The SMART Way Forward
Meet Stella, ICT coordinator and resident SMART whizz at Benhurst Primary School in the London borough of Havering. As Benhurst’s ICT solutions partner, we were fortunate to sit down with her to find out a bit more about how Joskos’ deployment of SMART throughout the school has played an instrumental part in the school’s ICT development.
Benhurst’s school motto proudly states “Only the best is good enough for me”. Their drive to continually uphold high standards for both teachers and students has led them to becoming a very good school with some outstanding elements. By utilizing SMART technology, Benhurst has transformed the ICT landscape in their classrooms and have greatly enhanced the quality of learning and teaching.
According to Stella, choosing SMART as their interactive display solution throughout the school was an absolute ‘no brainer’.
“I did lots of research at the time and looked at all the different things that were out there. The thing that sold SMART to me was the software that goes with it. With the Smart Learning Suite, a lot of activities only take about 5 minutes to create. Being able to create ‘interactive gaming’ types of activities so quickly saves us lots of time!”
With Stella’s passion driving the ICT strategy at the school, there is no subject that’s been left untouched when it comes to utilizing the SMART Learning Suite.
“We teach Science, Maths, Literacy, Music [with SMART] - there’s not one subject that we don’t use it for. We have even used it in PE to show how to do exercises safely before they go out and do them.”
SMART’s appeal also lies in its ability to foster classroom collaboration on numerous mobile devices and continuity of learning outside of the classroom. This is made possible through Smart Amp –a solution that comes bundled with the SMART Learning Suite.
“They love SMART Amp, which allows you to use wireless-enabled devices together with the boards. Again you can create any lesson that you want in there. The joy of that is that you can create a workspace where the children go into and then extend their learning at home. SMART is just very intuitive for the teachers to work on and create things in, but also just as intuitive for the children to work on.”
She further spoke on the benefits of consistently training staff on the boards so that they get the most from them.
“Once the solution is in place, don’t just put it there and expect the teachers to use it. It is very much about showing them how to do it, taking them through the benefits by doing small demonstrations, and then asking the teachers to come back and show you that they’ve learned those particular skills.”
When it comes to recommending SMART, Stella offers a resounding “YES!” due to its appeal to both students and eachers and the outstanding support offered by SMART. Furthermore, she added that SMART update their software every 4 months and therefore there is always something new. She advises that other schools should also do their research on all technologies but when it comes to interactive displays she highly recommends SMART products and software.
“It’s all about finding what really suits your school and what it is that you want to achieve”
Speak to one of Joskos’ education consultants to find out more about deploying a SMART solution in your school, or for guidance on which alternative classroom AV solution will fit your school best. Joskos can arrange for on-site demonstrations, training and ‘try-before-you-buy’ trials for most interactive display vendors.