Leading Classroom Technology Firm Joins NEA, Center for Teaching & Learning, to Improve Math and Science Education
Coalition Will Result in Improved Student Math and Science Outcomes
WASHINGTON - June 10, 2013 -
SMART Technologies, the global education technology firm that made SMART Board® interactive whiteboards and SMART Response™ interactive response systems classroom standards, has teamed up with the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional employee organization, to support the work of the nonprofit Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). The joint effort aims to improve mathematics and science learning through an innovative approach to teaching and learning.
SMART, the classroom technology pioneer, will support the growth of CTL’s Progressive Science Initiative (PSI) and Progressive Mathematics Initiatives (PMI) by offering SMART products at reduced prices to schools that have adopted PSI and PMI. Both organizations believe this initiative will improve student learning of mathematics and science.
“For more than 22 years, SMART has supported educators and students by providing innovative products, resources and services,” said Greg Estell, President, Education for SMART Technologies. “This partnership with the Center for Teaching and Learning and the National Education Association is a natural fit and helps us advance our mission of bringing inspired collaboration into education setting around the world.”
PSI and PMI rely on courseware that is delivered to the classroom by way of an interactive whiteboard. Materials can also be delivered to personal electronic devices, or printed out for off-campus uses. Courseware contains instructional presentations, homework, labs, and student assessments.
CTL’s alignment with SMART, according to Dr. Robert Goodman, CTL executive director, will enable the nonprofit to pan out to even more districts nationwide.
“PSI and PMI are growing rapidly and having SMART Technologies as a partner will take us to the next level,” he said.
Currently, PSI and PMI are used in the United States, The Gambia, and Argentina, with specific partnerships with CTL to train teachers and implement the programs. These partnerships include 157 schools, but many other schools are implementing PSI-PMI on their own using free open-source resources posted at www.njctl.org.
“There is a clear understanding that our nation’s prosperity is tied to innovation and that innovation will be spurred by our ability to engage students in STEM subjects and programs,” said NEA President Dennis Van Roekel. “Jobs in STEM-related fields are being added to the economy every day. We need to meet this growing demand by educating a highly-skilled and competitive workforce.
“The talent, experience and drive that SMART and CTL exhibit will certainly help us meet that goal,” Van Roekel added.
This partnership, Goodman added, will also support PSI’s approach to addressing the shortage of science teachers; using PSI, CTL is creating three times as many new physics teachers in New Jersey as are all the combined colleges and universities in the state.
“CTL believes that access to effective STEM education is necessary both to achieve social justice for individuals and global competitiveness for our country,” he said. “We look forward to partnering with our friends at SMART and NEA to achieve this.”
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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.
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