Growing the Australian SMART Community
During the summer schools holidays, another group of outstanding educators was trained to add to the Australian community of SMART Certified Trainers. Teachers from Early Childhood to Higher Education came together to learn the latest from SMART and how to provide professional learning for the thousands of teachers who use SMART hardware and software in their classroom every day. These trainers each bring to the table exciting an innovative ideas for implementing technology.
Current research, and the views of the Executive Roundtable held in Australia, emphasise that teachers are critical in the effective use of technology in the classroom. Providing professional learning for teachers on how to effectively use technology for student learning is critical. So these educators were brought together from across Australia to learn what is happening globally and nationally with EdTech and the late st and greatest from SMART.
Each of these educators were asked about their own experiences and what they were hoping to achieve with their training. Benjamin Wells, Managing Director of Technology Education Australia, for instance, will place a SMART Board in his van as he travels around Australia on the “Gadget and Games Tour” providing training to teachers on the SMART Learning Suite, robotics, coding and games for education.
Molly Turner, a language expert will provide training for teachers of languages on how SMART can transform their classrooms. Enya Gannon, Education Officer for the Association of Illawarra Community Languages Schools Inc. will provide training support to all their educators who work in a range of schools which have SMART Boards. The organization wants to build the capacity of its educators to use SMART Learning Suite in whatever school they are teaching community languages.
Beverley Charlton was particularly interested in helping educators in the Early Childhood sector to use SMART Learning Suite in these settings. Many Early Childhood educators are embracing SMART Boards to enhance their programs and linking the digital world to the concrete world of play. Creating specific relevant content for these learners to enhance their understanding of books or other concepts such as places and locations is easy and Beverley will be able to provide this training.
Flinders University, Jason Lange was also trained as a SMART Certified Trainer and will now train staff and students at Flinders who have purchased 6000 SLS licenses to enable effective learning across all campuses. He will also support the pre-Service teachers to be competent users of the software so that when they attend schools as part of their practicums they will have digital learning units to implement in any classroom.
Michael Rowing from Temora High also gave up two days of his holidays to become an expert so he can lead the teachers at his and surrounding schools to use SLS in the best possible way. Michael had researched all the interactive flat panels currently on the market in depth. He decided that SMART was the best technology for teachers especially because of the SMART Learning Suite software. He knows that SMART Boards are of the highest quality, but he is most impressed with the SMART Learning Suite software as it builds on teachers’ existing knowledge of SMART Notebook, continually introducing new future-focused learning features. Teachers, for instance, are now able to share content, assessment items, and game activities with student devices easily using SMART Learning Suite from any browser.
His school also has access to Microsoft, Google, and Apple products but only SMART is device agnostic and enables a teacher to prepare his/her lessons and know that they can work with and on any of the devices and services provided to the teachers and students.
After the team had been trained in the use of the SLS they were asked to prepare a presentation for the group to demonstrate their skills as trainers and knowledge of SMART. Nerida McGeachie a long-term expert in the use of SMART presented to the group the effective use of game-based activities. A passionate educator she is convinced that as SLS now incorporates SMART Response, teachers will be better able to provide assessment on and for learning as part of the lesson’s flow enabling teachers to quickly ascertain the level of understanding of the students both pre-and post a unit of work and provide effective feedback.
We are very fortunate that such an amazing group of educators were so enthused and passionate about the SMART Learning Suite and supporting their peers to learn how to use SLS to engage students and enhance their learning.