I had a Smartboard installed in my class a week ago. Before I get into too much detail I should mention that I've been using a Smartboard on wheels for the past month so it's not as though last week's addition totally changed they way that I do business. I must say that what I like most about having an interactive white-board is having a projector permanently mounted in my classroom. Now if I want to show a quick video or do a quick demonstration I just turn on the projector and I'm in business. Before it was such as hassle (I could go on in depth about the hassle but will spare you the details) that I often decided that the gain wasn't worth the effort.
I think that the interactive white-board is a very neat idea but I'm not entirely sure it's good bang for the buck. Yes my students love coming up to the board to use it. Will the novelty wear off? I'm guessing probably. Yes it's great to be able to capture everything I've done in my lesson, export it as a PDF and upload it to Moodle for students to view. Is it worth the expense? Time will tell.
There are other companies that make interactive white-boards and devices that turn a regular white-board into an interactive white-board. Mimio is one of those companies. For the price of my Smartboard (and the installation) we could have purchased almost three Mimio systems. Don't get me wrong I do like having a Smartboard but I feel guilty that my colleagues don't have one. I have extended an open invitation to my colleagues to kick me out of my room so that they can use the technology with their classes.
As a side note we had four teachers in from a neighbouring district to see how our school is using Smartboards and Moodle. They are looking at using both technologies and wanted to learn from our experience. They were very curious about the details of Moodle and to learn all of the ways it could be used. It's great to be able to collaborate like this. Thanks for coming guys.