Smartboard in ClassroomI’ve often said that when it comes to interactive whiteboards it is the software, not the board, that should drive your purchase.  In this arena the Smartboard wins hands down with its Smart Notebook 10 software package.  The program not only controls the board but also provides an awesome suite of presentation tools to create and edit lessons and activities for use in the classroom.  Smart recently released a statement clarifying an important part of their licensing agreement for this software, one that may have serious implications for some school districts.

It has long been known that Smart allows users to install the software on computers other than the machine connected to the actual Smartboard to allow users to create and edit presentations at home or when not in the same room as the actual board. The statement from Smart clarifies that agreement to say that while that type of use is fine, using the Smart Notebook software with any other type of IWB system is against the terms of the license.  In other words, if a teacher uses Smart Notebook 10 with a Smartboard in one room then takes their laptop next door where they use the same presentation with a Mimio or a WiiMote setup they are breaking the terms of their licensing agreement.

All is not lost however, for in the same document that clarified the use of the Notebook software Smart also points out that anyone can access and use the Smart Notebook Express beta software with their existing notebook files by visiting express.smarttech.com.   This online solution will work for most notebooks (at least the ones I tested) but one big issue is that you cannot make the presentation go full screen or get rid of the slide sorter bar on the left of the screen.  Still, for many users this may be a good workaround if they find themselves otherwise in opposition to the licensing agreement for the Notebook software.

Another part of the statement alludes to the idea that it is possible to license the software for use on other devices and gives the user a phone number to call to inquire about the issue (1.866.518.6791).

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