SMART Technologies Reveals Positive Results in Students' Social and Emotional Development Directly Linked to Technology-Driven Collaborative Teaching

Global study concludes that superb teaching involving collaborative learning and complementary classroom technology leads to more positive results among students

CALGARY, June 27, 2016 /CNW/ - SMART Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SMT) (TSX: SMA), a leading provider of collaboration solutions, has unveiled more detailed findings of their study titled Teaching, Technology and Learning: Understanding the Interconnection. The research uncovers the interconnections between enhanced student social-emotional skill development, technology, and teaching practices, and sheds light on the best ways to utilize classroom technology to improve social and emotional skill development in the classroom.  

Impact on Student Outcomes
The impact of collaborative teaching combined with technology is overwhelmingly positive: 76 percent of survey respondents reported that their efforts in technology and collaborative learning pedagogy strongly or very strongly improved their student's social and emotional skill development.

Social and emotional skill development was chosen as a metric for the study because fostering collaboration and communications skills in students is a consistent theme from business and government leaders. This is supported by almost all of the 400 respondents in the Teaching, Technology and Learning study who indicated that collaborative learning is an important approach at their schools (only 4% thought it unimportant).

The study's findings showed that when teaching that includes collaborative learning is complemented by software and hardware, in that order, the greatest improvement in social and emotional skill development is achieved. Results also showed that outstanding success is 3.4 times more likely to occur when collaborative learning practices and technology are used frequently together in the classroom.

Other key findings include the respondents' observations that frequent (daily or near-daily) group activity in the classroom is significantly and positively related to social-emotional skill development and supportive metrics.

Compared to classrooms with moderate to low frequency (weekly or less frequent), classrooms with frequent (daily) group activities drive: 

  • 20 percent higher levels of social and emotional skill development
  • 13 percent higher levels of safety to contribute (in the classroom, students feel safe to contribute their ideas, answers and thoughts without hesitation)
  • 16 percent higher levels of peer discussion (students discuss their findings with each other).
  • 23 percent higher levels of active engagement/rich discussions (everyone is part of the lesson, everyone participates).
  • 27 percent higher levels of interdependence (group work involves all participants, not just some)

 

"We've suspected for a long time that without best teaching practices, technology is not as effective in improving social and emotional skill development," said Neil Gaydon, CEO of SMART Technologies. "We conducted this study to discover how the two are best used together. The results shed light on great teachers as the unsung heroes behind improved student success when technology is used in collaborative learning environments. This study furthers our commitment to supporting teachers and students with educational software and hardware," he added.

"Prior studies contend that technology in classrooms is not beneficial and sometimes counterproductive to enhancing student skill development," said Giancarlo Brotto, Global Education Strategist at SMART Technologies. "Conversely, our study finds that the formula for improving social and emotional skills requires proven, collaborative learning teaching practices supported by frequent use of software and hardware. We truly believe that success in the classroom begins with great teachers, but this study shows educators may not be tapping their full potential until varied technologies are integrated into the classroom," he said.

Methodology
Conducted by Filigree Consulting on behalf of SMART Technologies from December 2015January 2016, the study included over 400 education professionals including educators, specialists, administrators and education IT professionals from 32 countries across the globe.

About SMART Technologies Inc.
SMART Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SMT, TSX: SMA) is a world leader in simple and intuitive solutions that enable more natural collaboration. We are an innovator in interactive touch technologies and software that inspire collaboration in both education and businesses around the globe. 

Over 2.8 million K-12 classrooms in 175 countries around the world use SMART solutions and SMART Notebook collaborative software for education to make learning more interactive, engaging, effective and fun. 

With over 3.2 million SMART Board® interactive whiteboards, interactive displays and interactive projectors installed internationally, SMART has been a consistent innovator since creating the first interactive whiteboard in 1993. To learn more, visit smarttech.com

SMT – M

Reader's advisory
Certain information contained in this press release may constitute forward-looking information or statements. By their very nature, forward-looking information and statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, both general and specific, and risks that predictions, forecasts, projections and other forward-looking information and statements will not be achieved. We caution readers not to place undue reliance on these statements as a number of important factors could cause the actual results to vary materially from the forward-looking information or statements. We do not assume responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the forward-looking information or statements. Any forward-looking information and statements contained in this press release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement.

©2016 SMART Technologies. All third-party product and company names are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners. To view a list of SMART trademarks please visit our Trademarks and Guidelines page

SOURCE SMART Technologies Inc.

For further information: Kara Pinato, Spark PR for SMART Technologies, smarttechnologies@sparkpr.com; Jeff Lowe, VP of Marketing, SMART Technologies Inc., JeffLowe@smarttech.com

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