Introduction

SMART amp collaborative learning software is a cloud-based learning platform designed specifically to make collaboration in the classroom more simple and more effective. It provides a digital workspace where teachers and students can collaborate, chat, co-create and engage with content. Because it operates in a web-browser, teachers ensure that students have a consistent learning experience anywhere, any time, on any device. SMART amp provides teachers the flexibility to engage students in all learning modalities — from whole-class instruction, to collaborative group work, to individual student projects and presentations. It’s perfect for project- and inquiry-based learning, and flipped lesson activities, too. Teachers can also share their workspaces on the SMART Exchange website, and access various resources to add to their own lessons.

Synopsis

Objective

Studies prove the digital age we live in is fostering shorter attention spans among younger generations and that “self-discovery” style collaboration improves knowledge retention. It’s also no secret that about three quarters of high school students have their own a smart phone. Knowing these habits and that kids are eager to use their own devices, SMART Technologies aims to redefine the future of K-12 classroom collaboration with the introduction of the company’s innovative software, called, simply, “amp.” The new software is a revolutionary, cloud-based solution hosted on the Google cloud – available on virtually any device that has a browser. It is the ‘glue’ that connects interactive displays, PCs, laptops, and tablets while enabling teachers and students to collaborate in real time, do in-class assessment, connect to shared digital workspaces and interact with Web-based learning materials regardless of location or device.

Approach

SMART amp brings together the power of connected mobile devices by creating a unique “unbound” collaboration space designed to enhance critical thinking, communication, content engagement and most importantly, performance outcomes. SMART amp offers a content and application rich environment purposely designed to harness creativity as it relates to educator-led or students’ own self-organized learning activities.

Engagament

Formative assessment tools let teachers quickly determine areas of student strength or weakness, and offer important insights that can be used to advance learning outcomes in meaningful ways. Stacey Buckalew, an Instructional Technology Coach at a school near Atlanta, Georgia says SMART amp "opens the walls of learning. Students aren't confined to their classrooms, they're not confined to their textbooks. They can work in collaborative groups, whether they are sitting next to each other, across the room or at home."

Impact

Christie Carnahan, a teacher in Pleasanton, California, tells a story about a first-grade student from a low-income home who ill and had to miss many weeks of school. Because Christie uses amp in the classroom, the student was able to keep up with her daily lessons and returned to school without having missed a beat when she recovered.
Another teacher said that amp literally kept one of her high school students in school. He was ready to drop out until she implemented amp in her small, rural chemistry classroom. It changed how he learned and motivated him to keep at it.

Next Steps

Build upon existing Google Apps for Education integration. Partner with leading ed tech hardware providers to maximize reach for SMART amp. Collect data through ethnographic research and teacher input regarding efficacy, which will help drive the product roadmap.

Other Information

YouTube Video - Take a closer look at SMART amp
YouTube Video - Hear what students and teachers say about amp
Other - SMART amp press release
Other - Bett Award Winner press release
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