Beyond SMART Notebook: Considering Alternatives

Just as Xerox has become synonymous with the copier, SMART has risen to become the default word for interactive whiteboards. The majority of the schools we serve use interactive boards manufactured by SMART Technologies as well as their accompanying software suite, SMART Notebook.  However, one of our K-12 clients grew frustrated with the annual licensing fees associated with SMART Notebook and tasked us with finding a free alternative.  As more companies transition to the Software as a Service model, which includes annual licensing, it is becoming increasingly difficult to purchase applications for only a one time fee.  After some research, we found two solutions which serve as powerful alternatives:

ClassFlow: Developed by competitor, Promethean, ClassFlow’s online based lesson delivery platform and instant whiteboard include a powerful suite of tools, which teachers have to expect from any interactive board. Integration with Kahoot, Google Classroom, and other popular services, provide teachers with a variety of blended learning opportunities. In a 1:1 setting students can stream and participate in ClassFlow lessons right on their devices. Have years worth of lessons in SMART Notebook? Not a problem! Class Flow can import your old flip-charts.  Teachers can register for the online version of ClassFlow for free by going to:

Screenshot of the editing page of a lesson in ClassFlow.

OpenBoard: A simple and easy to use software, Open Board provides all of the functionality that teachers have come to expect with their interactive boards.  While OpenBoard does not provide extensive add-ons, teachers can embed videos and quizzes into flip charts. OpenBoard can be downloaded for free for macOS and Windows.

Screenshot of a blank whiteboard page of the free OpenBoard software.

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