Does SMART kapp Have K-12 Applications? Rebecca Says Yes!

For those familiar with SMART Board interactive whiteboards, the release of SMART kapp might make you wonder why someone would consider this new product instead of a conventional SMART Board. So we put SMART kapp in the hands of an expert SMART Board user — SMART Exemplary Educator Rebecca Penina Simon — and asked her to blog about it. Here’s what Rebecca had to say.

“You mean I actually don’t have to take notes?  You’re going to do it for me? Wow, that’s so cool!”  Those have been the responses I have been receiving from both teachers and students alike whom I teach them at my school using SMART kapp, the new digital capture board developed by SMART Technologies. SMART kapp makes it easier for them to focus on the learning by not having to write everything down.  And using it could not be any easier since no installation is required.

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I first learned about SMART kapp when I saw it being used at SMART Technologies’ headquarters in Calgary this past summer.  Knowing that it was developed for the business world, I still thought that there would be ways it could be used to benefit the education world.  As an innovative educator, I am always eager to learn and try new things.  I therefore approached Warren Barkley, the Chief Technology Officer at SMART, and inquired about the possibility of piloting SMART kapp at my school.  Several months later, I was thrilled to discover that I would have the chance to do so.

SMART kapp is not an interactive whiteboard and was therefore not designed to replace the SMART Board.  Rather, it captures digital notes that one writes on the board.  I vividly remember my days in middle school and high school — specifically in classes such as algebra, chemistry and physics — that the professor would speak so quickly and would expect me to take notes just as fast.  I dreaded the classes because not only could I not keep up, I couldn’t relate to the content being taught.  One of two scenarios happened during each class.  Either I would copy the notes from the board and I wouldn’t be able to process everything the professor was saying, or I would listen to the professor’s lecture, try to understand it, and then copy the notes from the board.  However, by the time I would start copying the notes from the board, the professor would be erasing them.  It was a “Catch-22” and there was just no way out.  I wished things could have been easier and that I would be able to pay attention to the lecture and not have to worry about taking the notes.  SMART kapp now makes this possible.

There is clearly a need for SMART kapp in the K-12 education world and even beyond.  For students who have special needs, executive functioning disorder and difficulty with taking notes due to delayed fine motor skills, SMART kapp can help both the teachers and students tremendously.  The device is not limited to the classroom.   The device is perfect for small classes, small group meetings, and for the teacher’s lounge.

Using SMART kapp could not be any easier.  Just plug it in, download the free app in iTunes or Google Play, then capture, save, and share.  Notes can be saved as snapshots on a mobile device and to your Evernote™, Google Drive™, Dropbox™ or other storage accounts for easy sharing.

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Rebecca Penina Simon
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About Rebecca Penina Simon

Rebecca Penina Simon hails from Memphis, TN. Formerly an elementary school classroom teacher, she moved to New York in 2013 to become the Director of Educational Technology and Innovation at the Solomon Schechter School of Queens. Rebecca is a SMART Exemplary Educator, a SMART Certified Trainer in Notebook and Response, a SMART amp Champ, and a SMART Certified Lesson Developer. In addition, she is a Certified Educator in Google Apps for Education. Rebecca coaches teachers in Educational Technology Integration and teaches students technology skills to extend student learning. Rebecca is a regular contributor to the SMART Exemplary Educator community to support other SMART users. You can find Rebecca regularly on Twitter @edtechmorah and on her blog Climbing the Ladder of Educational Technology.

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