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Lower lakefinal1

  1. 1. SMART Technologies Case StudyLower Lake, CaliforniaA California Teacher of the Year accelerates his success with a SMART Board ™interactive whiteboard and Notebook softwareWhen Alan Siegel was recognized by the California Department of Education as a 2005California Teacher of the Year Honoree, he received an unexpected bonus. Siegel, asocial studies teacher at W.C. Carlé Continuation High School in Lower Lake, California,was awarded a SMART Board interactive whiteboard from SMART Technologies(Calgary, Alberta, Canada). “SMART is generous enough to give every state’s ‘Teacher of the Year’ a freeinteractive whiteboard,” says Siegel. “The people at SMART said, ‘We are giving thisboard to you, but we are also giving it to your students. We want you to bring students upto the board.’ As soon as I brought SMART technology into my classroom, I had kids upat the board easily interacting with it. Then, when other teachers saw the board, they fellin love with it, too.” According to Siegel, his students at the award-winning W. C. Carlé High, a nationalleader in alternative education, are daunted by academics, but not by technology. Hisstudents couldn’t wait to get their hands on the SMART Board interactive whiteboard.Serendipitously, Siegel’s honor spurred the school to install SMART Board 600iinteractive whiteboards in other classrooms at W.C. Carlé High. Previously, Siegel’scolleagues at W.C. Carlé had been using a different brand of interactive whiteboard thathad been installed at the school prior to the state’s recognition of Siegel. Through Siegel,teachers heard about the benefits of the SMART Board 600i interactive whiteboards andliked the idea of the SMART product being an easy-to-use, software-rich, all-in-onesystem. The SMART Board 600i combines an interactive whiteboard, projector, andcentralized control panel for connecting all of the classroom’s peripheral devices. Byadding speakers Siegal has a full multimedia system in his W.C. Carlé classroom. “Asuccessful teacher has many weapons in his arsenal,” says Siegel. “SMART Boards are away to bring these assets together in a seamless and extremely interesting multimediaway, where lesson design is limited only by the imagination of the teacher.”
  2. 2. According to Siegel, teachers at the school immediately understood that the SMARTBoard 600i interactive whiteboard would be more seamless and intuitive for them andtheir students. W.C. Carlé teachers felt they weren’t achieving what they needed to withthe other brand of interactive whiteboard. For example, prior to having the SMARTBoard 600i interactive whiteboard system, teachers had to arrive to class half an hourearly each day to hook up the media sources they wanted to use, and they had to realignthe interactive whiteboard before each period. But now that they are using the SMARTBoard 600i system, they don’t have to worry about those troublesome chores any longer.Within a day, according to Siegel, teachers using their new SMART Boards excitedlyacknowledged that the system was much more intuitive than the previous interactivewhiteboard brand. “They commented that the other brand required too much of a learningcurve,” says Siegel. “The greatness of the SMART Board 600i is that it’s an integratedsystem, and everything you need is right there and easy to use.” How will the new SMART Board 600i impact lessons? Siegel says the improvedcolor and image quality will further enhance the details of lessons. Streaming and stillvideo will look better and the text will be sharper. “The quality of interaction with theSMART Board interactive whiteboard is top notch and the Notebook collaborativelearning software, which that ships with the SMART Board interactive whiteboard is thebest that I’ve seen,” says Siegel. “These improvements make the SMART Board 600i thesuperior product, by far.”Notebook MagicSiegel’s own classroom use of the SMART Board 600i helps illustrate the positiveimpact of SMART Board interactive whiteboards running Notebook software. “From thebeginning, I was struck by the elegant design of Notebook software,” he says. Through his imaginative use of Notebook software, Siegel is able tie his lessonsdirectly to the subject matter. For instance, in a breathtaking example of creativeteaching, Siegel has ingeniously digitized a traditional topographical map to facilitate ageography lesson. “I laid out all of the geography of the United States in Notebooksoftware, thereby enabling the kids to come up to the interactive whiteboard and touchthe names of the places to move them to the proper spots on the digitized map. SMART
  3. 3. allows me to teach kids in a multi-modality and tactile way. The board provides me withthe freedom to bring anything I can imagine into a lesson: music, art, and finger touchtechnology. Today, there are a lot of kids who are kinesthetic learners, so allowing themto go up to the board and physically interact with it brings another dimension to thelearning process.” Notebook allows Siegel’s imagination to roam unfettered. “SMART allows differentsoftware programs to seamlessly work on the interactive whiteboard, whether theprogram was developed by SMART Technologies, such as the Notebook software, orother software providers,” he says. Siegel points to his use of Google Earth as an example of the seamless quality ofSMART Board interactive whiteboards. Because the feature-rich SMART Board 600iinteractive whiteboard functions much the same as a computer touch pad, Siegel canshow the students how the globe actually spins using Google Earth. Additionally, Siegeluses a part of the Mac OS X operating system called Expose to simultaneously present awide array of elements on the whiteboard screen à la Tom Cruise in Minority Report.“Apple’s Expose allows me to have multiple windows open at the same time,” he says.“Having that ability gives you the sensation of being a magician, because it allows you toopen windows, resize them, and move them forward like David Copperfield.” The magic, according to Siegel, comes from the Notebook software. “Notebook is incredibly intuitive,” says Siegel. “I love its ability to capture thingsanywhere and bring them in so easily. Creating lessons using Notebook software isphenomenal.”Spreading Enthusiasm and Building ExcitementSiegel isn’t the only SMART enthusiast who has been inspired by Notebook software.“The students are unbelievably excited about the software; they totally love it. It helpsthem to focus, and they enjoy using it. We all use it. For instance, the English teacheruses it to diagram sentences, and the science teacher uses it to facilitate interactive labs—pulling in information directly from the Web. It is endemic to our school’s environment.It has become an essential element in teaching at our school. Notebook software is trulythe 21st century teaching tool.”
  4. 4. Siegel continues, “The SMART Board 600i control panel enables me to displaymultiple sources of information on screen at the same time, and with one flick of a buttonI can alternate between those sources. For instance, a Star Wars DVD can play on my600i, while at the same time, my students can annotate over it for a project they’reworking on. I’m comfortable leaving them in the classroom without supervision becauseI know they’re motivated to do the work, and they’re having fun with the project. I lovehow the SMART Board 600i enables them to be creative.” To spread the love, Siegel recently highlighted the benefits of the SMART Board600i to teachers at a neighboring high school that currently uses another brand ofinteractive whiteboard. He demonstrated the higher quality of the SMART Boardinteractive whiteboard and its superior collaborative learning software. “Within minutesteachers were sold on the SMART Board 600i interactive whiteboard system,” saysSiegel. “The SMART Board 600i is so much more intuitive. Everything you can do inone easy step on a SMART Board interactive whiteboard takes at least three cumbersomesteps on the interactive whiteboards they’re using.” Siegel sums up his experience with SMART Board interactive whiteboards in thisway: “SMART Board is a tool that enables a teacher to focus on the critical thinkingaspect of the job. SMART will help transform our society. We are in the InformationAge, where all information is available all of the time. SMART brings the classroom intothe 21st century by helping to organize information so students can easily access and useit. It is clearly the technology of the 21st century classroom. In the future, everyone willuse it.”