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2010-2011 Elbow Valley - Smart Table

Description:
The SMART Table is an interactive learning product that has been developed by SMART Technologies for use with elementary\\ school students. It is a 25.5 inch high interactive table with a 22 inch by 16.5 inch touch screen which forms the table top. Within the body of the SMART Table is a built in computer which has special software installed on it. Students can touch the screen of the SMART Table to interact with the software programs running on it. The multi-touch/multiuser surface allows groups of students to work simultaneously. Using the same technology that is in the Smart Boards, the SMART Table allows students to manipulate objects on a much more personal level, in small groups or alone. The SMART Table’s body is a ruggedly constructed cabinet that houses all of the product’s components. It is durable and resistant to bumps and knocks. The screen is water resistant and scratch proof and can be cleaned easily. It is mounted on locking castors that allow for easy transport between classrooms.

Level of Innovation and Creativity:
The SMART Table is the first multi-touch interactive learning center. SMART has developed a product that is easy to use and both “kid-friendly” and “teacher-friendly”. It can be as simple as plugging it in and using the software already on the table or it comes with a SMART Table Toolkit, which works with both Mac and PC operating systems that can be used to customize existing activities and create new ones. Activity packs are also available to download on the educator resources page of the SMART website. The SMART Table can be interfaced with a document camera and SMART Board. It also has the capability to connect to the Internet.

Potential for Improved Student Learning:
The SMART Table includes learning applications that require students to work together on a problem and then come to a consensus before giving their answer. The SMART Table is ideal as a learning center for small groups and can be used as a follow-up to whole-class activities initiated on an interactive whiteboard. The interactive, collaborative nature of the table helps students develop the following skills:

Cognitive skills – Table activities help students learn to read, write and solve problems

Social skills – The table helps students learn to communicate and listen to others

Motor skills – Students with limited motor skills can move objects on the table and develop coordination and fine motor skills

Vision for the SMART Table in the Classroom:
I had the opportunity to use a SMART table in my classroom for a couple of weeks and it was exciting to watch all of the children actively engaged in discussions at the table. Even the more reserved children were comfortable participating and showing leadership skills. The nature of the table fosters collaboration and participation from ALL children.

Students in Kindergarten learn primarily through engagement with each other in small and large groups. I envision the SMART table integrating into the Kindergarten classroom as a “center” that either reinforces learning that is taking place and/or enriches the learning of children. The SMART table puts technology into the hands of young children in an appropriate and engaging way. The teacher becomes a collaborator and facilitator guiding students. The SMART Table is flexible, both in terms of teaching styles and content. As students learn and grow activities can be redesigned to keep the class challenged and engaged.

In order to maximize the benefits of the SMART Table, we would rotate the table between the five Kindergarten classrooms (approx 100 students). We will also be exploring using the table with Early Literacy Support groups as well as with children on the autism spectrum. It is very portable and its “plug and play” technology is adaptable to the varying comfort levels that teachers have. I am willing to have RVS teachers observe the table being used in my classroom and willing to do a presentation for other teachers on the benefits and various uses for the table.

Connection to 21st Century Learning and School Education Plan:
Our belief statements for our school include that students will be “ active participants, sharing their learning and collaborating with peers”. It also states that our students will exhibit academic vigor, critical thinking, and problem solving skills. The SMART Table supports these beliefs about learning. The SMART Table supports the overall belief about 21st Century Learners needing to be self-directed learners who are critical thinkers, problem solvers, communicators and collaborators.

Budget:

The current educational pricing for the SMART Table: $8,260 (including GST and shipping)

 

Submitted By:

Patti Beloglowka

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