How to Use a Smart Board With a Laptop

By Brad Conway

SMART boards can transform a dull presentation into an engaging performance.
i 27082008 image by Andrey Efimov from

SMART boards combine the display features of a projection screen with the interactive capabilities of a whiteboard. By connecting your computer to a projector, you can display images onto your SMART board and interact with them. Interaction will enhance your presentations whether you are using the SMART board to teach a high school class or to review budgets in an office. From the classroom to the board room, SMART boards make presentations more engaging and can be used with almost any computer, including a laptop.

Attach the serial cable that comes with your SMART board to the appropriate port on your laptop. Screw the cable tightly into both the port on the SMART board and the port on your laptop. You may also use a USB cable to connect your laptop to the SMART board.

Turn on the SMART board and the laptop. Some SMART boards will draw their power from the laptop while others require a separate power source. If your SMART board does not draw its power from the laptop, plug the SMART board into an outlet using the adapter provided and then turn it on. Install any software that came with the SMART board to activate the device properly.

Attach your laptop to a projector and secure all of the cables properly. Most SMART boards are compatible with modern projectors.

Turn the projector on to project the laptop's screen onto the SMART board. You may have to adjust and focus the projector until it displays a clear image on the SMART board. The edges of the projected screen must be aligned with the edges of the SMART board whiteboard display for it to function properly with your laptop.

Configure the settings on your SMART board by tapping on the SMART board where indicated. The SMART board will require multiple taps in different locations to configure the projection and interactive features correctly.

Display information from your laptop's screen on the SMART board. The SMART board not only provides a whiteboard screen on which you can project your laptop's screen, but also a way to interact with your laptop's projection. Instead of merely projecting an image from your laptop, you can write on the SMART board screen and the changes you make can be saved as a digital file to your laptop.