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News and resources for educators using SmarT products education.smarttech.com
I N T H I S I SS U E N a N c y’S N o T E S
Putting students first
Nancy’s Notes .......................................... 1
Classroom Content ...............................2–3
Feature Article ......................................... 3
Professional Development ........................ 4
Contests .................................................. 4
SMART Showcase School Profile .............. 4
Product Spotlight ..................................5–6
a N oT E f r o m T H E E d I To r It’s hard to believe the end of the school year is in sight for schools in the Northern
Hemisphere. It seems like just yesterday school doors opened, welcoming everyone back
Welcome to the April issue of from vacation. While many teachers and administrators may be wondering where the time
EDCompass™ newsletter! has gone, some students are already counting down the days until their summer break.
Creating a student-centered environment
that encourages everyone to actively Thoughts at this time inevitably turn to how students have progressed over the course of the
participate in the learning process involves school year. Students certainly notice that now is when they are most intensely tested, and
more than just purchasing computers. It the importance of these tests is repeatedly highlighted to them and their parents.
requires that students have access to a
variety of resources to complete assignments For teachers, there is no escaping the debate about assessment and the form it should take.
independently, enabling them to become Though opinions may vary, no one contests the need to know that each child is making
lifelong learners. This issue of the newsletter adequate yearly progress.
offers tools and resources to help you and
Some of the most important assessments have already taken place. On a daily basis, teachers
your students achieve this goal. Read the
have given pop quizzes, assigned projects and homework, and asked impromptu questions
feature article to find out how teachers are
to gauge student understanding. While marks for these assessments may never show up
constructing fluid learning environments
in a gradebook, the information they provide is likely more valuable than the end-of-year
that meet the varying needs of students.
or end-of-term exams, because teachers get the results while they still have time to make a
And then check out this month’s product
difference in their students’ learning.
spotlight on SMART Response (formerly the
Senteo™ interactive response system), which
increases one-to-one participation in the We’re assisting teachers in measuring student understanding throughout the year by
classroom by enabling teachers to assess building assessment into our products. We’re also focused on making it easy for teachers
each of their students. to create materials that engage students and bring concepts to life. By thinking about
students’ needs and interests, our goal is for them to be interested in interacting and
As always, if you have any comments about participating in class.
the newsletter or any of the information
featured in this issue, we’d love to hear That’s ultimately what student-centered learning is all about.
from you. Please e-mail your feedback to
Nancy Knowlton is the CEO of SMART Technologies.
April 2009 | PG 1
c l a SS r o o m c o N T E N T NEwS
SMART Notebook Supporting differentiated learning
lesson activities environments
A new white paper, titled “One, Some, All: Creating technology-enabled learning
environments for flexible grouping,” shows how a 21st-century classroom can support
differentiated instruction. The right mix of ICT products can smooth transitions between
individual, small-group and whole-class learning, leading to less setup time and more
Watch for this white paper to be included in our website’s Resource Library later this
month. And to find out about real technology-enabled classrooms that reflect this
approach to teaching and learning, read the feature article.
SMART Classroom Tour update
In last month’s newsletter, we invited you to take an interactive SMART Classroom Tour
to see how SMART products can help enhance whole-class, small-group and individual
learning in your classroom. We just added three new videos to the tour that show how
the AirLiner™ wireless slate, SMART Audio
Find a comprehensive database of and the SMART Table can be integrated
professionally developed K–12 lesson and configured to enhance learning
activities on our education website. The environments. You can also view
lessons are correlated to local curriculum our SMART Sync demo and SMART
standards and created by classroom teachers Notebook SE (Student Edition) animations.
or SMART’s team of curriculum resource
developers. Find out how SMART products work
together to boost student engagement
Try one of the following SMART Notebook and participation – take the tour today.
lesson activities during your next science,
math or language arts class.
