Friday, January 16, 2009

Software focus: SMART Classroom Suite

It is no secret that computer hardware isn't very useful without a suite of software applications. Intel has recognized this with the Classmate Tablet PC and has partnered with a variety of educational software providers to make these applications available to teachers and school districts. SMART Classroom Suite, from SMART Technologies, is a group of apps for teachers to create and deliver lessons to their students and for the kids to utilize the Classmate Tablet PC as a notebook.

Here is their press release explaining the partnership:

LONDON, United Kingdom --- January 14, 2009 --- SMART Technologies announces that Intel® Corporation will begin shipping its Intel-powered convertible classmate PCs with SMART Classroom Suite software installed in 2009. SMART Classroom Suite is an integrated software solution that includes the award-winning SMART Notebook software for creating and delivering teachers’ lessons, SMART Notebook SE for student assignments, scheduling and file management, SMART Sync 2009 (formerly SynchronEyes classroom management software) for computer-enabled classrooms, and SMART Response for student assessment. This collaboration marks the first time SMART education software solutions will be available, preinstalled on another company’s hardware reference design. The agreement is the latest development in a relationship between SMART and Intel that has spanned 17 years. SMART is also part of the Intel® Learning Series, a collection of hardware, software and services designed specifically for education, and which supports the technology industry in customizing products and services based on Intel’s research and platform design.

The convertible classmate PC is a fully functional laptop that can be converted from clamshell mode to a writing tablet with a variety of education-focused software applications designed to take advantage of this unique design. The writing tablet is able to recognize handwriting, so notes are easily converted to digital letters and numbers. With SMART Classroom Suite, the convertible classmate PC creates learning environments in which students can use their own portable computer to ask questions, share ideas, brainstorm and keep track of and complete assignments. Using a teacher computer, teachers can monitor student computer use and shift easily between individual, small-group and whole-class lessons that are digital and interactive. SMART Classroom Suite and the convertible classmate PC offer a particularly seamless experience for users of SMART Board™ interactive whiteboards, enabling many instructional modes for a variety of classroom configurations.

Intel’s classmate PCs are just one example of the company’s long-term commitment to education. The product designs are based on years of ethnographic research and global pilot tests into how technology can bring real benefits to diverse populations of students and teachers. The new design of the convertible classmate PC was developed from the existing clamshell classmate PC, which has been highly successful. Both designs will coexist to serve different education needs of students around the world, and the addition of SMART Classroom Suite will enable students, regardless of background or location, to benefit from the combined development efforts of Intel and SMART.

“We are thrilled to work with SMART in introducing a more creative and rewarding environment in which students can learn," said Lila Ibrahim, general manager of Intel's Emerging Markets Platform Group, responsible for the Intel-powered classmate PC design and industry-enabling efforts. "Working with a company like SMART enables our OEM customers, teachers and students to have an enhanced learning experience as part of the Intel® Learning Series."

“The development of the SMART Classroom Suite is our most significant software initiative to date and is the first to combine the needs of teachers and students in one software package,” says Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s CEO. “Intel’s decision to include SMART Classroom Suite as part of its software offering on the convertible classmate PC means educators and students around the world can easily access all the tools they need to achieve the best possible learning experience in today’s computer-enabled classrooms.”

About SMART and Intel
SMART sold its first interactive whiteboard in 1991. Soon after, Intel recognized SMART’s growth potential and formed a strategic alliance that resulted in Intel’s equity share in the company. A shared passion for technological innovation, a commitment to easy-to-use yet powerful solutions and leadership positions in their respective market segments made the alliance a natural fit. SMART and Intel have collaborated and supported each other’s activities in a variety of international education initiatives, including Intel skoool™ and Intel Teach. Both companies are committed to improving student engagement and educator efficiency by harnessing the power of technology in the classroom.


For more information, please contact:
Public Relations
SMART Technologies
Phone +1.403.407.5088
Fax +1.403.228.2500

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