I love, love, love, love LOVE my Smartboard to itty bitty pieces! It is turned on at the start of every school day and it isn't turned off until the last little honey is long out the door.
I use it for everything...all the time. The trick is to keep things interesting and yet...simple. I do use my Smartboard's gallery features like the "timer." However, these get old in a hurry. The design style is predictable and, once I start the timer, the kids become so focused on how much time is left that they often neglect the really great super amazing task that I have planned.
Enter Steep It. This is actually a tea timer that you can set for any amount of time. Why would I use a tea timer? (I actually am a huge hater of tea!)
Well...Steep It is very visual. Yes, there is a numerical timer, but there is also visual feature that does appeal to my students. As time passes, the color of the screen changes and gets DARKER, just like a cup of tea that is steeping. Get it? When time is up, a cheerful little ring (think Grandma's kitchen timer) goes off, signaling for the end of the task.
So...why not dash on over to http://steep.it/ and check this sweet little timer out for yourself?