Test, test……is this thing on?

For those of you who haven’t declared my blog dead and moved on to bigger and brighter things, let me just say; what an exciting last 3 months I’ve had! Over the summer, I got to attend a most excellent Tech Camp at the Berrien RESA, read a pile of books taller than my 3 year old, went on vacation and saw the circus and just as the school year got underway, was able to start playing with creating some seriously fun lessons and activities with my brand new Promethean Board and ActivExpresions (little clickers for the students).

Promethean ActivboardSuffice it to say, I’ve been extremely busy with the new toys, and have found it incredibly difficult to even collect my thoughts long enough to produce coherent thought let alone discussion online. I’ve been splitting all of my plan times between walking around the school and helping/encouraging the other 9 teachers that got interactive white boards this year, and trying to get a clear message from the Michigan Department of Ed about the renewal of my teaching certificate (which they had been holding onto for 3 months). Thankfully, my renewal certificate came in the mail on Friday (but not after much back and forth with several staffers in Lansing), and the other pilot teachers of our new technologies are getting the hang of things. Which should free myself up for more writing and reflecting.

I have an enormous amount of blog posts, forum threads, and other discussions bookmarked, tagged, and ready to wrap my brain around, but for now, I’m just going to let things settle into place, take school one day at a time, and try to put my daily observations and reflections back on the path of respectability.

Image: http://www.prometheanworld.com/us/upload/img_200/AB+2FIXED_FrontPage.jpg


  1. Ben,

    Sounds like a fun summer. I’m back in K12 myself and they’re keeping me plenty busy. We’ve got a bunch of new Promethean boards as well so keep me in the loop with how you’re using it and I’ll throw you any good stuff I see.

    I might actual post something as well someday.


  2. Hi – I blog a fair amount so your title: “Test, test……is this thing on?” made me chuckle.
    At SpellingCity, we’re looking at doing some indepth support of some of the boards. How does SpellingCity look on it? Do you think it would be worthwhile to do a real multiplayer game with those little clickie thingies? I’d love to do it but am leaning more towards SmartBoard because they’ll send us the SDK for free.

  3. Tom: Back in K12, eh? Couldn’t stand those stuffy-shirts at the collegiate level? Glad to hear we’ve got some more in common this year. Will gladly look to you to share some Promethean info.

    SpellingCity Mayor: I’m not as familiar with newer SMART boards and their software as I am with Promethean. Promethean has just unrolled their new ActivExpressions, which allow for full texting, as well as a host of other answering options, which means the support for it is still relatively small. They have yet to even integrate the Expression software with their main board software, so you have to run two applications.

    However, I would keep pressing Promethean, and in the meantime, at least develop a few games for the website that have quizzes that might lend themselves to a large group of people. The ActivExpressions allow for on-the-fly questions, so a teacher could use any online quiz as an ad-hoc Promethean clicker quiz.

  4. Your strategy or technique in teaching is one of the best,it will give your students a better output in learning.The thing is here at SLTCFI trainors and instructors are also using such presentation technique of teaching, so keep it up and discover more strategy in teaching!!!


  5. Good to see you back after a long summer…..perhaps traffic will pick up as we finish bringing all the machines up and have a chance to sit down for a while.

    We have a dozen or so SmartBoards in our building, but are looking at adding Promethian boards also…….if there is anyone with real experiance on both, I’d love their input.

  6. I blog for Promethean – and read this with interest… I would be too biased to comment on which board I prefer 🙂 but I do need to say that Promethean DO have an SDK and several companies have made some neat products with it…

    People can contact me for more info on that: mark(DOT)robinson(AT)prometheanworld(DOT)com

    Is this something people want more of… More clicker integrated games and websites?

    With regard to issues mentioned re. full software integration. That will be resolved of course as well as rolling out for multiple input boards soon too. It is all about multi-user collaboration and contribution now rather than presenting.

    If you do want to know more- then please interact with Promethean users and myself and others at:


  7. I don’t mind biased as long as it’s coupled with honest 8>). I suspect any user is going to form an opinion unless there’s really no difference. It’s hard to find people that no both, and I’ve had people on both sides say they like “their” brand because it will do “this” and the other won’t, only to find later that the other one does too.
    At a recent presentation, the Promethian rep made a point of the fact that Promethian started as an education tool, and that’s their market, where SmartTechnologies started as a board room tool, and moved to education. At a trade conference a week later, the Smart rep found that curious, as, he said, he was around at the beginning when it was started as a classroom tool, and the decision to move to the corporate market as well.

    So, I’d just like some good information….I assume that each has some capabilities the other does not….but one may still be a better tool overall. I don’t get to use either very much, so I can’t say.

    But, that doesn’t mean I don’t get to decide which brand we buy!!!!

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