University of Virginia study demonstrates effectiveness of SMART Board interactive whiteboards
CALGARY, Alberta --- November 20, 2008 --- SMART Technologies announces that researchers at the University of Virginia have concluded that SMART Board™ interactive whiteboards can reduce teacher nervousness, increase lesson effectiveness and improve student learning outcomes when used with appropriate pedagogy and digital resources. The University of Virginia Center for Technology and Teacher Education research study involved two different groups of student teachers and focused on how to best prepare math and science teachers for using interactive whiteboards to promote student understanding. The student teachers reported that using SMART Board interactive whiteboards helped them refocus their teaching when they were diverted from their original lesson plans, thereby reducing their nervousness in front of a classroom. Results show that SMART Notebook software helped student teachers prepare comprehensive lesson activities by helping them organize their plans in a storyboard process, and then incorporating a variety of resources, such as digital images, graphs and videos into the file. Use of the SMART Board also saved class time and the teachers used that extra time to pose more advanced and deeper questions.
To collect the data, researchers observed at least five 90-minute teaching episodes per student teacher, and interviewed these teachers before and after their teaching placement. They also used information participants provided in a reflective journal that documented their feelings about the use of technology during their field placement. A paper focusing on the student teachers’ use of multiple representations (digital images, graphs, videos, etc.) in their teaching will be published in the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education in 2009. A sub-study compared the performance of one class of trigonometry students taught by a student teacher using a SMART Board with dynamic visualizations to the performance of a comparable class of students taught by a teacher not using a SMART Board and such visualizations. Analysis of student responses to test and quiz items showed that students taught with added visualizations, facilitated by use of the SMART Board, performed better than their counterparts in trigonometry.
“Student teachers are anxious about their ability to function effectively in front of students, and SMART Board interactive whiteboards and SMART Notebook software help them prepare for lessons and keep them on track while teaching,” says lead researcher Joe Garofalo. “The teachers love using SMART Board interactive whiteboards, and many have said that they wouldn’t take a job at a school without them.”
“For years, universities and colleges around the world have been adopting SMART products to teach the next generation of educators how to give the most out to their students,” says Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s CEO. “The University of Virginia research reinforces what we have long heard from teachers, namely, that SMART products help make lesson preparation easier and provide a more engaging classroom experience.”
Participants in the research study also noted that SMART Board interactive whiteboards helped make teaching more flexible by allowing them to go back or move ahead to any Notebook page in their lessons to accommodate student questions and needs. In addition, the student teachers said they valued the digital nature of the lesson activities, which allowed them to reuse or share their lesson activities. Many of the student teachers reported the skills they developed using the SMART Board interactive whiteboard made them sought-after candidates for jobs upon graduation.