SMART Showcase Community continues to inspire
By Deena Zenyk
SMART Program Manager, Customer Advocacy Programs
Nestled amidst nature exploding in every shade of green along its mighty namesake river, Miramichi, New Brunswick, is in many ways a quintessential Canadian East Coast town. From the gingerbread Victorian mansions with wraparound porches to the sturdy brick buildings that line the town’s quaint, narrow high street, the olde world aesthetic of Miramichi stands in stark contrast to the high tech ambitions that underpin the area’s education, tourism and business sectors.
Named the world’s first SMART Showcase Community in 2010, Miramichi has incorporated the use of SMART Board interactive whiteboards and other SMART products into nearly every arena of everyday life: tourism kiosks, the grocery store (seen in photo) , city hall, hotel lobby, town library, local non-profits and every classroom in Miramichi’s School District 16, a SMART Showcase District. The people of Miramichi continue to make strides on an ambitious five-year SMART plan that includes introducing a SMART course for students in the district curriculum, hosting a technology camp for international students, and setting up a SMART Certified Training Center.
At the end of May, I had the pleasure of visiting with the 10 students registered in Miramichi’s SMART Learner Course. Spending more than three days in their classroom, I was inspired by the level of confidence and enthusiasm the SMART Learners demonstrated. Their SMART know-how was astonishing and the level of sophistication in their SMART Notebook lesson activities was a testament to the course design initiated and written by SMART Exemplary Educators and district technology mentors Joey Savoy and Rick Hayward. SMART has provided each of the Learners with a SMART Notebook 11 collaborative learning software license to use as they each enter into university studies this fall.
This summer, the Miramichi River Tourism Association (MRTA) will host its inaugural summer camp. Designed to attract local and international student delegations, the camp will focus on traditional outdoor pursuits – canoeing, fishing, archery, horseback riding – but will also offer programs on geo-caching, video production and a daily SMART Skills class. SMART is pleased to have sponsored the MRTA camp with a donation of SMART products to support their training programs.
Looking forward, Miramichiers are excited to be in the final planning stages for a SMART Certified Training Center. Once online, this new state-of-the-art facility hopes to draw people to the area for SMART and other technology training – with time for a little rest and relaxation along the beautiful Miramichi River, too.