Robert Pogson

One man, closing all the windows.

SmartBoards and GNU/Linux

  • May 16 / 2011
  • 4
Linux in Education, technology

SmartBoards and GNU/Linux

I have seen SmartBoardTMs (brand of interactive/touchable white screen) in only a couple of schools in which I have taught but I just had an interview for a teaching position and I refreshed my knowledge by visiting the site of the maker. They do support GNU/Linux for the basic operation but not for a ton of add-on features. Sigh. Locked-in to proprietary/non-standard technology and GNU/Linux is given second-rate support still. I guess if I get the position I could use whatever OS (MacOS or that other OS) for the SmartBoard and put lots of GNU/Linux goodness on web applications. Of course the download requires authentication using a serial number…

I prefer just using a projector with Gromit (permits writing in several colours and erasing using mouse) so this technology would be a change for me. Perhaps I don’t need the “extras”. We shall see. Oh, I know one can do more with a SmartBoard, but simplicity has advantages, too. SmartBoards cost $thousands and a good project costs less than $1K. Benefit/$ seems higher with just a projector.


  1. meetoo

    I have been using a projector for years and, really, the SmartBoard doesn’t add anything but distraction.

    The version we have has to be wheeled in, is so delicate that it can breakdown if dry erase markers are ever used on it, and kids see it as merely a toy or gimmick.

    It’s wheeled in for a teacher appraisal day, or open house, then wheeled out for long term storage…

    There’s simply too much curriculum to teach to have to worry about getting it on a SmartBoard.

    I would gladly trade it in, and instead, restock the equipment in the school science lab.

  2. Robert Pogson

    Yes, I was at one school where the SmartBoard was used to control traffic in a hallway at a major crush-point. By the time I came along and realized what it was, some of the parts were missing… 8-((

  3. Zombie Chan

    SmartBoards are over doing it. At work we have on in the meeting room, no one uses it besides displaying their screens. I personally enjoy playing with them though.

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