SMART Kapp have created a new kind of ‘smart’ whiteboard that may change note taking and collaborative brainstorming the class and boardroom.

One of my first dyslexia related memories is sitting in class, trying frantically to copy from the black board. With immense concentration, my hand contorted into the most ridiculous position and scribbling at, what I thought was lightning speed. It was only a matter of time before, along with my hopes of ever taking coherent notes, the board was erased and the lesson moved on with me thoroughly confused.

Over the years the humble chalkboard has seen improvements; overhead projectors, flip charts, whiteboards and more recently interactive whiteboards. However in most cases group learning or collaborative brainstorming involves a ‘scribe’ standing at the front of the room, while others take notes.

Using Dictaphones and smartphone cameras can be a good alternative to written notes, but to make them a useful record of the meeting, this information needs to be processed in an audio-visual note taking editor, such as Notetalker.

A few days ago I came across a new type of interactive whiteboard. The SMART Kapp may help to make note taking in the class or meeting room a much less complicated and more inclusive activity.


To the uninitiated the SMART Kapp seems like your average dry wipe board, only it has been shrunken and turned on its side. In its dormant mode that’s exactly what it is. The magic happens when students or colleagues use there smart devices to connect to the board. Once connected users are given a real time feed of whatever is written on the board. As well as seeing the board in real-time attendees can save copies of the board at various stages throughout the meeting.

Rather than just getting a snapshot of the board at the end of each ‘page’, you can play back the notes in the order they were written, so you get a real sense of how the conversation unfolded. Another neat trick is the ability to invite remote attendees to view the board on their mobile devices. This application will really come in to its own on conference calls or in virtual class rooms.

The guys (and gals) behind the SMART Kapp also produce the SMART Kapp iQ, a larger board with more traditional dimensions. This board adds not only the ability to view the board but allows all attendees to contribute and add to the board.

I’m hoping that collaborative note taking is a trend that will really take off, as it has lots of applications outside the class or meeting room. Collaborative shopping lists, real-time directions and probably it’s most exciting application! You’ve guessed it, real-time naughts and crosses.

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