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Teachers Hail Electronic Boards to “Engage Pupils”

Public school teachers train to use SMART Boards in classrooms

Teachers in the Peterborough area had their roles reversed recently as they became SMART Board students.

“It’s really exciting,” said Grade 6 teacher at King George Public School Kathryn Kastner, adding that pairing the interactive whiteboards with other classroom tools can be “very effective at getting students engaged and involved.”

Advanced Presentation Products, a Mississauga-based dealer of SMART Boards, hosted the day-long conference at the Holiday Inn.

The session was aimed at helping teachers integrate SMART Boards into their curriculums, said John Palbom, an education consultant with Advanced Presentation Products, part of the Advanced Inc. Group of companies who deliver a wide range of audio visual solutions right across Canada.

“It (SMART Boards) tends to transform how people teach by opening them up to all the types of new resources and students tend to interact with them,” he said adding the sessions lead to the sharing of ideas between teachers that help the education community grow.

“Every classroom should have one”

Christine Cho, a professor at the Trent University School of Education, was at the conference to “see how I could learn to teach teachers how to use (SMART Boards) in the classroom. The generation we are teaching has grown up on computer screens,” she said, adding “SMART Boards hit all levels” of students.

There was one thing it seemed all the about 85 teachers in the room could agree on.

“Every classroom should have one (Smart Board),” said Cho, as the five teachers around her nodded in approval.

Join the whiteboard revolution with Advanced Inc.

The SMART Board interactive whiteboard is used to teach over 18 million students in more than 600,000 classrooms in more than 100 countries worldwide. If you want to know how you can join the SMART whiteboard revolution, contact Advanced Inc. now or call  (800) 436-6239.

Source: The Peterborough Examiner

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Leafs New Coaching Regime To Get SMARTer

Whiteboard Technology New Key Tactic in Coaching Program
Maple Leaf fans who are lucky enough to have a view of the team’s bench from their seats will notice something new by the end of the month.  But they may need a computer handbook to figure it out.

Tablet PCs, hard wired into a Sling Box streaming device will be mounted at both ends of the bench, lending a bit of wizardry to Leaf games.

“It’s all about getting information into a player’s hands quickly and efficiently,” Leafs assistant coach Rob Zettler said.

Zettler, along with fellow assistant Tim Hunter, and head coach Ron Wilson, integrated the technology into their bench area while all three formed the San Jose Sharks coaching staff between 2002-07.

Zettler and Hunter are able to access real time video replays and real time stats from the Tablets, and relay them to players during games. The information is basically quick hit knowledge – the kind of live information flow common to a stock market trading floor.

But under this new Leafs coaching regime, there’s much more to the high tech approach than bench monitors.

SMART Technology

The coaching threesome utilizes the OS-X computer operating system for their laptops. Much of the video and stats streaming they do is also available on a SMART Board – a large, touch-controlled screen – built into the video room, coach’s room and dressing room at the Air Canada Centre.

With a pointer, or even a finger, the coach can write on the board or control computer programs and removes the need to have large groups huddled around a single computer screen.

Cutting edge coaching technology

The real cool tool, though, is a vast stats database compiled by Wilson over his 15 years as an NHL coach. The database contains everything from where the most goals are scored from, to individual players’ on-ice tendencies.

“I started coaching with Ron and the first question that came out of his mouth to me was, ‘Can you use a laptop?’ I watched him and it was pretty amazing. I had some catching up to do,” Zettler said.

Once the Tablets and Sling Box are hooked up to the bench area, the Leafs coaches will have access not only to stats and video, but to television and the Internet. The advancements marks a strong contrast to the Roger Neilson – a.k.a. ‘Captain Video” – days in the late 1970s when Neilson represented cutting edge coaching technology by incorporating video tapes into his daily coaching regimen.

Zettler, though, says the tech is largely backup. Players, for instance, won’t be spending most of their time during games eyeing the Tablets.

“If you get a feel on a player, then you go to the stats and over the course of 10 or 15 games, or more, the stats don’t lie. … You’ve got instant backup on your gut feeling,” Zettler said.

Hi-Tech Coaching

Both Zettler and Hunter entered courses centering on the OS-X system, while Hunter has attended several development seminars in coaching communication and computer technology.

“It makes it easier to break down the game. I watch the game differently than Ron or Tim, so we all watch it and break it down several ways, any way we want, and we can present it to players that way. … It just makes it so much easier to do that kind of thing.”But Zettler says Wilson remains the tech guru. Wilson, for instance, has studied the location of where the majority of goal scoring comes from in the NHL. That information aids in positioning defencemen and forwards for shot blocking in the defensive zone (and other game details).

“I give a lot of credit to Ron, he is cutting edge when it comes to technology. Tim as well. … As a coaching staff we’re always looking at ways to get better,” Zettler said.

“We ask that same thing of the players every day, and if we can’t hold ourselves to that standard, then we aren’t doing our jobs properly.”

If you want to know more about SMART technologies and how they can provide real value to your training or teaching programs, please contact Advanced Inc. or call  (800) 436-6239 today.

Source: The Toronto Star

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Education Market to Remain Solid

Businesses may be cutting back on investment in new audio visual equipment but schools and universities look likely to forge ahead.

