Expanding Access to SMART Board Technology in Saskatchewan Classrooms
A new province-wide agreement with SMART Technologies, a world leader in classroom technology and makers of the interactive SMART Board, has allowed school divisions to purchase nearly twice as many SMART Learning Suite licenses for teachers. There are now over 6,000 teacher licenses, which will make the SMART Learning Suite software available in approximately half of the classrooms in the province.
“Expanding the use of technology in the classroom helps our students be prepared to enter the 21st Century workforce,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “I would like to thank all of our education sector partners for their collaboration on this agreement that supports student success.”
The agreement provides a negotiated price for SMART Board® Interactive Displays, software and accessories which has also been made available to all First Nations’ schools, independent schools and post-secondary institutions. By leveraging the collective buying power of all learning and library agencies in Saskatchewan, the Ministry of Education was able to realize cost savings of up to 50 per cent on a variety of classroom learning solutions from SMART technologies.
SMART Learning Suite™ software enables engaging instruction to support and address the different ways in which students learn through a variety of media. Teachers can design interactive lessons, provide game-based learning modules and formative assessment. Students collaborate and contribute directly through devices such as phones and tablets and work with other students on joint projects.
“Congratulations to Saskatchewan Schools and the Ministry of Education for leading the way for Canadian schools by implementing an innovative approach to preparing today’s students for tomorrow’s world,” SMART President and Chief Executive Officer Greg Estell said. “We are committed to the partnership and the potential to advance education in Saskatchewan for better learning outcomes.”
“The savings found through this agreement has allowed Northwest School Division to redistribute resources to other priorities, while continuing to provide the technology in classrooms that benefits our students,” Northwest School Division Director of Education Duane Hauk said. “We were very pleased to work with all the partners on this agreement that will benefit the entire education sector.”
Existing licenses were moved over to the new province-wide agreement and given credits for the difference in price. A total of 39 different educational agencies participated in the project, which was coordinated by the Education Sector Purchasing and Service Project Team.