inches to 98 inches, but the most common is 65 inches to 84 inches. The general rule is that children must be able to read 20-point font from the back of the room.
- Check the resolution you need in your classroom. The resolution will determine the clarity of the visuals. Today, Ultra High Definition is the standard with a resolution of 4K or 3840 x 2160p.
- Check the expected lifespan and warranty. Don’t even consider a smartboard with less than a three-year warranty.
- Check the touchpoints. These points define how interactive the board is for your students and how many students can use it at one time. Some boards have one or two touchpoints, but I recommend you get one with six touchpoints or higher.
- Check the type of input the board has. The minima that most boards have are two HDMI inputs, one VGA input, and AV and PC audio. I recommend you get USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports preferably along the front of the board.
- Check the Internet connection. The board should have an Ethernet port or embedded Wi-Fi capability.
- Check if the board has integrated speakers. They may not be enough for your classroom, and you will need external speakers for everyone to hear well. But, the usual two embedded 10-watt speakers can be helpful.
Here are some useful videos that will help you make the most of your smartboard teaching aid.
This video explains why it’s better to get a smartboard than a projector and stylus. Cost is just one aspect. The quality of the image is a big factor.
This video tells you how to make any board an interactive whiteboard with an eBeam Smartmarker. It’s humorous and worth watching if you’re serious about changing the way you teach.
As you can see, the above interactive boards for classrooms vary widely in cost. A simple stylus and projector are probably the cheapest and may work well for a while.
The main problem is that the image isn’t very sharp, and the projector uses much more energy than a smartboard. In some cases, you’ll need to darken your room a bit to get the best picture.
Having said that, it’s definitely better than staying with the centuries-old chalkboard method. Not all of the best smartboards for the classroom cost a fortune, like my top pick – the Vibe Collaboration Smart Whiteboard, and they will give you and your students the best experience.
If you haven’t tried it yet, you have a lot of fun ahead of you. You won’t believe how it will change your teaching — and your students’ learning — for the better.
My Top Pick
Best for: If you want to take your teaching to the next level, this is the tool for your classroom. It is a state-of-the-art smartboard that allows your class access to all the information, graphics, and applications that will widen their vision and make learning exciting again.
Last Updated on August 8, 2021 by Emily