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Our speed of communication has improved dramatically and I can ensure important messages are displayed across both buildings on the site almost instantaneously. It means that we can have our briefings by data conferencing, which adds to the flow of inteligence.
James Henrey, CEO

Do you need training to use a SMART Board?

SMART Boards are the most popular interactive whiteboard in the UK and the whole world. The latest statistics show SMART holds approximately a 64% market share in the UK and a 52% worldwide market share (April 2012). When you ask a majority of happy SMART Board users what their main reason is for choosing SMART the answer is ease of use. Therefore does the technology require any training for first time users?

The answer depends upon the answers to a couple of questions.

  1. Which industry or sector do you work in?
  2. What type of usage do YOU want to achieve?

All SMART Boards and associated software have been designed to encourage walk up and use easily by anyone. Most of the SMART Product range involves a touch sensitive display with atleast 2 pens at the bottom of the board. The idea behind this is; to control the computer, use your finger. To write on the board, pick up a pen and start to write. Therefore, if all you want to do is control your computer applications with your finger and write on the screen in electronic ink then you do not need training. However, if you would like to use some of the more powerful software features how do you know what they are an how to apply them?

The other point is what software version are you using and what is most appropriate for your application? In education, the main software is SMART Notebook which is supplied with the board, in a business we recommend SMART Meeting Pro. The differences come in their intended applications as both software platforms are specific to their intended usage and environment.

Notebook is designed for use in education and therefore comes with an extensive list of functions designed to allow teachers and students to interact on the SMART Board. These include a range of shape and labeling tools, an activity builder, a gallery with over 6000 clipart images, backgrounds and flash video resources. In the latest version of Notebook software (version 11) objects can be kinked to sounds which the teacher or student can record through a microphone attached to the PC. The depth of resources requires training to ensure the user is aware of the huge amount of additional functionality and apply that functionality to their teaching subject, age of students and curriculum.

The SMART Meeting Pro’s strength comes from its integration features and limited range of business specific functions. These include direct integration with collaboration software allowing what is on your SMART Board to be shared with someone else in real time through the internet. Another example of integration is linking to Microsoft Exchange to allow meetings to be run and saved using the information for the original Outlook meeting invitation. These features ensure the SMART Board is used for task appropriate functions and create a powerful but easy to use tool.

We recommend all users receive training to ensure they are aware of the latest features of the SMART Board software and that those features have been applied to their environment. Every user is different, so we will always aim to offer custom training from an Accredited Professional.

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