Learning Without Limits: The Impact of SMART amp on STEM

A SMART Customer story with Amy Crandall, M.Ed., Heather Elliott Ed.S., & Elaine Reisenauer, M.S

Teachers and School

Amy Crandall, M.Ed., Media Specialist
Heather Elliott, Ed.S.,
Gifted/STEM Teacher
Elaine Reisenauer, M.S.,
Gifted Liaison and STEM Lead
Marietta Center for Advanced Academics

Challenge

To increase student achievement through full adoption of a new pedagogical strategy.

SMART Solution

SMART amp collaborative software

Result

Increased student achievement and technology adoption in the classroom.

Motivation: A Shift in Pedagogical Strategy

The Marietta Center for Advanced Academics (MCAA) is a STEM magnet academy within Marietta City Schools. in Georgia, U.S.A. The school is a recent recipient of the AdvancED STEM Certification, which provides schools with a framework for assessing the quality, rigor and substance of their STEM educational programs. The certification is international recognition for their commitment to preparing their students for future educational and career opportunities.

MCCA decided to make a major shift in their instructional strategy towards a new, student-centered learning environment. They needed a technology solution that would support more collaboration, and critical problem solving and project-based learning, as well as the professional development to ensure their new pedagogical strategy was successfully adopted.

To meet these goals, they chose to implement SMART amp in the classroom, with a year-long, customized professional development plan.

How the SMART Efficacy and Implementation team Enabled Technology Adoption

Professional Development

Supported by SMART, MCAA’s District Technology Specialist and Media Specialist designed a customized, professional development plan. They conducted monthly training sessions focusing on integrating their curriculum and key standards into the software. They co-taught SMART amp lessons with their teachers until teachers and students were fully comfortable with the software. Additionally, teachers were required to provide regular feedback as to how they were incorporating SMART amp into their lessons.

Enabling 21st Century Skills

Through the development of student-centered lessons, SMART amp shifted the learning focus to the 4Cs. It empowered MCAA’s students to initiate communication and collaboration with other students, critically think about their tasks, and creatively show what they learned. Students displayed a marked preference for using SMART amp in class to demonstrate their learning.

Outcome: Full Technology Adoption and Student Growth

The use of SMART amp as a core component in MCAA’s new science learning environment and curriculum played a key role in helping the school accomplish their strategic teaching and learning goals for 2014/2015. Their customized professional development plan also helped MCAA ensure frequency of use, and guarantee that they could use SMART amp to its fullest power and potential.

MCCA experienced a positive impact on their year-over-year CCRPI science growth results:

  • Progress on Science Content Area Assignment:
    6.3% increase (9.0-point growth) in the count of students meeting “Typical/High Growth”.
  • Achievement on Science Content Mastery:
    7.3% weighted “Performance on Indicator” increase (7.3-point growth) on students scoring “Proficient/Developing Learner” or “Distinguished/Above” levels on their elementary school content mastery indicators.