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Friday, February 17, 2012

Promethean Board vs. Smart Board: Which is better?

Hi folks!  A lot of people have been discussing how to convert Smart Board Notebook files to be viewed on the Promethean Board as a Flipchart file.  I can assure you that the files are easy to convert. 

Let me put in a disclaimer here….I got my Promethean Board in December.  We had a 30 minute professional development class on how to work it BEFORE they were installed.  Not very helpful.  So, I haven’t been able to play enough with the board or its software to figure out how to make an interactive file that will keep my students enthralled.   YET.  But I am working on it soon!  I have it listed between number 38 and 40 on my to-do list.  You get the idea.

One day I was sitting in my office <aka on my bed> working on a new activity.  I have never been one to do a lot of celebrations for Groundhog’s Day…but I was seeing a kajillion activities showing up for it.  So, I figured I ought to join the millions of bloggers following suit.  But, I just couldn’t get into the celebratory mood of some little animal in a top-hat watching for a shadow.  I was quite frustrated by it all when the thought popped into my mind that I wished I could smack the little groundhog graphic I was staring at.  Then it occurred to me….instead of Whack-a-Mole, I should do a spin off folder-type game with the theme of Whack-a-Groundhog! 

Within 20 minutes I had the rules for the game typed out and had all of the graphics in place.  I sent the file to my friend Brian over at Hopkins Hoppin’ Blog and he told me that I should make the game interactive for a whiteboard.  I pondered that and asked around because I had never made my own flipchart before and my friend Christina from Mrs. Knapp’s Sack came to the rescue!  She and I emailed back and forth as she created the file with her Smart Board software and I viewed it with my Promethean Board software.
Christina was a natural at this, adding hammers that could be dragged around the screen and clickable dice that were THE BOMB. Hehe I sat there for 5 minutes just clicking on the dice.  Anyway…as we got to talking more, we realized that once I converted it to a flipchart, the hammers were no longer draggable and the dice were moved.  After 2 or 3 days of working on this, we decided just to keep the file as a notebook file.  It wasn’t going to convert correctly with the Activboard software for the Promethean board.  I was peeved because I had daydreamed of how playing this game would play out in my classroom…but, such as life.  It just made me want to slap that little groundhog around some more.  =)  <If you are an animal activist, DO NOT WORRY---I have seen groundhogs in real life and there is no way I would get close enough to one to try to really smack it….they look like they could really hurt someone! I’m just all talk.>
Below you will read my ‘serious and professional’ portion of today’s post…I have aspirations of working for some big time magazine or something, so I thought I would try it out here.  I can just picture myself sitting at the desk of The Today Show some day.  NOT!  Anyway, here goes:

We know that today’s teachers rely a lot on technology…and what better technology do we have these days that our Smart Boards and our Promethean Boards.  There is a lot of debate as to which interactive board is the best, the easiest to use, and which has the most interactive ‘toys’.

One of the best aspects of both interactive boards is that Smart Board’s notebook files can be converted into a Promethean flipchart and vice versa.  However, be cautioned in that these conversions work best if there are NO INTERACTIVE characteristics.  This means that you are converting from one to the other purely to view the information. 

Below you will find the directions needed to convert a file from a Smart Board to a Promethean Board!  I hope that you find lots and lots of files to convert!

1.        Open the Acitv Inspire program.

2.       Click on Import from Smart Notebook.  **You may be asked to reopen the notebook file again.
3.       A new window will open up.  Choose the directory that contains the notebook file.  Open the notebook file that you would like to convert.

4.       Click to convert the file.

5.       Close the Active Inspire dashboard.

6.       Click on File and Save As and then rename the file.

Wallah!  You have a flipchart!  OK, I am done with the professional acting/writing bit.  I hope this helped you learn more about interactive whiteboard games and their conversions!  If any of you readers are good at developing interactive flipcharts, let me know how that goes.  I have not been able to figure out how to make them interactive yet!  If you have written directions I would love it if you feel like sharing!


  1. I'm a Promethean Board user & flipchart creator but I still need to know how to use Promethean flipcharts on Smartboard. I have Smartboard users buy my Promethean flipcharts quiet often and then realize they cannot open them. I use lots of reward sounds and other interactive activities that I don't want to be lost in the conversion either.

    As for learning how to create them...I am completely self taught and learned mostly by watching the tutorial videos on Promethean Planet under the professional development tab. After learning how to add all of the cool sounds, containers, etc I'm now ashamed of some of my first flipcharts that I sold and have had to go back and improve on them and have everyone redownload them. I love making them but they do take many hours to create. Good luck to you!

    1. You cannot use Promethean Flipcharts on a SMART board; but you can import your SMART Notebook into Promethean. This is why I prefer Promethean.

  2. You are so sweet to give me a shoutout. Thank you so much girl! Sorry it turned into a drag!

  3. This is GREAT! I'm a Promethean board user. Until I clicked your blog today I didn't know there was a difference. Thanks. I'm supposed to go to a training on Pro' board soon. All I know I've learned from my great teamies.

  4. When will someone write 'Promethean Boards For Dummies??' or maybe publish the cliff note version?? lolol

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