newsletter

September 2008 NEWS AND RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS USING SMART PRODUCTS

Differentiating instruction
I N T H I S I SS U E
Nancy’s Notes .......................................... 1 Classroom Content ...............................2–4 News ....................................................2–4 Feature Article ......................................... 3 SMART Showcase School Profile .............. 4 Product Spotlight ..................................5–6

N a N c y’S N oT E S

Expectations

a N oT E f r o m T H E E d I To r

At SMART, we start each day with the objective of meeting our customers’ expectations. This extends all the way from product design to product assembly to service and support for new and not-so-new products. We care about your experience, with our products and with us as a company.
Over the last few months, the volume of products we have shipped to customers around the world has exploded. That’s a good thing, because it means our customers have found value in our products and that they are rushing to put them in as many classrooms as they can. That’s a bad thing, because this volume explosion was unseen. It has left us reacting to an immediate need for our products and then responding to our customers’ questions as they get their classrooms up and running for the new school year. Thankfully, the length of time it takes to put our products in your hands is now back to normal – even as demand remains high. New orders are shipping from our plant with minimal time for normal processing. We are still not where we want to be on the service and support front, but our team has a plan and is working hard to get back on track. Wait times on calls have been significantly reduced, and we will reduce them even further. We take heart that our customers love our products and the experience they provide. You can be assured that we are working hard across the company to meet your expectations. Nancy Knowlton is the CEO of SMART Technologies.

Welcome to the September issue of EDCompass™ newsletter!
Differentiated instruction has certainly become a hot topic over the last few years. How can you design your curriculum to meet the diverse learning styles of your students and create more success stories in your classroom? In this issue of the newsletter, you’ll find best practices, tips and lesson activities to help you do just that. You’ll also learn about the SMART Board™ interactive display frame, a new product that adds interactivity to your plasma display. As always, if you have any comments about the newsletter or any of the articles featured in this issue, we’d love to hear from you. Please e-mail your feedback to education@smarttech.com.

September 2008 | PG 1

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Teacher-created lesson activities

Try the SMART Notebook Student Edition beta
You’ve no doubt experienced the ways SMART Notebook software can transform your lessons into interactive learning opportunities.
Now, with the SMART Notebook Student Edition beta, this powerful and intuitive software is available for your students. SMART Notebook SE will enable them to organize their projects and complete assignments in a personalized and nonlinear way. This new software has an intuitive interface that allows students to quickly find and categorize their notes and to manage due dates. Whether collaborating on shared computers, using PDAs, working on in-class activities or completing homework assignments, SMART Notebook SE will ensure your students spend less time organizing and taking notes, and more time processing and analyzing their lessons. Complete this form to download the beta at no charge. The full version of SMART Notebook Student Edition will be available winter 2009. For more information, visit www.smarttech.com/notebookse.

Did you know you can find teachercreated lesson activities for SMART Notebook software on the SMART Exchange? We’ve included a few in this issue that you can use in your classroom. Try them out, and then try posting your own. You never know, we might feature it in an upcoming edition of the newsletter. Don’t forget, if you’re not already a member of the SMART Exchange, you’ll need to sign up to be able to access the site and share your lessons, best practices and tips with other educators around the world. Here are a few science, ESL and math lessons to try with your students. Even and Odd Numbers Second-grade math students can learn how to identify numbers as even or odd by using pairing and place value strategies. Comparatives and Superlatives K–12 ESL students learn to use adjectives in their comparative and superlative form. Global Warming and Our World Science students in grades 7–10 learn about greenhouse gases and how global warming is affecting the earth and its habitat.

Students can share their creativity with the world!
We’re offering your students
a chance to make a permanent impact on SMART Notebook SE. They can enter now to have their personal My Home creation added to the My Home templates, which will be included in the full version of the software when it is released next year. My Home is a personalized home page for your students’ computers. It’s a creative and customizable space that they can adorn with their own pictures, thoughts, doodles, notes or drawings. The full version of SMART Notebook SE will contain several student-created templates. Students can share their templates by uploading their submissions on the SMART Exchange. All images that students use must be copyright free. The top designs will be announced on the Exchange on December 15, 2008, and will be featured in the January 2009 issue of the newsletter. These winning entries will be included in the full version of the software so students around the world can use them. All students in the winning classrooms will also receive SMART Notebook SE USB arm bracelets, so they can take SMART Notebook Student Edition with them to each computer they use! Visit the SMART Exchange now to find out how your students can participate.

