Engaging Harkins Middle School Students in Research

Posted: March 26, 2009

Miss Barrieau’s grade 6 classroom at Harkins Middle School will be the setting of a SMART Learning Environments Initiative this spring.  It is one of five classrooms in the country chosen by the Canadian company SMART Technologies, maker of the inter-active white board, SMARTBoard, to take part in the study.  The purpose of this undertaking is to investigate how SMART products support whole class interactive teaching, cooperative group work and individual learning.  Miss Barrieau feels that this is a unique opportunity for students to share ideas and benefit from what is expected to be effective teaching and learning experiences:  “The modern world is in a constant state of change.  I want our students to be comfortable using the tools necessary to prepare them for our fast-paced world.  Plus, being in the ‘I-generation’, school is appealing to students when interactive media is at their fingertips.  This project will give students more opportunities to learn their way.”     For the study, SMART has provided each of the chosen classrooms with such products as:  SMART USB bracelets (30 to use and share in-class), one Airliner wireless slate, a SMART Document Camera and software.  In return, teachers and students will share their experiences of using the products through video, blogs, surveys and then prepare a final research paper.   “I am very excited to have this opportunity,” says Miss Barrieau. “I am looking forward to some worthy, educational experiences that should result.”  To see photos of the class visit http://www.district16.nbed.nb.ca/gallery/smart-learning-environment-rese... .