You are on page 1of 6

newsletter

September 2008

NEWS AND RESOURCES FOR EDUCATORS USING SMART PRODUCTS

Differentiating instruction

I N T H I S I SS U E N a n c y’s n otes

Nancy’s Notes ........................................... 1


Expectations
Classroom Content . ..............................2–4

News .....................................................2–4

Feature Article .......................................... 3

SMART Showcase School Profile ............... 4

Product Spotlight . .................................5–6 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
A n ote f r o m the e d ito r us as a company.

Welcome to the September Over the last few months, the volume of products we have shipped to customers around the
issue of EDCompass™ world has exploded.

newsletter!
That’s a good thing, because it means our customers have found value in our products and
Differentiated instruction has certainly that they are rushing to put them in as many classrooms as they can.
become a hot topic over the last few years.
How can you design your curriculum to That’s a bad thing, because this volume explosion was unseen. It has left us reacting to an
meet the diverse learning styles of your immediate need for our products and then responding to our customers’ questions as they get
students and create more success stories their classrooms up and running for the new school year.
in your classroom? In this issue of the
newsletter, you’ll find best practices, tips Thankfully, the length of time it takes to put our products in your hands is now back to normal
and lesson activities to help you do just – even as demand remains high. New orders are shipping from our plant with minimal time for
that. You’ll also learn about the SMART normal processing.
Board™ interactive display frame, a new
product that adds interactivity to your We are still not where we want to be on the service and support front, but our team has a plan
plasma display. and is working hard to get back on track. Wait times on calls have been significantly reduced,
and we will reduce them even further.
As always, if you have any comments
about the newsletter or any of the articles We take heart that our customers love our products and the experience they provide. You can
featured in this issue, we’d love to hear be assured that we are working hard across the company to meet your expectations.
from you. Please e-mail your feedback to
education@smarttech.com. Nancy Knowlton is the CEO of SMART Technologies.

September 2008 | PG 1
C l a ss r o o m c o ntent News

Teacher-created Try the SMART Notebook Student Edition beta


lesson activities
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 teacher- Students can share their creativity with the world!
created lesson activities for SMART Notebook
software on the SMART Exchange?
We’ve included a few in this issue that you We’re offering your students
can use in your classroom. Try them out, and a chance to make a permanent impact
then try posting your own. You never know, on SMART Notebook SE. They can
we might feature it in an upcoming edition enter now to have their personal My
of the newsletter. Home creation added to the My Home
templates, which will be included in
Don’t forget, if you’re not already a member the full version of the software when
of the SMART Exchange, you’ll need to it is released next year.
sign up to be able to access the site and
share your lessons, best practices and tips My Home is a personalized home
with other educators around the world. page for your students’ computers.
It’s a creative and customizable space
Here are a few science, ESL and math that they can adorn with their own
lessons to try with your students. pictures, thoughts, doodles, notes or
drawings. The full version of SMART
Even and Odd Numbers Notebook SE will contain several student-created templates.
Second-grade math students can learn how
to identify numbers as even or odd by using Students can share their templates by uploading their submissions on the SMART
pairing and place value strategies. Exchange. All images that students use must be copyright free.

Comparatives and Superlatives The top designs will be announced on the Exchange on December 15, 2008, and will
K–12 ESL students learn to use adjectives be featured in the January 2009 issue of the newsletter. These winning entries will
in their comparative and superlative form. 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
Global Warming and Our World arm bracelets, so they can take SMART Notebook Student Edition with them to each
Science students in grades 7–10 learn about computer they use!
greenhouse gases and how global warming
is affecting the earth and its habitat. Visit the SMART Exchange now to find out how your students can participate.

September 2008 | PG 2
NEWS C l a ss r o o m c o ntent

Helping yourself and adding value with Senteo question sets


SMART’s knowledge base

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 You can find a database of Senteo™
section of the support site. This document offers fast and simple solutions to minor issues you question sets on our education website.
may be dealing with. It’s regularly updated to cover the most current questions customers have Each question set includes 10 questions
and can be regarded as your first source of information when seeking a quick answer. that are correlated to local curriculum
standards and are compatible with a
If you don’t find your answer in this particular document, you can easily search the many other matching SMART-created lesson activity on
resources on the site. Simply go to the Search the knowledge base section on the right-hand the same topic.
side of the support site main page and enter a relevant keyword (or a document number if you
know it) into the search tool. Here are some of our newest Senteo
question sets that you can use with your
The knowledge base does more than just help you solve problems quickly – it also adds further math, social studies and science students.
value to every SMART product you use. In much the same way that in-depth knowledge Try them out today!
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. Rounding to the Nearest
Whole Number
Math students in grades 4–6 can test their
Fe atu r e a r ti c l e ability at rounding decimals to the nearest
whole number.
Reaching every learner
Acid Rain, Effects
Social studies students in grades 7–9
If you ask Bruce White, differentiated instruction is just good teaching. White is a can test their knowledge of the effects
learning technology coordinator based in London, Ontario, who supports 33 schools in the of acid rain and its significance for the
Thames Valley School District. Much of his time is spent encouraging and assisting teachers to environment.
differentiate their instruction by making full use of the technology tools in their classrooms.
Fractionation of Crude Oil
“Differentiated instruction is making sure that every student is engaged. It means that as a Science students in grades 10–12 can test
teacher you look at the needs of your students and you try to modify your course and your their knowledge of the products that are
instruction to match those needs,” White says. Read the full article. created from the fractionation of crude oil.

