SMART Boards


SMART boards are interactive whiteboards created by SMART Technologies. By combining a display with a touch screen and connecting to a computer the SMART board acts like a giant tablet. 

Why to use it: 

  • Allows for the functionality of a projector, or really big TV, and a whiteboard in one device. 
  • Interactive, allows for controlling a computer while still walking around, and allows for students to interact with the device themselves. Most models can handle multiple people interacting with it at one time. 
  • Widespread. Many classrooms at primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels have one. 
Things You'll Need
  • A SMART board

  • A computer that can connect to the SMART board

  • SMART Notebook or other SMART software (recommended)

  • A wireless keyboard (recommended)

  1. 1

    Turn on both the computer and the SMART board and ensure that they’re connected to each other. For most SMART boards, this requires both a USB cable and a video cable.

  2. 2

    Ensure that the latest drivers are installed onto your computer. Your computer will likely automatically recommend the drivers, but if not they can be found here:

  3. 3

    Control of the SMART board is done by touching the screen with your fingers or the included pens. If the cursor isn’t properly lining up with where you’re touching, you may need to calibrate the board. Depending on the model either click the calibration button or press and hold both the mouse and keyboard button. An X should show up on a gray screen, press anywhere on the board and drag to the center of it, releasing when you reach it. Repeat this process until the board is satisfied.

  4. 4

    The SMART board should now be set up for use. Remember that the SMART board is just an interactive display, you can still do anything with it that you could with a normal computer.

  • A SMART board is very useful on its own, but it’s when it’s used with SMART Notebook or other SMART software that it really shines.

  • There are two main methods of display that SMART boards use, either projected from the top onto a screen (SMART calls these “Interactive Whiteboards”) or using an LCD display just like a TV or computer monitor (SMART calls these “Interactive Displays”). Watch out for accidentally getting in the way of the projector and distorting the image if you’re using the former model.

    SMART Interactive Whiteboards

    SMART interactive displays

  • There are two main methods of touch screen that SMART boards use.

    •  Some use resistive screens, where two thin screens rest barely separated from each other. When the two materials connect, the board recognizes a touch. These models are quite durable and can respond to any sort of physical contact, but they are less precise and are found in older models.
    • Some use cameras in each of the four corners of the boards to locate when something comes within millimeters of the board. These models are very precise and also can respond to any physical object, but they will pick up anything that comes very close to the board, which can be an issue with jacket cuffs and long sleeves.
  • Some SMART boards are mounted so they can be adjusted for the height of the user

  • Many SMART boards, especially the older ones, only support VGA connections. Many laptops, especially newer ones, do not have a VGA port. Mac laptops have never had a VGA port and require a special adapter to connect to their Display Port connection.

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