New Brunswick city boosts local economy with SMART products
CALGARY, Alberta – June 1, 2010 – SMART Technologies announces that the city of Miramichi, New Brunswick, has been recognized as a SMART Showcase Community. Since Miramichi organizations began introducing SMART products to the community in November 2008, local businesses, government and nonprofit organizations have witnessed increased customer engagement and interest. Using SMART Notebook™ collaborative learning software, Adobe® Flash® templates, graphics and other multimedia, local youth designed presentations and games for area organizations to use with their SMART Board™ interactive whiteboards. In the summer of 2009, during a time of economic recession, the Miramichi River Tourism Association (MRTA), which represents 100 area businesses and nonprofit organizations, purchased 10 SMART Board interactive whiteboards and several licenses of SMART Bridgit™ conferencing software. With the help of local summer students, MRTA implemented a pilot program to explore how collaborative technology could be used to encourage tourists to visit the Miramichi area and vacation there for longer periods. Using SMART Notebook software presentations to inform and engage customers and tourists has proven valuable for several Miramichi businesses. Through the effective use of SMART products and the creativity of local young people, Miramichi businesses are successfully reaching their customers in new ways.
Driving the adoption of SMART products in the wider community is Miramichi School District 16 (SD16), which became a SMART Showcase District in 2007. SMART Showcase Schools and Districts are recognized for their effective use of SMART education solutions to create extraordinary learning environments. More than 100 are located throughout the United States and Canada, with international Showcase Schools in Switzerland and the United Kingdom. A group of SD16 students were the first to suggest that Miramichi organizations begin using SMART products. Following the introduction of SMART products, staff at the Atlantic Salmon Museum found that using SMART Notebook software presentations, which included interactive content and videos, increased their visitor numbers by 2–5 percent. When staff at the Rodd Miramichi River Hotel saw how quickly and effectively the SMART Board interactive whiteboard captured the attention of guests, they began using SMART Notebook software presentations to inform visitors of nearby amenities, events and tourist attractions. Members of the MRTA, including the Atlantic Salmon Museum and the Rodd Miramichi River Hotel, also use the interactive whiteboard to promote the MRTA website. The MRTA attributes a significant increase in website traffic to local organizations sharing website access and information via the SMART Board interactive whiteboard.
“The SMART Board is simply wonderful – it encourages area students to be creative and benefits local organizations at the same time,” says Linda Gaston, Executive Director of the Atlantic Salmon Museum. “We use the SMART Board all the time, and it‘s our goal to reach out to all members of the MRTA and show them the advantages of using the interactive whiteboard.”
“We are pleased to designate Miramichi, New Brunswick, as a SMART Showcase Community,” says Nancy Knowlton, SMART’s CEO. “The success of local businesses is a testament to the ingenuity of Miramichi School District 16 students and demonstrates the practical applications and versatility of using SMART products beyond the classroom.”
About Miramichi School District 16
Miramichi School District 16 is located in east central New Brunswick. SD16 is made up of 21 schools and 3 alternate sites. It is comprised of approximately 7,000 anglophone students who live in rural and small urban areas, as well as 600 First Nations students from 6 communities, representing the highest enrollment in the province. Nine schools in the district offer French immersion programs to approximately 1,100 students from grades 3 to 12. Approximately 436 teachers are employed in the district.
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