CALGARY, Alberta, Aug. 16, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A 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. The study was conducted by Filigree Consulting, an independent consulting firm specializing in technology research, on behalf of SMART Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq:SMT) (TSX:SMA), a leading provider of collaboration solutions. 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. 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
Based on the survey, an assessment tool has been created allowing teachers and administrators to determine the value derived from their instructional technology and key areas to work on in order to move to the next level of maturity. The assessment tool consists of an online survey that can be taken by any member of an organization. The survey will then produce comparative results based on education best practices and offer recommendations on how to implement further initiatives to achieve better outcomes and reach a higher level of maturity related to technology investments. 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. The SMART Technologies logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7573 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. © 2012 SMART Technologies. Freestorm, smarttech and the SMART logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of SMART Technologies in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other third-party company names and products are for identification purposes only and may be trademarks of their respective owners.