Amping Up Chemistry Class at ACGC Public Schools
October 21, 2014 – 9:00 am | No Comment

When students walk into my classroom each fall for the first time as juniors in a chemistry class, they know they are in for something unique just by looking up and seeing the gigantic periodic …

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Classroom perspectives, Professional development

Warren on Back to School: Better Needs Evaluation, The Role of Struggle
August 22, 2014 – 7:46 am | 11 Comments

Warren Barkley may have contributed to making WiFi a global standard and is leading our technology vision as SMART’s CTO, but his K-12 experience may surprise you. Thanks for sharing this personal reflection, Warren! I challenge our blog readers to share their own personal K-12 school reflections — how does your personal experience with school  inform your role as an educator? We welcome you to share with us on Twitter or in the comments below. You can find @warrenbarkley on Twitter too.

If you asked my parents, they would have told you that the K-12 education system failed me. My Dad was a huge fan of public education, he was president of the local PTA and started his career as a high school teacher in Canada. As active as my family was with the education system of that time, one of my learning needs still somehow slipped through the cracks. During my first year of my first university degree, I got 3 Fs in the opening term. It turns out I could not write and after some testing, we figured out that I was dyslexic.

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Classroom perspectives, Edtech insights

Amping Up Chemistry Class at ACGC Public Schools
October 21, 2014 – 9:00 am | No Comment
Periodic Table

When students walk into my classroom each fall for the first time as juniors in a chemistry class, they know they are in for something unique just by looking up and seeing the gigantic periodic table painted on the ceiling tiles. I love that they enter my class with an expectation for the exceptional, because that is exactly what I strive to provide. I have a strong belief that science is best understood through interactive, engaging, hands-on learning activities. This being said, it can be very difficult to facilitate those kinds of learning experiences with the oftentimes abstract concepts of chemistry.

The addition of SMART amp collaborative learning software to my classroom has provided me with tools to turn what were once drab, boring topics into amazing collaborative experiences that extend beyond the bounds of our classroom walls. To make sure students have a solid foundation of data collection skills for future labs, we explore the International System of Units and metric prefixes. Using SMART amp, I was able to create rich, collaborative experiences for my students. Here is what we did:

  1. Students in each of my three chemistry sections used their text and online resources to investigate SI units, including labels, tools, and real life examples.
  2. Using SMART amp, students were grouped with 2-3 other students from different class periods to analyze, compare, and present their findings.
  3. After finalizing a workspace, each group created a template of their file and posted the link in our course Schoology page so that groups could open each template in SMART amp to experience how the same information could be organized and explained in various ways.

My students were very engaged in this activity using SMART amp, since they were able to collaborate with their peers. Students used high-level thinking skills to determine how best to organize their information and make sure it was understandable for the other groups who would eventually view their workspace.

I now have students asking, “Will we use SMART amp today?” as soon as the enter the room, and “Can I do this project in SMART amp?” when individual work is to be done. I have noticed that working in SMART amp has helped my students ask higher level questions of others and themselves, and they now collaborate together, instead of dividing up their group work.

Kristin Straumann is a SMART Exemplary Educator from ACGC Public Schools, in central Minnesota. For the past six years she has been a high school classroom science instructor and recently added District Technology Integration Specialist to her classroom duties. Kristin has presented on SMART products and integration into science content classes at several local conferences, including MnSTA, TIES, SWSC SMART Users Conference, and numerous other local events. Straumann continues to be a SMART advocate by incorporating technology into her classroom and sharing her passion for SMART with the hope of inspiring educators.

