“Made for education” bundle enhances student-led learning and provides teachers with real-time visibility into the learning process
Smart Technologies, a provider of education and collaboration solutions, and Samsung Electronics America, have joined forces to help students in the US attain the 21st century communication and collaboration skills they need to succeed in the world. Under the new agreement, schools can purchase a classroom-wide package including several Samsung Chromebook 3 devices, associated licenses for Smart amp, and access to Smart’s online professional development.
Smart amp is a cloud-based solution, available on virtually any browser-enabled device. It is the ‘glue’ that connects interactive displays, PCs, laptops, and tablets while enabling teachers and students to collaborate and co-create in real time, do in-class assessment, connect to shared digital workspaces and interact with web-based learning materials regardless of location or device.
This new bundle, which is fully integrated with Google Classroom and Apps for Education, provides the hardware, software, and training necessary to achieve a pedagogical shift toward student-led learning.
All too often, claimed Smart, schools teach knowledge-based skills like the “3 Rs” (writing, reading and arithmetic), but fail to adequately focus on the “4 Cs” (communication, collaboration, critical thinking and creativity). A recent study by Wainhouse Research reinforces the belief that schools need to put greater emphasis on these important “soft skills.”
At the same time, schools are making investments in student devices and other technology to improve project-based and student-led learning, but the technology has not always delivered on its promise, said Smart. The company stated that educators are looking to do more with their investments in student devices and to extend the learning beyond the classroom as a way to enhance skills like collaboration and creativity. The Smart Samsung Chromebook 3 Bundle addresses this need, it said.
Said Kelly Miksch, instructional technology specialist at North East Independent School District in Texas (NEISD): “We’ve bundled Smart amp with our Samsung Chromebooks to drive students’ collaboration skills to a whole new level. This powerful combination has increased learning and engagement and pushed students to be critical thinkers both in and outside the classroom. What’s more, I’m able to draw from the Smart Exchange online community and its thousands of existing Smart amp-compatible resources when I’m short on time or need new ideas for lessons.”
Added Greg Estell, Smart president, education: “We hear from our educators that true collaboration occurs when students work together to create, discuss, challenge and develop deeper critical thinking. This powerful combination of Smart amp, Samsung Chromebooks and Google Classroom allows students to co-create anywhere, anytime, on a digital canvas, while enabling teachers to understand, assess and guide student collaboration without interrupting learning.”
While Ted Brodheim, vice president of vertical business at Samsung Electronics America, noted: “In today’s work environment, collaboration is essential as few tasks are completed alone and technology facilitates teamwork that was previously impossible. Samsung is committed to delivering technology that facilitates this teamwork, helping students create, communicate, challenge and think critically. We’re helping schools deploy one-to-one digital learning solutions that drive collaboration and encourage creative problem solving to help students succeed.”