SMART Notebook SE now available
If you’ve been using the beta version of SMART Notebook SE, then you know the
Kindergarten students can learn about
many benefits this innovative software has to offer. The full version is now available
different weather conditions and describe
on a portable USB bracelet that your students can take wherever they go. They can
the current weather.
complete school work, take notes, manage due dates and organize digital material
from any computer or mobile device. And
Learn to Print – Numbers
because SMART Notebook SE is designed to
First-grade students can learn to print the
support the way today’s tech-savvy students
numbers from one to nine.
think, they can work in the visual, free-form
style they find most engaging.
Seventh-grade language arts students can
Three animations on SMART’s TeacherTube
explore the relationship between a pronoun
channel showcase how SMART Notebook SE
and its antecedent noun. They can also
enables students to do the following:
review the three cases of personal pronouns
and practice correct usage.
• Take their work anywhere – watch now
• Learn in their own unique style – watch now
Tenth- and eleventh-grade chemistry
students can learn how copper is purified
• Learn on the go – watch now
April 2009 | PG 2
NEwS c l a SS r o o m c o N T E N T
French version of the SMART SMART Response
Exchange now here question sets
French-speaking educators can now connect with their peers on
a language-specific version of the SMART Exchange. Members
can upload and share lesson activities, learn about new contests
and professional development opportunities, and contact
SMART technical staff in French. This new version of SMART’s
online user community complement the existing English- and
German-language ones. If you’d prefer to converse on the
Exchange in another language, keep watching – versions for
Spanish and UK English will be launched in the next month,
and more languages will be added in 2010.
When you visit the SMART Exchange, you can connect with more
than 50,000 of your peers. If you’re not a member yet, join today!
Updating SMART’s software just got easier
With the click of a button, all of SMART’s software applications can now be downloaded
and installed – and the previous versions will be automatically removed from your system.
The new SMART Product Update (SPU) tool eliminates the need to manually uninstall older
Find a database of SMART Response
versions of our software. It also notifies you right away when a new software version is
question sets on our education website.
available, so you’ll always be working with the latest innovations from SMART.
Each set includes 10 questions that are
In mid-April, you can get this tool by going to the Help menu of any SMART software correlated to state and provincial curriculum
product and clicking on Check for Updates. The new SPU is compatible with Windows® standards and are compatible with a
operating systems – Mac users will be able to enjoy these benefits this summer. matching SMART-created lesson activity
on the same topic.
f E aT U r E a r T I c l E
Try one of the following SMART Response
question sets in your next math, language
Enriched learning environments arts, social studies or science class.
Kindergarten and first-grade students can
test their ability to add using pictures.
Apostrophes in Action
Second- and third-grade language arts
students can test their knowledge of
apostrophe usage in a sentence.
American poet Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “The great thing in this world is not Seventh- and eighth-grade social studies
so much where you stand, as in what direction you are moving.” Holmes may not students can test their knowledge of bird
have been referring specifically to education, but his words certainly apply. Education is habitats.
about movement, metaphorically speaking, not about standing still. Students seem to
learn best under circumstances that are not static, but fluid; in classrooms that are not Catalysts
stagnant, but energized; facilitated by leaders who know when to step back and let the Tenth-grade chemistry students can test
learners show the way. Read the full article. their knowledge of catalysts.
April 2009 | PG 3
c o N T E ST S
SMART webinar Lessons That Count
series for Last month’s issue of EDCompass newsletter focused on teaching in the math classroom.
Now we want to hear from you. We’re looking for innovative, fun and effective
administrators examples of how SMART products have enhanced your math class. Send us a two-
minute video that shows off a lesson that engages your students – you could win a
SMART Board™ 600i interactive whiteboard system. The Lessons That Count contest ends
on May 15, 2009, and the winning video will appear in the June issue of the newsletter.
For full contest details, visit the contest page.
Visit a SMART Showcase School to win
Visit a SMART Showcase School between now and June 15, 2009, for a chance to win a
SMART product prize package. When you visit one of these schools, you’ll meet innovative
educators who will share how SMART products can be used to engage students and simplify
lesson preparation. Then, enter our contest to win a prize package that includes some of the
same products you may have explored at the SMART Showcase School. The winner will be
announced in the July issue of the newsletter. For full contest details, visit the contest page.
