SMART's EdTech Blog: Helping educators worldwide connect in better ways with EdTech Solutions

SMART Innovation Team

Written by: SMART Innovation Team

"At the heart of everything at SMART is the notion of connection. Connections foster environments where everyone thrives. Our goal is to help you in creating connections that matter - simple, intuitive, authentic, meaningful, and flexible connections that drive positive outcomes and inspire greatness."


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In the media today: CISION PRNewswire releases: SMART makes it easier for teachers to lead virtual classrooms with leading video conferencing platforms. Go straight to the release.

New features enable educators to enrich virtual classes directly from their SMART Board, using its familiar capabilities with popular video conferencing services such as Zoom, Google Meet™ and Microsoft Teams™ -- helping sustain student engagement during remote learning

CALGARY, AB, Jan. 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- With educators worldwide continuing to teach amid the challenges of remote and hybrid instruction, SMART Technologies — the edtech leader with a 30-year track record of pioneering learning solutions that encourage student collaboration and engagement — has announced that educators using Zoom, Google MeetTM, Microsoft TeamsTM, and other leading video conferencing platforms can now convene virtual classrooms directly on their SMART BoardTM Interactive Displays. By leveraging the familiarity of SMART Boards' intuitive, tactile tools and gestures, these integrations enable teachers leading remote instruction to more closely replicate the natural feel of an in-person learning experience. 

As remote and blended/hybrid learning continue to be the norm in many communities, teachers and families are struggling with the challenges of learning in remote environments. In a recent study of 20,000 students, 70% reported facing at least one obstacle to effective learning. Another recent survey conducted by SMART revealed that more than twice as many educators thought remote student learning wasn't working as those who thought it was working well. These and similar findings underscore the importance of empowering teachers to connect with students remotely in ways that more seamlessly keep the continuity of a classroom experience.

With teachers now able to use their SMART Boards for virtual learning, screen sharing is made more simple and intuitive. Maintaining student attention can be more difficult during remote teaching, but SMART's annotation tools help remove barriers and allow students to focus on key material by letting teachers write and mark-up lessons live, as well as by enabling functionality like virtual spotlights and magnification. SMART's new Tool ExplorerTM platform for the 6000S series SMART Board also provides teachers with new instructional tools such as Highlighters and a Magic Pen, letting teachers interact with content naturally and intuitively instead of being confined to a computer mouse.

Teachers can also use their SMART Board to broadcast lessons and engage in back-and-forth with students using the teaching community's most-used video conferencing platforms, enabling remote students to participate in real-time group activities, such as whiteboarding and annotation, alongside live video of their teacher delivering the lesson. Teachers, who can see the faces of their students directly on the screens of their SMART Board, will lead these interactive activities using the Boards' familiar gestures and tools, including pens, inking, and highlighting.

"As so many teachers, students, and families have found, it has been difficult to replicate the warmth and accessibility of in-person classrooms through remote instruction," said Nicholas Svensson, SMART's Chief Executive Officer. "Enabling educators to reach remote students directly from their SMART Boards, using the same functionality they and their students are most accustomed to, will inject renewed ease and familiarity into the interaction. We're so excited to give educators and students a new way to dissolve the gap between in-person and virtual classes."

Teachers can add further real-time collaboration to their remote lessons with SMART Learning SuiteTM, the all-in-one teaching software already integrated with Google ClassroomTM and G SuiteTM, Microsoft TeamsTM, and other popular platforms. The software gives educators the ability to add interactivity when presenting static materials like Google Slides and PDFs, to layer in instructional games, and to collaborate with students on their own devices.

 

About SMART Technologies Inc.

SMART is a world leader in education technology, providing interactive solutions to help every person discover and develop the greatness within them. A consistent innovator for over 30 years, SMART is the inventor of the SMART Board® and the developer of SMART Notebook®, the world's most popular collaborative learning software, and part of the SMART Learning Suite. With their full range of interconnected displays, software, and accessories, used by millions in education and business, SMART helps students, colleagues and teams around the world connect in meaningful ways.

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