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EDCompass April 2009 - Student Centred Learning

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EDCompass April 2009 - Student Centred Learning

  1. 1. April 2009 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 News ....................................................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. education@smarttech.com. April 2009 | PG 1
  2. 2. 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 teaching time. 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 Weather 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. Personal Pronouns 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 Electrolysis • 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 by electrolysis. April 2009 | PG 2
  3. 3. 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. Picture Addition 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. Bird Habitats 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
  4. 4. c o N T E ST S ProfESSIoNal dEVEloPmENT 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
  5. 5. 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 understanding 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
  6. 6. P r o d U c T S P oT l I g H T Survey says Teacher talk Recently, SMART surveyed teachers, administrators and school technology We spoke with two SMART Exemplary Educators who have used the Senteo interactive coordinators to find out what they response system (now called SMART Response) in their classrooms for some months thought about assessment technology. The now. They told us exactly why they won’t be without it. answer was clear – those surveyed were “I use Senteo to take attendance. I use it to do surveys. I use it to do quick overwhelmingly in favor of making this checks for understanding. I use it for formal assessment. Being able to get that technology a part of their classrooms. itemized, detailed report of every question, what each student answered, what the percentages were – it was like an entire item analysis for everything I taught. When asked why he would recommend assessment technology to a colleague, one My students love the immediate response. They love going through the pie respondent said, “I feel that assessment charts. That has become a real positive in my class. They never say, ‘Oh, you got technology is a wonderful way to collect it wrong and I got it right.’ Instead we talk about why. I click on the pie chart information quickly. It gives a teacher and we look at which students got the question right, and they pair up with assessment information immediately, so other students who got it wrong and help explain the answer. I use Senteo to they know what needs to be retaught at establish communication – where kids are teaching kids.” that moment. When used while teaching, students can be polled to determine if they understood the daily concept.” Colette K. Retrosi Seventh-Grade Language Arts Teacher Many survey respondents described how Signal Knob Middle School student outcomes can be improved by this Shenandoah, West Virginia technology. One teacher explained that “I have used Senteo in language arts as a way to start a discussion in the first “students are enthusiastic about taking class of a poetry unit. I asked the students if they wrote poetry and music lyrics assessments using interactive response and had them answer anonymously. I was astonished to see that 66 percent of systems, so they tend to make a greater my students were already writing poetry or were experimenting with language effort to perform to their best ability. that way. So that poll became a discussion starter for the entire unit. Since this improves the accuracy of the assessment data, teachers are better able to Senteo is excellent for judging exactly what I have to work on. I put a few identify strengths and weaknesses.” questions up on the SMART Board and students answer using Senteo. I very quickly know who’s on track and can determine if I need to go back to review Up next or reteach content. I also use it as a pretest when I begin a new unit. I find in teaching French, it’s important to know where to start by determining what they already know. It gives me a great starting place.” Watch for the next issue of EDCompass newsletter, where you can learn how our newest professional development offerings Amy Barrieau can help you transform your classroom into Sixth-Grade French Immersion Teacher a hub of interactive learning. You’ll also read Harkins Middle School about the latest SMART Table developments. Miramichi, New Brunswick April 2009 | PG 6 © 2009 SMART Technologies ULC. All rights reserved. EDCompass, Senteo, AirLiner, SMART Board, smarttech, the SMART logo and all SMART 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. 11477-09