Bringing subjects to life to inspire active learning

A SMART customer story with West Point School, France

Teachers and school

Catherine Chabrier, General Director
West Point
Lyon, France

SMART solution

SMART Board® MX series

Located in the heart of the city of Lyon, West Point is a bilingual school where students spend half their time learning in English and half their time learning in French. Twenty-three teachers instruct 400 students at the primary level, and about 20% of the pupils are international students.

Expanding pedagogical possibilities

The school decided to explore putting EdTech in the classroom because they wanted to improve upon their teaching techniques and explore digital pedagogical possibilities, as well as motivate students by making learning more interactive. The school also wanted to keep pace with a generation of students comfortable using digital tools in every aspect of their lives.

Building confidence by experimenting without students

The challenge for Senselink, the local reseller, was getting teachers who were resistant to change comfortable using the SMART Board® interactive display and Lumio software by SMART. Senselink’s goal was to encourage a progressive and natural adoption of the solution in the daily pedagogy of the school.

After Senselink installed the first SMART Board, teachers were encouraged to experiment with the interactive display and Lumio during break times. Teachers could try out features and integration with the iPad without worrying about performing or making mistakes in front of their students.

“By using their traditional media such as PDF files, videos, JPEG images, PowerPoint®, and web pages, the teachers noticed the way in which the SMART Board allowed them to enrich, diversify, and animate the educational sequences,” says Ulrich Makosso of Senselink.

In Lumio, it’s possible to write directly on top of existing content, such as in a PDF, as well as highlight specific passages.

Senselink organised three follow-up pedagogical sessions over the course of the school year, during which they were able to address any questions or issues that arose among the teaching staff, and ensure a continuous increase in competency among the teachers.

“What really made us make the final decision to choose SMART was the hands-on training offered after the installation,” says Catherine Chabrier, West Point’s General Director.

Moving beyond traditional learning

Easily moving between tasks and accessing web-based resources without stepping away from Lumio or the SMART Board – or switching to another digital program – has changed the way West Point teachers run their lessons.

“I can no longer see myself going back to a traditional method of teaching,” Catherine says. “We have extensive and diverse resources and references that are available immediately.”

In the past, teachers would have to independently research answers to questions their students asked, often after class had ended. But they can now find the answer immediately, creating a more active learning environment.

“It’s more active because there’s constant interaction between the teacher and the students. They’ve got a closer connection,” she says. “Students have become more attentive in class as well as on task. They are participating more and becoming active learners because they ask more questions that we can easily find the answer to.”

A multimedia lesson, with no break in learning

“The seamless way teachers could augment lessons without breaking flow became evident during a history class”, a West Point teacher says. During the lesson about the Middle Ages, the students weren’t grasping the concept of how weapons could be made without machines. Instantly, the teacher was able to find and play a three-minute video on sword-making.

“The students were able to understand the concept that could have taken much longer without the SMART Board and would have remained abstract had we used a traditional method,” the teacher says. “The learning environment in class is positive as the SMART Board brings many subjects to life giving students a thirst to want to see and learn more.”

The school has agreed to continue installing SMART solutions in the years to come until each year group is fully equipped. Teachers have removed all blackboards from their classrooms and have committed to teaching with SMART Board interactive displays and Lumio.

It has become unthinkable to teach without a SMART Board, says Catherine.