Smart Board 101 for Teachers
  • BenQ
  • 2023-02-03

What is a smart board?

Educational technology, also known as EdTech, is changing the way teachers impart lessons for the better. Spearheading the mass adoption of EdTech in schools is the smart board.

A smart board is an interactive display used by educators to whiteboard, project lesson materials, play videos, and give presentations. Rather than a simple digital whiteboard, a smart board is more like a large tablet that teachers and students alike can intuitively interact with. This article summarizes the main features of smart boards and explains how they transform classrooms of all grades.

What is behind smart board technology?

Smart board technology has come a long way since the earliest days of interactive whiteboards. Smart boards on the market today are all-in-one solutions packed with a variety of tools that help make education more engaging.

To make this possible, smart boards are powered by operating systems that come with pre-installed software like whiteboarding apps and web browsers. Some smart board providers allow additional education software to be downloaded from an app store to cater to every teacher’s different needs.

The interactive screens of smart boards rely on advanced touch technology to offer smooth interactivity. The latest touch technologies in smart boards are as accurate and responsive as a smartphone’s and support multiple touch points so students can interact with the board in groups, all at the same time.

How does a smart board work in the classroom?

A smart board is a digital whiteboard that can also play videos, browse the internet, open files, and display virtually any type of content. Being an extremely versatile tool that adapts to different teaching styles, it can be used as the focal point of every lesson.

Educators can prepare for lessons with just a smart board by importing their own files, downloading content from the internet, and putting everything together on the whiteboard. If they prefer to use their laptops instead, some smart board brands also allow you to use their whiteboarding apps on personal devices. In this scenario, the wired and wireless screen sharing capabilities of the smart board can be used during class to display the laptop screens and, in some cases, even control it from the board.

Large screen touch monitor vs. smart board

Those who have yet to experience the convenience of teaching using a smart board may be unfamiliar with how it differs from other touch screens. Smart boards can go by different names – interactive display, touchscreen board, and interactive whiteboard, among others – but should not be likened to generic touch screen monitors. 

Large touch screen monitors, as their name implies, are touch-sensitive monitors without built-in computers. While some may come with basic operating systems, touch screen monitors generally serve the sole function of displaying content from connected devices.

Smart boards, on the other hand, are specially designed for education and come out of the box with a full-feature operating system. Smart boards are available in a variety of sizes, but most brands only offer the best for classrooms, which range between 55” and 98”.

Smart board software

How do smart board apps help teachers?

Teaching is much easier when everything needed to give engaging lessons is a tap away. Smart boards are great tools for teachers looking to increase active participation and learning retention among their students with interactive apps. Smart boards help teachers do just that.

By combining a digital whiteboard with a wide variety of education apps, educators are able to teach entire classes using only a smart board. To complement these apps, teachers can also access digital materials from their cloud storage and local drives, or download them directly from the internet. If the material has not been digitized or prepared in advance, teachers can opt to wirelessly share their laptop screens or connect document cameras to the board.

What are the best smart board apps for teachers?

The best smart board apps make teaching easier and learning more engaging.

Without a doubt, the app that helps teachers the most is the digital whiteboard. Most smart boards already come with whiteboarding software, but the best type for teachers packs a variety of powerful features that replace physical tools and can be used to enhance every lesson. These include sticky notes, rulers, calculators, timers, and scoreboards, among others. 

Another app that makes a big difference for teachers in the classroom is the web browser. While it may seem basic, having a browser that the whole class can see comes in very handy during lessons when teachers want to access online resources or have students conduct in-class research.

Game-based learning apps are also key to increasing student engagement. By gamifying their classes with dedicated, free-to-use software, teachers are easily able to make lesson material more interesting and much easier to learn.

Smart board for classrooms: enhanced active learning

What are the best features of smart boards for schools?

There are many features that make smart boards a great solution for any school. Their versatility and ease of use stand out above the rest. 

For starters, smart boards are powerful platforms on which educators can conduct entire lessons, no matter what subject or grade they are teaching. The boards come with a variety of classroom tools that help substitute physical materials, devices, and props, allowing teachers to hold effective lessons and activities with ease. Smart boards can also be put on rolling stands and taken anywhere in school for assemblies, meetings, and movie days.

Beyond their versatility, smart boards are intuitive tools that even those most unfamiliar with technology can quickly learn to teach with. The majority of smart boards today enable educators of all teaching styles to enhance the way they give lessons with minimal effort.

What are the benefits of using a smart board for teaching?

In the classroom, the benefits of using a smart board to teach are endless. 

Smart boards offer teachers great flexibility when it comes to teaching styles. Most brands focus on helping educators teach their way, whether that means connecting personal devices to share material or doing everything right on the board. By supporting different methods to access local files, shared drives, and online resources, smart boards make giving effective classes easier.

The interactive nature of smart boards also makes them an attractive tool for students, who are able to intuitively control the display in the same manner they handle the smartphone and tablet devices they’re so used to. The large screen size and attractive visuals additionally keep kids of all learning styles engaged and participating actively.

With all these benefits in mind, it’s easy to see why smart boards are the best tools for enabling flipped classrooms and other modes of active learning. Among all the options available on the market, BenQ Boards stand out for their comprehensive features and powerful tools.

Smartboards in classrooms: How BenQ helps with active learning

BenQ Boards come packed with everything needed for successful active learning. Built with both educators and students in mind, they make highly engaging and fruitful lessons possible for everyone. 

The built-in interactive whiteboard, EZWrite, can be joined remotely through the cloud from personal devices. It also supports Google Classroom integration, which is helpful for teachers that keep their lesson materials and class lists on the service. Combining these features with the powerful wireless screen sharing platform, InstaShare 2, enables students to share ideas, present concepts, and take the lead in discussions.

Furthermore, BenQ Boards open up a world of resources on a single device. On top of local, shared, and cloud storage, teachers can also access education apps and other online resources like Kahoot! to gamify lessons and increase learning retention.

How much does a smart board cost?

Equipping classrooms with smart boards is an important investment for your school. Smart board prices range from $3,000 to $7,500, depending on the brand, model, and size. The best way to find out which smart board is right for your school is to contact an education expert and get a quote.

To transform your classroom with BenQ Boards, get started here.