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The main manufacturers of Interactive Whiteboards (IWB), that we see in our placement schools, are SMART BoardPromethean and Microsoft Surface Hub. It is possible that you will find other brands of board and software in use at your school. Please ask your placement mentor for further details.

IWB Safety Tips

  • Ensure that the area around the IWB is clear of furniture, bags and other potential trip hazards.
  • Don't look directly into the projector bulb.
  • Ensure all cables are out of student's reach and do not present a tripping hazard.
  • Minimise time spend standing in front of the beam.
  • Encourage Students at the board to keep their back to the projector beam.
  • Supervise students closely while they are at the board and encourage correct practices.
  • Arrange the software so that smaller students can interact easily with what is on screen. Don't use chairs or stools to reach the top of the board.
  • Add health and safety notices to the classroom near to the board outlining good practices.

The Health and Safety Executive provides this advice:

Some additional Health and Safety Guidance is available from RM Plc. SMARTpens, A photo of different coloured SMART pens that are used on an interactive whiteboard

Library resources

The Library holds a number of useful publications with best practice and ideas for using interactive whiteboards. Search the library catalogue using the key words "interactive whiteboard" and/or "lesson plan".

  • SMART Board / SMART Podium

    The main piece of software that you will use, when working with a SMART Board, is SMART Notebook. SMART Notebook allows you to create interactive resources and presentations, capture the visible screen, create quizzes, embed images, include video or audio and a lot more.


    SMART Boards are where the actual screen is interactive, so you can move away from your computer and present directly on the board.

    SMART Podiums are a newer version that use a smaller interactive touchscreen and a projector to present the screen.

    SMARTtech, the company behind SMART Board, provides access to the information and resources you need to use SMART Board products:

    Support and Guidance

    Online Learning and Webinars

    Getting Started for Educators

    SMART Exchange - resources from other teachers for you to use

    Download SMART Notebook (for your own computer/laptop)

    You can download a trial copy of the latest version of SMART Notebook from:

    This is a 45 day trial of the full version of SMART Notebook and is available for both Windows and OSx.

    You can also download the Basic version of SMART Notebook to continue creating resources beyond the initial free trial.

    SMART Notebook and SMART Board access

    The presenter PCs in most teaching rooms, at the University of Cumbria, have the full version of SMART Notebook installed and now utilise the newer SMART Podium to present to the big screen in the room. You can ask any of your tutors to book a classroom for you (groups preferred) so that you can use or practice with the software.

  • Promethean

    The Promethean Classflow website is a fantastic resource for training and keeping up with the latest ideas. You will need to create a free account to access the resources.

    You can download Promethean Activ Inspire here. This is the main software used when interacting with Promethean Boards.

    Promethean Training and Resources

    Through the Promethean Classflow Marketplace, you can also access free templates and resources for you to use or adapt for your own teaching.

  • Microsoft Surface Hub

    The Microsoft Surface Hubs do not require you to use any specialist software to interact with them as they are essentially a large touchscreen Windows computer, but they do include a great tool called Microsoft WhiteBoard which you can download to your own device to prepare materials for use in the classroom.

    Beyond WhiteBoard, you can use a Hub to display PowerPoint presentations and anything else you could normally do on your own computer or laptop.


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