Technologies targeting education may offer a solid opportunity for audio visual (AV) resellers seeking new deals as corporations batten down the hatches against an economic storm.

An expert on educational equipment in the UK said that, “plenty of secondary classrooms are still yet to install interactive whiteboards (IWBs) and that thousands more will need kitting out as part of government programs.”

They also stated that, “Some schools are starting to need replacement boards now – even before we even get into the major replacement phase,” before adding, “resellers can go back to existing customers to enhance a previous board sale, or use the Learner Response Systems (LRS) to open doors at schools lacking in budget or wanting to hold off introducing IWBs.”

Support network

LRSs, like other peripherals, can be sold as part of an IWB bundle or as a standalone sale. Increasingly affordable, fully integrated systems are the preferred solution due to the speed of implementation and reduced on-screen shadowing.

Resellers, however, need to fully understand the benefits of using LRS in a classroom environment, and importantly, what is in it for the teacher.

Channel support should include training and a flexible leasing scheme with an option to factor in future upgrades. Channel partners should also be alerted when a customer qualifies for an upgrade.

Competition in the education market is widely regarded as fierce, however, recent Futuresource Consulting figures show LRS sales exceeding UK targets by 10 per cent and analysts agree that opportunities are excellent and will continue.

Ask the audience

Voting systems are also up-and-coming technologies that benefit both teachers and pupils. Similar to TV’s ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire?’, the teacher throws out a question, the pupils answer using handsets and the teacher can work out that 80 per cent of the pupils do not know what he is talking about.

Visualisers, which enable teachers to show a class of 25 or so pupils a magnified image of a small item that previously would have to have been passed around, are also an excellent opportunity for resellers.

School budgets are set in advance and less likely to be cut back as a result of the economic downturn. Smart Technologies’ IWB and interactive podia are currently selling very well and their product range targeting education is expanding.

Visualisers are becoming as essential as IWBs in schools with up-selling opportunities including products such as networkable cameras, mice, wireless slates, audio devices, styli and educational software and is proving increasingly popular, especially if it all works with what the school already has.

Advanced Inc. are experts in creating extraordinary presentation environments through a comprehensive range of audio visual products for boardrooms, conference rooms, classrooms and training facilities.

Contact us today or call us toll free on (800) 436-6239.

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Teachers Hooking Up To New Smart Boards

High-tech tool benefits students raised on the web

Barrie area teachers are proving to be on the cutting edge, using interactive whiteboards to help them engage a generation of students weaned on the web.

“Technology has many benefits for learning in the classroom. Students today learn in different ways because they are what we call ‘digital natives.’ In other words, they have used technology all their lives,” said Anita Townsend, principal of curriculum, Simcoe County District School Board.

An interactive information session was held for area teachers on Tuesday at the Holiday Inn in Barrie.

Interactive whiteboards, also known as Smart Boards, are rising in popularity in classrooms around the world. In the United Kingdom, 70 per cent of all primary and secondary classrooms have interactive whiteboards, compared with just 16 per cent in the United States. Students in classrooms with the devices installed made the equivalent of five months additional progress in math.

“We have Smart Boards in most of our schools this year. We did extensive training in the board over the past two years in the use of Smart Boards in the classroom. Sessions were held for teachers to learn the technology and the applications to classroom practice,” Townsend said.

Smart Board technology allows teachers to revisit previous class notes, which helps to review content and tie curriculum together over a school year.

A recent study in the UK noted that interactive whiteboards and other technology can help circle and highlight complex ideas to make them more concrete and draw attention to particular features for students.

“We have been involved in our board in a strategic planning process over the past six months for the use of information communication technology in schools. We have engaged board staff and community groups in the planning process,” Townsend said.

“Once we analyze the data we have received in this process we will be making further decisions about the use of technology and what we need to provide to schools in equipment and to teachers in professional development,” Townsend said.

Embrace the Smart Board revolution. Contact Advanced Inc. today for more details or call us toll free on (800) 436-6239.

 Source: The Barrie Examiner.

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PD on TV. CHCH-TV previews Advanced Inc’s Professional Development Series

News broadcaster CHCH-TV last week covered the latest Professional Development Series showcase tour from leading Toronto-based audio visual services provider, Advanced Presentation Solutions.

The Professional Development Series was devised to support those educators who are increasingly embracing SMART boards as part of their teaching practices and working on the principle that “SMART Classrooms + Advanced Technology = Enhanced Learning”.

The news bulletin was shot by the CHCH TV station during the Hamilton Session of the SMART PD Series. The Series is currently mid-way through it’s planned tour throughout Ontario and the Greater Toronto region.

Thinking about coming along?

Further information on the Series is available on-line including dates & locations, featured products, workshop content and registration.

There’s still room… but book now!

Advanced Inc.’s SMART PD Series is once again proving to be incredibly popular and many of the venues are now fully booked. If you’re considering coming along to the Series, we’d urge you to apply as soon as you can to avoid disappointment.

We can then check and advise you on availability and location – so please contact Advanced Presentation Solutions today.

Footage of the SMART PD Series broadcast by CHCH.

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