SMART's New Assessment Tool Helps Educators Achieve Student Engagement and Optimal Results Through Collaborative Learning Technology and Best Practices

Friday, November 2, 2012

CALGARY, Alberta –– SMART Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SMT) (TSX: SMA) a global leader in collaborative technology solutions, launches its free online education assessment tool providing educators with real-time results to empower lessons in the classroom. The survey, available at smarttech.com/educationassessment, is derived from a study conduced on behalf of SMART by Filigree Consulting, an independent consulting firm specializing in technology research.

The Filigree research study, involving more than 300 educators from around the world, reveals that using both interactive whiteboards and personal devices such as tablets or PCs in the classroom provides more value than using either on their own because it enhances the ability to shift easily between whole-class, small group and individual learning. Educators additionally indicated that interactive whiteboards can drive more value than PCs or tablets alone. The survey also found that instructional technology works most effectively when it is combined with teacher training, high-quality digital content and implementation best practices. According to the study results, 70 percent of the educators who had a high-level of collaborative learning adoption combined with best practices reported receiving above average returns on their technology investment, including gains in student achievement. By contrast, nearly half of the educators who had implemented instructional technology without a developed strategy reported below average returns.

Administrators, teachers and IT specialists from North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, India and Asia, encompassing a range of school and jurisdiction sizes, participated in the research. The results of the study have been published in a white paper entitled Instructional Technology and Collaborative Learning Best Practices: Global Report and Recommendations (http://www.smarttech.com/edresearch). It concludes that while the best value from technology adoption comes from those who implement a variety of instructional technology tools and focus on best practices, only 20 percent of those surveyed had achieved this level of maturity. Participants who followed this approach reported up to three times greater results than those at a lower level of collaboration maturity on outcomes such as:

Ability to test and implement new teaching models

Tangible gain in student achievement

Student engagement as measured by decrease in absenteeism and decrease in discipline referrals

Retaining and recruiting quality teachers

Teacher efficiency and effectiveness

Improved student experience

"It takes more than technology to transform classrooms into collaborative learning environments," says Jeff Lowe, Vice President, Marketing, SMART Technologies. "This research clearly shows that a comprehensive instructional technology solution, supported by a strategy that includes professional development, digital content and a strong implementation plan delivers the greatest value from technology and enables improved student outcomes."

For more information, and to take the assessment survey, visit smarttech.com/educationassessment.

About Filigree

Founded in 1993, Filigree is a research and consulting firm focused on high technology market research. Filigree's clients include: IBM, TELUS, IDC Canada, Software AG, Sun Microsystems, Oracle and Kodak. Filigree delivers knowledge via shared learning consultations and adds value to client initiatives through research, analysis, synthesis, facilitation and content development.

About SMART

SMART Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of collaboration solutions that change the way the world works and learns. As the global leader in interactive whiteboards, our focus is on developing a variety of easy-to-use, integrated solutions that free people from their desks and computer screens, making collaboration and learning with digital resources more natural. Our products have transformed teaching and learning in more than two million classrooms worldwide, reaching over 40 million students and their teachers. In business, our Freestorm™ visual collaboration solutions improve the way that people work and collaborate, enabling them to be more productive and reduce costs.