I love my Smartboard, and think it is well worth the money. We also use Interwrite Pads (interactive writing tablet) at our site. My experience working with both is that the Interwrite Pad is more of a teacher's tool and the Smartboard is more of a student's tool (at the elementary level anyhow). I do have to say that I have seen many teachers use both very successfully at all grade levels. I am lucky enough to watch teachers often in the other part of my job as a mentor teacher.
I use the Smartboard to introduce almost every lesson. Students come into the art room and sit on the carpet in front of the Smartboard. I have SRA Art Connections e-presentations (CD-Roms) which I use often. The are interactive by nature. It is a structured program, although I rarely "follow" the actual lessons, I do use the works of art on each lesson. You can zoom in on the work, draw on it (finding focal points, elements, principals, etc.) Then students go back to their seats and do a quick exercise in their sketchbooks. I can then go back the e-presentation or my own powerpoints and have students come up to the Smartboard and highlight important vocabulary/ skills to add to their sketchbooks. One thing I really like about it is the interactive color lab. I leave it up during the lesson so that students can come up and mix colors on the smartboard first before using paint at their seats. I want to clarify that I am not a bug fan of canned programs, but I have used parts of this series with my Sm
I agree though with many of you that one should 'try' out certain technologies before adopting them. But I do want to say that students are very engaged and motivating by tech. I also have found that it saves so much class time. My lessons are short and powerful because of the technology and allows for more time to create.