September 2008 | PG 2

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Helping yourself and adding value with SMART’s knowledge base

Senteo question sets

In last month’s issue, we highlighted the passion that our services team brings to making every customer interaction extraordinary. In addition to providing high-level technical support and training services, the team is committed to empowering our customers to help themselves as much as possible. How does SMART do this? One way is by providing a readily available, unrivaled source of SMART product-related information – our online knowledge base.
The extensive knowledge base on the support section of www.smarttech.com provides easy access to a vast library of technical documents that cover virtually everything you need to know about SMART products and their installation, administration and use. This resource includes product and quick-reference guides, technical bulletins, how-to articles and a series of highly focused troubleshooting articles. Of particular note is Top troubleshooting tips, which you can find in the popular downloads section of the support site. This document offers fast and simple solutions to minor issues you may be dealing with. It’s regularly updated to cover the most current questions customers have and can be regarded as your first source of information when seeking a quick answer. If you don’t find your answer in this particular document, you can easily search the many other resources on the site. Simply go to the Search the knowledge base section on the right-hand side of the support site main page and enter a relevant keyword (or a document number if you know it) into the search tool. The knowledge base does more than just help you solve problems quickly – it also adds further value to every SMART product you use. In much the same way that in-depth knowledge and previous experience enables master artisans to get the very best out of their tools, the knowledge base can help you maximize your products’ full potential.

You can find a database of Senteo™
question sets on our education website. Each question set includes 10 questions that are correlated to local curriculum standards and are compatible with a matching SMART-created lesson activity on the same topic. Here are some of our newest Senteo question sets that you can use with your math, social studies and science students. Try them out today! Rounding to the Nearest Whole Number Math students in grades 4–6 can test their ability at rounding decimals to the nearest whole number. Acid Rain, Effects Social studies students in grades 7–9 can test their knowledge of the effects of acid rain and its significance for the environment. Fractionation of Crude Oil Science students in grades 10–12 can test their knowledge of the products that are created from the fractionation of crude oil.

f E aT U r E a r T I c l E

Reaching every learner
If you ask Bruce White, differentiated instruction is just good teaching. White is a learning technology coordinator based in London, Ontario, who supports 33 schools in the Thames Valley School District. Much of his time is spent encouraging and assisting teachers to differentiate their instruction by making full use of the technology tools in their classrooms.
“Differentiated instruction is making sure that every student is engaged. It means that as a teacher you look at the needs of your students and you try to modify your course and your instruction to match those needs,” White says. Read the full article.

September 2008 | PG 3

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S m a r T S H owc a S E Sc H o o l P r o f I l E

Lesson activities offer ideas for differentiation

SMART Board interactive whiteboards shape learning at Oak View Middle School

This year, Richard Sheets’s students scored 14–16 percent higher in American history
TeachersFirst.com offers a range of resources and interactive activities for all grade levels and subject areas that you can use with your SMART Board interactive whiteboard or Senteo interactive response system. The activities address the needs of your struggling and gifted students with tips on how you can tailor the instruction for both. Here are a few activities to get you started. Save the Apples Math students in grades 1–5 can use this activity to practice their addition, subtraction, multiplication and division skills. You can change the difficulty level to easy, medium or hard to differentiate the lesson for each of your students. Learning Resources English students in grades 8–12 can improve their reading comprehension of nonfiction text. This online activity uses actual CNN news stories to strengthen students’ abilities to make inferences and draw conclusions. Visit the site today and see what you find! than they did last year. And that, he attests, is because the implementation of SMART Board interactive whiteboards at Oak View Middle School in Newberry, Florida, has helped his eighth-grade students become engaged and excited to learn. Only one year before the 2007–2008 school year, Oak View’s ranking had slipped from a B to a C, according to Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Administrators at the school found this grade unacceptable and committed to improving students’ assessment scores. Just one school year later, FCAT scores at Oak View have risen from a C grade to one point away from an A. This success garnered Oak View Middle School SMART Showcase School status in May 2008. “We are in a generation of students trading textbooks for text messaging,” says Sheets. “Kids learn everything visually through games and interaction, and SMART Board interactive whiteboards present lessons in a language that they understand. That has made a tremendous improvement in our scores across the board.” Read the full article.

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Sharing best practices
Do you have any helpful tips or best practices to share with other educators about
how you acquire ICT funding? What advice would you give to your peers? Send your story in about 150–200 words to edcompass@smarttech.com, with “grants and funding story” in the subject line. Be sure to read next month’s issue to see if your story is featured!
Note: All entries submitted become the property of SMART, and you agree and grant your permission to allow SMART, in its sole discretion, to print or reproduce your entry as it sees fit.