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Warren on Back to School: Better Needs Evaluation, The Role of Struggle
August 22, 2014 – 7:46 am | 11 Comments
Warren on Back to School: Better Needs Evaluation, The Role of Struggle

Warren Barkley may have contributed to making WiFi a global standard and is leading our technology vision as SMART’s CTO, but his K-12 experience may surprise you. Thanks for sharing this personal reflection, Warren! I challenge our blog readers …

The return of my SMART Board interactive whiteboard
August 16, 2012 – 7:46 am | No Comment
The return of my SMART Board interactive whiteboard

By Alex Dunn
On a recent visit to SMART’s executive briefing center, I had the opportunity to see the latest SMART products.
I was immediately drawn to the SMART Board 8055ix interactive whiteboard, part of the new …

SMART Lesson Development Workshop for UK teachers
June 7, 2012 – 6:00 am | No Comment
SMART Lesson Development Workshop for UK teachers

Would you like to learn how to create engaging and effective lesson content with SMART Notebook™ collaborative learning software? Well, if you’re a teacher using SMART products in the UK, you can.
Later this month, SMART …

Best practices for professional development in technology-enabled classrooms
June 3, 2012 – 7:00 am | One Comment
Best practices for professional development in technology-enabled classrooms

By Lisa deRoy
Education Advocate, SMART Technologies
The National Staff Development Council’s (NSDC) current definition of professional development sets the stage for progressively repositioning professional development in a new light. It focuses on continuous, professional learning …

Professional development for digital learning is a TALL order
February 17, 2012 – 9:13 am | No Comment
Professional development for digital learning is a TALL order

By Byron Ernest
In my previous EDCompass blog posts, I described our journey at Lebanon High School researching technology implementation and development of the SMART Worldwide Effective Learning Lab (SWELL). For this post I am excited …

Could Teacher Evaluation Initiatives Power Down Technology-driven Innovation?
February 9, 2012 – 6:00 am | No Comment
Could Teacher Evaluation Initiatives Power Down Technology-driven Innovation?

By Eric Jansson
Teacher quality is arguably the largest policy shift in education today in the United States and will have a long impact on our public education system. Legislatures across the country are hammering out …

Connect, Learn and Share – SMART Board Revolution Virtual User Group
September 21, 2011 – 7:55 am | No Comment
Connect, Learn and Share – SMART Board Revolution Virtual User Group

A couple of weeks ago, we mentioned that the SMART Board Revolution Ning now has a monthly Global Virtual User Group meeting.
By joining this online group, you’ll have the opportunity to find new ideas and …

Upcoming SMART Learner Conferences in Alberta and Delaware
September 17, 2011 – 7:00 am | No Comment
Upcoming SMART Learner Conferences in Alberta and Delaware

Join us in October for two new SMART Learner Conferences, in Alberta Canada and Delaware USA. These hands-on conferences offer educators professional development opportunities through training sessions, guest speakers, product demos, live events and workshops.
Register …

SMART Board Revolution Ning Hosts Global Virtual User Group Meetings
September 12, 2011 – 8:10 am | No Comment
SMART Board Revolution Ning Hosts Global Virtual User Group Meetings

Matt Granger, the creator of the popular SMART Board Revolution Ning has developed a new feature on this customized social network – a monthly Global Virtual User Group meeting.
This online meeting is an opportunity for …

Using Response VE and personal devices in the classroom
August 31, 2011 – 6:02 am | No Comment
Using Response VE and personal devices in the classroom

EDCompass blog gathered some ideas on how you and your students can use SMART Response VE interactive response system and personal mobile devices to enhance lessons.
How it works
The browser-based product integrates with SMART Notebook …

Product announcement: SMART Response VE interactive response system
June 27, 2011 – 2:14 pm | No Comment
Product announcement: SMART Response VE interactive response system

Browser-based assessment tool for Internet-enabled devices
Incorporating Internet-enabled devices into daily classroom activities is easier with the new SMART Response VE interactive response system.
Announced at ISTE 2011, this software enables you to deliver interactive assessments right …

Find the right projector for your classroom
May 26, 2011 – 11:46 am | No Comment
Find the right projector for your classroom

Meet the UF75 – the newest member of SMART’s projector family
The introduction of our new interactive whiteboard system means that you have one more choice when it comes to selecting the SMART projector that’s right …

A Quick Guide to SMART’s Accreditation Program
April 13, 2011 – 9:32 am | One Comment
A Quick Guide to SMART’s Accreditation Program

The new SMART Software and Content Accreditation Program (SCAP) encourages third-party publishers to develop software and content that is integrated with SMART products. This ensures you have access to additional digital content that’s compatible with …