Accelerate Learning

For “anytime, anywhere” learning, students use the SMART Notebook SE USB bracelet (2GB storage) to open the SMART Notebook SE application on any computer (be it at school, home, or the library) and work on their files.

Student creativity abounds using the resources in SMART’s Notebook Gallery, which furnishes thousands of copyright-cleared images, backgrounds, and multimedia files. Or, students can create their own material.

Byrum explains, “My favorite content from the Gallery are the matching circles. You can click the circle, and it shows what is under it. It is very useful for reviewing vocabulary with other classmates.”

Students can research and write their own documents (such as science projects or book reports), as described by a teacher from Wisconsin.

Nicholson likes the book report template in SMART Notebook SE; the students’ final reports had a similar format, so they looked nice when displayed for parents at open houses and conferences.

Getting organized is a teacher’s dream and a student’s greatest challenge. Using My Binder, students can organize schedules, assignments, and to-do lists and use tags they assign to their files.

Glenda Admire, a teacher and instructional technology specialist at Hillcrest School in Lebanon, Mo., stresses that SMART Notebook SE “gives students ownership, which makes them more interested.”

In the end, there’s always homework and, yes, the test. With SMART Notebook SE, students can study for tests and prepare homework by quickly locating files using keywords in the Web 2.0 tag cloud.

Byrum says he uses SMART Notebook SE for studying by creating memory games for vocabulary words. Also, he tags files of his schedule and reminders to stay organized.

SMART responds to educators

SMART’s newest assessment tool is the SMART Response CE application, which allows teachers to fully integrate the cycle of learning as they check for understanding, adjust their instruction, and provide immediate in-class feedback. Teachers can add a creative twist to spontaneous or planned tests using the same dynamic multimedia content found in lesson plans.

Admire likes that she can “survey using the anonymous mode for sensitive topics. The kids trust [the tool], so there is a high level of participation.”

Fricker says, in a word, that “engagement” is the most important benefit. Students even ask her for the assessment after a lesson has been completed.

Efficiency rules with SMART Response CE, because teachers can distribute questions electronically and grade them automatically. A comprehensive gradebook creates a class list (from the same server used for SMART Sync), tracks performance, records results, and stores all the information in one file. Plus, SMART Response CE provides educators with an excellent opportunity to report teaching outcomes to administrators who are responsible for documenting ROI on their technology investments.

Teachers are supplied with a set of 10 questions for each lesson topic. Formats are varied, with true/false, yes/no, multiple choice, multiple correct answers, numeric responses, ordering, matching, and short answer available. And SMART now has question sets that have been correlated to curriculum standards in five countries: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

Brown has praise for the software’s assessment capabilities. She likes to teach a concept, test what the students learned, and then review with emphasis on the areas they missed. She credits SMART software with being “the ultimate formative assessment tool.”

Nicholson polls students and shows them the bar graph that demonstrates the class’s level of understanding of the lesson.

SMART Notebook and SMART Response CE applications team up with thousands of lessons and accompanying question sets to help teachers assess learning as they go. For instance, in the lesson pictured here on Roman gods, students learned the meaning of polytheism and monotheism, including details of the gods and goddesses of ancient Rome.

Teachers are then able to assess comprehension with correlated question sets.

Now, everyone wants to be at the kids’ table

SMART Technologies has developed the SMART Classroom Suite to work with several other popular products in its arsenal.

The SMART Table is an engaging, interactive learning center designed specifically for K-3 students.  The world’s first multi-touch, multi-user interactive learning center for primary education, the durable SMART Table encourages students to create and discover in a collaborative atmosphere with customizable, ready-made activities or lessons created by teachers. It provides the perfect gathering place for up to eight students to explore digital lessons, play educational games, and work together on interactive learning activities.

Sara Rhyne, instructional technology facilitator for Davie County Schools in North Carolina, says of SMART Table, “Adults and students alike find it irresistible. It is a wonderful consensus-building tool.”

For teachers wishing to combine whole-class and small-group learning, the SMART Table works well with SMART’s interactive whiteboard. A geography lesson on the SMART Board, for instance, can be reinforced with a mapping activity at the SMART Table.

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