September 2008 | PG 4

P r o d U c T S P oT l I g H T

SMART Board interactive display frame

Fast facts
• Pencil enables you to write and erase in digital ink. You can also perform mouse functions with your fingers. • Lightweight frame weighs 9–11 lb. (4–5 kg), depending on plasma screen size • Frame’s small footprint adds less than 1" (2 cm) to the width and 2" (5 cm) to the height of the plasma panel • Glass-free frame lets you touch the display surface directly, enabling precise touch control • Native wide-viewing angle of the plasma panel ensures that students clearly see information on the screen, regardless of where they are in the room • Projector-free system eliminates shadows cast on the screen and light in the presenter’s eyes • Inexpensive initial installation and no ongoing or costly consumables makes for low maintenance and total cost of ownership

You can now transform your plasma display into a SMART Board interactive display, enabling you to interact with SMART Notebook lesson materials or access the Internet. Weighing a mere 11 pounds (5 kg) or less, the slender frame attaches easily to most commercial plasma displays to make them interactive, while retaining their highresolution, brilliant images.
The SMART Board interactive display frame can increase productivity and improve learning outcomes in large classrooms, where additional displays can enable students to work in small groups to complete assignments. It’s also ideal for smaller classrooms – which some state governments have regulated – and special needs classrooms, where having unobstructed visibility of the board is essential. With this projector-free solution, you never have to worry about shadows cast on the screen or light from the projector shining in your eyes. The interactive display frame dramatically extends the application of your existing plasma displays.

• System needs to be calibrated once only at time of installation • Frame supports most commercial plasma display sizes ranging from 42" to 65" (107–165 cm) • SMART Notebook software ships with the unit “The SMART Board interactive display frame creates learning spaces for nextgeneration whiteboarding and classroom collaboration. This is the first product of its kind for classroom environments. With the frame, teachers can create learning stations for small group work within the classroom, or they can also use it as the primary interactive display in small classrooms. It’s also ideal for special needs students who have limited mobility because they don’t have to worry about casting shadows on the screen.”
John cook Product manager SmarT Technologies

Multiuse pencil tool
The SMART Board interactive display frame comes with a new innovative pencil tool. With it, you can use one end to write on the board and the other end to erase your notes, and you can still use your finger to interact with material on screen. You never need to return the pencil tool to its tray, making it even easier for you and your students. You can find more information on the SMART Board interactive display frame on www.smarttech.com.

September 2008 | PG 5

P r o d U c T S P oT l I g H T

Flexible classroom scenarios

What’s the deal with flat-panel displays?

With the SMART Board interactive
display frame, teachers can • Facilitate small group work with a combination of SMART Board interactive whiteboards and displays • Turn existing plasma displays into interactive learning centers • Use a single interactive display for small class sizes • Mount the interactive display on a floor stand and share it between classrooms • Accommodate special needs learners with a shadow-free display and intuitive pencil

Flat-panel displays have hit their stride and are fast replacing the old cathode ray
tube (CRT) televisions. Flat-panel technology was once out of reach for all but a few well-funded schools and districts. But with prices dropping 20–30 percent each year, educators are now finding that flat-panel monitors are a viable replacement for old, bulky TVs and a logical choice for new classroom deployments. Any CRT TV is going to take up a sizable chunk of space, sometimes in classrooms that are already crowded. But other than the obvious space-saving advantage of flat-panel displays, educators are attracted to their long-term investment value. When teachers have flat-panel displays in their classrooms, not only are they getting a superior product with enhanced image quality, the costs associated with cleaning filters or replacing expired lamps are eliminated.

Up next
Watch for the next issue of
EDCompass newsletter that will highlight grants and funding opportunities to purchase and implement education technology products for your classrooms. This issue will also introduce our new SMART Table prototype.

Plasma display technology
Plasma displays deliver unsurpassed image quality and reliability in any viewing environment and offer adaptable, cutting-edge technology in a sleek, flexible design. They have a life span of 50,000 hours or more to reach half life, they have no consumables (bulbs or filters), and they can be integrated into a simple wall or floorstand installation. Attaching the SMART Board interactive display frame to a plasma panel enables you to transform learning and provide unparalleled interactivity and spectacular image quality.

September 2008 | PG 6
© 2008 SMART Technologies ULC. All rights reserved. EDCompass, Senteo, SMART Board, smarttech, the SMART logo, the EDCompass logo and all SMART product logos and taglines are trademarks or registered trademarks of SMART Technologies ULC in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other third-party product and company names are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners. 11027-08

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