NECC Conference Scholarships contest
We’re searching for 30 enthusiastic teachers, administrators, technology coordinators
and instructional technology resource teachers to attend NECC, June 28–July 1, 2009,
in Washington, DC. Each of the 30 people chosen will receive a full NECC conference
This month, we are launching the first in registration, worth US$345. Winners will also be invited to attend an exclusive reception
a series of webinars that address current hosted by SMART. For full contest details, visit the SMART Exchange.
issues of interest to administrators. They
offer an excellent opportunity for online
S m a r T S H owc a S E Sc H o o l P r o f I l E
peer-to-peer learning. Administrators
who attend get an exclusive opportunity
Whole-class, small-group and individual
to preregister for the Learning Matters
seminar at this year’s National Educational
learning thrives at Tampa school
Computing Conference (NECC). If you know
an administrator who would be interested,
or perhaps you’re one yourself, you’ll want
to find out more!
Our first webinar, Getting the Most Bang
for Your Buck: Key Considerations for a
Successful Technology Rollout and ROI,
takes place on April 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET. This
complimentary one-hour session features
real-world advice from administrators who
have successfully implemented classroom
technology on a large scale. Register now.
Essrig Elementary School in Tampa, Florida, boasts a diverse student population and a
Our next administrator webinar, Budgeting
SMART Board interactive whiteboard in every classroom. Academically gifted and learning
for Necessary Technology, takes place on
disabled students learn side by side in classrooms at this modern suburban school, but they
May 5. Check back at www.smarttech.com/
do not necessarily share the same learning styles. As a result, teachers at Essrig work hard
SMARTWebinarEC after April 16 for more
to adapt their lessons to best meet the needs of all their students. Read the full article.
details and to register.
April 2009 | PG 4
P r o d U c T S P oT l I g H T
SMART Response – New name. Fast facts
Same great product.
• Access all the assessment features in
In 2007, we introduced the Senteo interactive response system. Since then, teachers SMART Response software using a tab in
around the world have told us the same thing – once they began using it, the system SMART Notebook software
promptly became indispensable to them. We’ve heard that teachers love the way the
system enables them to perform planned or spontaneous student assessments and the • Easily integrate assessment throughout
way it integrates with SMART Notebook software. your SMART Notebook lesson activities
Fast forward to spring 2009 – the Senteo interactive response system has been renamed • Add images and multimedia to a question
SMART Response. by dragging them from your own collections
or choosing them from the Gallery
SMART Response offers everything teachers need to gain instant and reliable insight into
student learning. Avid users of the Senteo interactive response system will quickly recognize • Graphically represent individual and class
SMART Response as the same great assessment tool that helps them quickly gauge student performance and results with pie charts
understanding so specific learning needs can be targeted. It also offers improved graphing and bar graphs
features and allows teachers to insert questions on both current and new pages.
• Assign different point values to individual
Upgrades are easy questions within any quiz or exam
We’ve made the upgrade process easier for everyone, no matter which version of Senteo
assessment software you currently use. Find out how to use the SMART Product Update • Insert spontaneous questions into
tool to switch to SMART Response assessment software on page 4. your lessons to quickly gauge student
If you currently use Senteo 2.0 software, by upgrading to SMART Response software
you’ll be able to display performance and test results in pie charts and pie graphs. • View and manage all assessment data
Instantly add a chart or graph to a SMART Notebook page so you can get a closer look at from one location using Teacher Tools
results, and add notes or comments in digital ink.
• Use SMART Response to help you
You’ll notice even more benefits if you are upgrading from Senteo 1.0 software. SMART tailor your teaching tactics and learning
Response software enables you to organize and track grades and test results using its environment to your students’ needs
built-in gradebook. It’s easy to assign different point values to individual questions within
an exam, or to tag questions and student names with keywords to track results. And • Gain immediate insight into student
when it’s time to evaluate students more closely, use SMART Response to produce instant learning with continual assessment, and
reports on performance. monitor the pace of your instruction
The upgrade to SMART Response software is available at no charge if you’re already • Increase student engagement and
using Senteo assessment software. enthusiasm
April 2009 | PG 5