September 2008 | PG 3
CLA SS ROOM COntent S MAR T S h owc a se Sc h o o l P r o f i l e

Lesson activities offer SMART Board interactive whiteboards shape


ideas for differentiation learning at Oak View Middle School

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

Learning Resources Do you have any helpful tips or best practices to share with other educators about
English students in grades 8–12 can how you acquire ICT funding? What advice would you give to your peers? Send your story in
improve their reading comprehension of about 150–200 words to edcompass@smarttech.com, with “grants and funding story” in
nonfiction text. This online activity uses the subject line.
actual CNN news stories to strengthen
students’ abilities to make inferences and Be sure to read next month’s issue to see if your story is featured!
draw conclusions.
Note: All entries submitted become the property of SMART, and you agree and grant your permission to allow SMART, in its sole

Visit the site today and see what you find! 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 ht

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 • System needs to be calibrated once only
display, enabling you to interact with SMART Notebook lesson materials or access the at time of installation
Internet. Weighing a mere 11 pounds (5 kg) or less, the slender frame attaches easily to • Frame supports most commercial plasma
most commercial plasma displays to make them interactive, while retaining their high- display sizes ranging from 42" to 65"
resolution, brilliant images. (107–165 cm)
• SMART Notebook software ships with
The SMART Board interactive display frame can increase productivity and improve the unit
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 “The SMART Board interactive display
having unobstructed visibility of the board is essential. With this projector-free solution, frame creates learning spaces for next-
you never have to worry about shadows cast on the screen or light from the projector generation whiteboarding and classroom
shining in your eyes. The interactive display frame dramatically extends the application of collaboration. This is the first product of its
your existing plasma displays. kind for classroom environments. With the
frame, teachers can create learning stations
Multiuse pencil tool for small group work within the classroom,
The SMART Board interactive display frame comes with a new or they can also use it as the primary
innovative pencil tool. With it, you can use one end to write on interactive display in small classrooms. It’s
the board and the other end to erase your notes, and you can also ideal for special needs students who
still use your finger to interact with material on screen. You have limited mobility because they don’t
never need to return the pencil tool to its tray, making it have to worry about casting shadows on
even easier for you and your students. the screen.”

You can find more information on the John Cook


SMART Board interactive display frame Product manager
on www.smarttech.com. SMART Technologies

September 2008 | PG 5
P r o d u c t S p ot l i g ht

Flexible classroom What’s the deal with flat-panel displays?


scenarios

With the SMART Board interactive


display frame, teachers can
• Facilitate small group work with a
combination of SMART Board interactive
whiteboards and displays Flat-panel displays have hit their stride and are fast replacing the old cathode ray
• Turn existing plasma displays into tube (CRT) televisions.
interactive learning centers
• Use a single interactive display for small Flat-panel technology was once out of reach for all but a few well-funded schools and
class sizes districts. But with prices dropping 20–30 percent each year, educators are now finding
• Mount the interactive display on a floor that flat-panel monitors are a viable replacement for old, bulky TVs and a logical choice
stand and share it between classrooms 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
• Accommodate special needs learners with
space-saving advantage of flat-panel displays, educators are attracted to their long-term
a shadow-free display and intuitive pencil
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
Plasma display technology
Plasma displays deliver unsurpassed image quality and reliability in any viewing
Watch for the next issue of environment and offer adaptable, cutting-edge technology in a sleek, flexible design.
EDCompass newsletter that will highlight They have a life span of 50,000 hours or more to reach half life, they have no
grants and funding opportunities to purchase consumables (bulbs or filters), and they can be integrated into a simple wall or floor-
and implement education technology products stand installation. Attaching the SMART Board interactive display frame to a plasma
for your classrooms. This issue will also panel enables you to transform learning and provide unparalleled interactivity and
introduce our new SMART Table prototype. 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