SMART Board – Pros and Cons of Using a Digital, Interactive Whiteboard (In the Classroom)

We used a smart board to teach with in the computer lab at school. Essentially, a SMART board turns your digital projector / LCD Projector image into an interactive whiteboard that you can write on.

The SMART Board itself is a touch-sensitive giant screen that is connected to your computer. You use your digital projector to display your computer screen onto the SMART board and the software allows you to touch and interact with your computer.

As more and more school boards and teachers are investing in data projectors, it begs the question whether SMART Boards are a good investment. After all, an intuitive touch interface plus the ability to write on digital documents (with digital ink) would help us to move beyond blackboards, flip chart paper, and overhead projectors.


  • With the SMART Board, you can control any application through the touch board. So instead of working from behind the computer keyboard, you (or your students) can be at the front of the classroom physically interacting with the display.
  • You can use any of the 4 colours of markers or the eraser to write in digital ink over applications, web pages, or moving video. The SMART board still works if you lose the pens. (There are 4 coloured pen holders and one eraser. When you lift the pen out of the slot, it selects the colour or the eraser. When you touch the screen, it uses the selected color or the eraser.)
  • Like other digital ink software applications, you can save your work into a notebook file, and you can convert handwriting into text.


  • Hard to write. The biggest disappointment with the digital ink comes from the fact that a SMART Board is a front-mounted projection screen. This means that your data projector is set up in front of the screen (like an overhead projector). Which means that when you stand in between the projector and the screen, you cast a shadow on the screen… right where you are trying to write. Sure, it was cool to interact with programs by touching the screen, but, it was hard to write notes because you were constantly blocking the image.
  • Hard to write neatly. To be perfectly honest, it was a little disappointing how our handwriting turned out on the SMART Board. Better than our experiences with the other digital pens (i.e. the i-pen), but the handwriting was still large, blocky, and messy. One of the things you have to train yourself to do is to not lean up against the SMART Board. When you write on a blackboard or white board, you typically rest the edge of your palm on the board. If you do that on a touch screen, the cursor jumps to your palm and it doesn’t work out. You have to train yourself to just write using the tip of the pen. The marker worked fine if we wanted to underline or circle key ideas, but if you wanted to edit or revise a 12 point, double-spaced Word Document, you’d have a hard time getting the control required.
  • You still have to move back and forth from the keyboard to the screen. We could start up our web browser by touching the SMART board, but when it came time to enter in the website address, we had to go back to the desk to type in the URL.
  • Expensive. The Total Cost of Ownership of a SMART Board can be prohibitive for the classroom teacher. Retail cost of a 77? (195.6cm) front-projection SMART Board Interactive whiteboard is $1399 (USD) with a grant from the SMARTer Kids Foundation of Canada. (
  • You need to supply your own data projector. A new, decent projector will cost around $500 – $1000. The SMART Board is just a giant touch pad. Your need to provide your own projector to display the image onto the smart board. (Software, connection cables, and stand are included.)
  • You may want to upgrade to a wireless connection ($199 USD) to eliminate the cables and the tripping hazards in the classroom. The screen image and the SMART Board touch screen may get knocked out of alignment. This means that when you try to click a button, the mouse pointer appears a few inches to the side. You’ll have to realign your hardware which would interrupt the lesson.

Source by Kisu Kuroneko

The Significance of Computers in Our Lives

2010; mankind has come a long way since the first discovery of fire a few hundred thousand years ago. Fire used to be a necessity then, now the computer is a necessity for us as we use it in our daily lives.

One way computers help us is in our lives. We use the computer to communicate with people such as web conferencing with friends who are overseas, to look up on information about a particular topic, socialize on social networks such as Facebook or even to do something as simple as sending an email or digital cards to friends and loved ones.

The computer has also managed to change us from reading hard copies of books, magazines and newspapers, to reading online digital documents such as online newspaper articles and e-books.

In education, lecturers are now using PowerPoint to make their lecture slides which are used during their lectures and students are now able to download the lecture slides into their computers and store it as reading documents.

In the working place, paperwork is now slowly converting from manual printing and keeping documents to storing documents in the computer. The problem with paperwork is that it takes up a lot of space and an office has limited space. Moreover, going digital will help the environment as there will be less demand for paper which results in lesser trees being cut down to be made into paper.

However, there have been some issues raised about digital documents. A digital document can be created and edited by anyone, thus this leads to the owner verification problem. It is dangerous in the working environment, because anyone can edit a contract or agreement after it has been signed and used it against the other party. Another problem would be if one accidentally deletes the document, it will be hard to trace the perpetrator and also very hard to retrace the document.

Source by Dennis Moore Hopkins

Pros and Cons of Thermoforming

Thermoforming is the process of heating huge plastic sheets into a very high temperature and cooling them in the required format. Vacuum forming is a sub process or a type of thermoforming where vacuum is applied in between the molds and the plastic to create various shapes. Thermoforming has several advantages and disadvantages compared to the other plastic molding methods like injection molding. In addition to vacuum forming, several other methods like drape forming, twin sheet forming and pressure forming can be incorporated along with thermoforming to produce different kind of products. Several types of plastic can be molded in the method.

Disadvantages of thermoforming

1. Thermoforming is quite costly. Compared to other methods like injection molding, this method can cost up to 50% more.

2. Large plastic sheets are used in the method. They have to be fed into the rollers again and again. This leads to lots of extrusion.

3. The plastic street is stretched in the under pressure in this method. Hence the products formed using thermoforming break at a certain temperature.

4. Thermoforming uses more plastic than other methods. Nearly 10 to 20% more plastic is used to make any product in this method. This adds to cost and creates extensive wastage too.

5. Vacuum forming process done along with thermoforming does not give the required shapes sometimes. The whole process has to be repeated which is expensive as well as time-consuming.

Advantages of thermoforming

There are several advantages in using this method in spite of all these disadvantages.

1. Thermoforming is the only method in which huge plastic sheets can be molded into huge objects. All other methods are used for making small objects only.

2. Though the process is costly, the tools required for the trade or quite cheap. Injection molding machinery is nearly 33% costlier than the Thermoforming machinery tools.

3. Several different products can be prepared in the thermoforming machines. Only certain products can be prepared in other machines. Nearly all types of plastic can be used for the plastic. Other methods use only specific plastic for production.

4. Skilled labor to operate the thermoforming machineries are available in abundant. But, laborers capable of operating machineries of injection molding or vacuum forming are quite less.

5. Superior quality products using more plastic are formed in the method. Hence, they are more durable than the objects created through other local methods.

There are many more advantages in the method. Though costly and a bit time-consuming thermoformed products are preferred by most of the packaging industries due to their high quality.

Source by Lavanya Senthil