Connecting students to their community with SMART products
By Joey Savoy
Education experts contend that 21st Century Learning involves breaking down the classroom walls and providing students with an opportunity to apply their skills in the real world, and that is exactly what is taking place with the first ever SMART Exemplary Student Learner course being offered in School District 16 at Miramichi Valley High School.
Located in Miramichi, New Brunswick, School District 16 has been heavily involved in the use of SMART Board interactive whiteboards since 2001. Since then all classrooms in the district have been equipped with SMART Boards and other SMART products.
In 2008, the district was awarded the distinction of being named the first SMART Showcase District in the world. The momentum did not stop there as various sectors of the community took a keen interest in the interactive power of SMART Boards and how they were keeping students engaged in their learning. The tourism sector in Miramichi was the first group to take a “leap of faith” and install 13 SMART Boards at several of their visitor information centers and historical buildings. They were quickly followed by municipal government, businesses, health care providers, emergency services, a local hotel, and several other organizations. Once again, the Miramichi region received another tremendous honor as it was designated the first and only SMART Showcase Community.
With numerous SMART Boards spread throughout the area there was a desire expressed by community members for continued support and assistance with content creation. Upon further discussion, it was determined the individuals with the greatest expertise and SMART Board knowledge were students from the school district, some of whom have been working with the boards for more than 10 years. From this evolved the inaugural SMART Exemplary Student Learner course with the purpose of providing students with SMART Notebook Certification, linking them to the community, and having them become content creators. The class was approved by the New Brunswick Department of Education as a Local Options Course available at the High School Level.
There are currently nine students enrolled in the course and they have been exposed to a variety of SMART related concepts and initiatives. The students have had the opportunity to beta test SMART Notebook 11 collaborative learning software, create and import Google 3D Sketchup models, develop content for local businesses and organizations, as well as connect with community officials. Members of the class are also in the process of creating content for the SMART Exchange website, obtaining basic SMART Notebook certification, and preparing to be guest speakers/presenters at the Canadian National Thrive Conference, this May in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Overall, the SMART Exemplary Student Learner course has given students the ability to acquire new SMART related skills and apply them in a “real world” environment.
Attending ISTE 2012?
Are you attending ISTE 2012 in San Diego, CA this June? If so, stop by the SMART Booth 3313 to say hello to us, and to chat with Joey Savoy about the successful collaborations and initiatives that they’ve undertaken. He’ll be on hand at the SMART booth and he’s also presenting on SMART products and mobile devices, such as iPads, in the classroom and the significant impact they’re having on student learning and teacher pedagogy. He’ll also share concrete examples of how SMART apps and SMART software can be used with mobile devices to create an enhanced learning experience for both teachers and students.
Savoy will also be blogging about his presentation and sharing some of his experiences at the show. So those of you not able to attend can still keep up on what is happening at the SMART Booth.
Joey Savoy is a SMART Exemplary Educator and Technology Mentor with School District 16 in Miramichi. He is a SMART Certified Master trainer and has presented on behalf of Miramichi and SMART Technologies at major educational conferences throughout North America. He has also provided training for schools in Europe, Asia, and South America.
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