More than 250,000 classrooms now equipped with SMART Board interactive whiteboards


SMART's accelerating installed base more than any other interactive whiteboard manufacturer in the world

CALGARY, Alberta --- January 5, 2006 --- SMART Technologies Inc. announces that more than 250,000 classrooms worldwide are now equipped with SMART Board(TM) interactive whiteboards, a milestone that reinforces the company's position as the world leader in the interactive whiteboard market segment. This marks a significant 100,000-unit (67 percent) increase in classroom installations since January 2005, making the award-winning SMART Board interactive whiteboard the most widely installed interactive whiteboard in the world. Education authorities around the globe, including those in the UK, the U.S. and Australia, are adopting interactive whiteboards to improve student learning in schools and develop skills that are vitally important for a 21st-century global workforce. Many school jurisdictions have standardized on SMART Board interactive whiteboards because they enhance teacher productivity and improve student learning outcomes. More than 7.35 million students worldwide are actively learning with SMART products in classrooms spanning every Local Authority in the UK, every U.S. state and more than 75 countries.

Extensive research and case study observations from the UK, the US and Australia prove that interactive whiteboards increase student engagement and motivation, support a variety of learning styles (including those of special needs students), enhance student retention and improve teacher productivity. SMART plays a leadership role by supporting research initiatives on interactive whiteboards, such as studies conducted by the Georgia Institute of Technology in the U.S. and Simon Fraser University in Canada. The company also supports international research and pilot projects in the Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Hong Kong and China among others.

"The very first SMART Board interactive whiteboards were sold to educators back in 1991, and SMART has a long history of working with educators to develop its products. We continue to lead the industry with innovative and intuitive SMART products in response to teachers' needs", says Nancy Knowlton, SMART's president and co-CEO. "With more than 250,000 classrooms already equipped with SMART Board interactive whiteboards, we are poised to make interactive whiteboards a classroom standard around the world."

SMART's commitment to education

In 1991, SMART shipped the world's first interactive whiteboard - the SMART Board interactive whiteboard. As of January 2006, SMART has shipped more than 375,000 SMART Board interactive whiteboards for classrooms, boardrooms and briefing rooms in more than 75 countries worldwide. SMART has been a strong supporter of education around the world, with millions of dollars of product donated to education institutions and teachers directly from SMART, through the SMARTer Kids Foundation of Canada (of which SMART is the founding and funding partner) and through various other initiatives including the Intel(R) Teach to the Future and 21st-Century Schools of Distinction Awards programs. As a measure of product excellence, SMART Board interactive whiteboards continue to win prestigious industry awards and accolades, including the 2005 BETT Award for Best Secondary Hardware, 2004 Worlddidac Award, 2003 Comenius Medal, 2003 Technology & Learning Award of Excellence and 2004 Legacy Award, 2005 eSchool News Readers' Choice Awards - Best Interactive Whiteboard, and the 2004 Association of Educational Publishers Distinguished Achievement Award.

Selected examples of SMART installations around the world

United Kingdom

As a result of a £50 million funding initiative from the Department for Education and Skills over the past two years, schools in every Local Authority (LA) in England, Scotland and Wales use SMART Board interactive whiteboards. Of the 208 LAs, 138 have more than 100 SMART Board interactive whiteboards installed in schools in their area (as of November 2005). DTC Worldwide, an independent research firm, reported that SMART had a 55 percent market segment share in the third quarter of 2005. DTC has reported SMART as the UK market segment leader in every quarter since it began publishing its interactive whiteboard market report in 2001.

United States

SMART Board interactive whiteboards are installed in schools in every US state, in each of the 25 largest school districts and in the majority of the top 500 school districts. SMART customers include many of the nation's largest districts, such as the New York City Board of Education (New York), Los Angeles Unified School District (California) and Fairfax County Public Schools (Virginia). Examples of district-wide standardizations include Bellevue School District (Washington) - 900 units, Lexington County School District One (South Carolina) - 600 units and Clarke County School District (Georgia) - 800 units, over the next three years.

"We've seen the positive instructional impact SMART Board interactive whiteboards have had on each and every student. Lesson delivery has improved, students participate more in class and everyone is excited about learning", says Jack McLeod, director of Bellevue School District's facilities and information services. "Our Web-based curriculum also necessitates digital delivery in the classroom and easy-to-use software for teachers, so we equipped not only every school with SMART Board interactive whiteboards, but every classroom."

"It's remarkable to look back and see how teachers and students have embraced the SMART Board interactive whiteboard in the classroom. There's been steady growth since we piloted the first unit five years ago, and there is no sign of stopping", says David Koritko, chairman of technology and a science teacher at Fairfax County Public Schools. "Teachers have told me that the SMART Board interactive whiteboard has enhanced the way they deliver lessons - and now they can't live without it."

Mexico

As part of Mexico's strong commitment to providing children with a 21st-century education, the Mexican government has launched Enciclomedia, a high-tech initiative to equip grade five and six classrooms across the country with a suite of technology tools that includes tens of thousands of SMART Board interactive whiteboards from late 2004 until mid-2006.

Puerto Rico

The Puerto Rico Department of Education has standardised on SMART Board interactive whiteboards - with more than 100 participating sites and 1,640 teachers nationwide. The installation is part of the Distance Learning Satellite Network, which is a high-tech pilot project to improve K-12 education throughout the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

"School personnel prefer the SMART Board product because it is easier to use and offers more features valuable to classroom learning. Our teachers have responded well to the technology training and many have requested SMART Board interactive whiteboards for their own classrooms", says Luis Sepúlveda of the División de Innovaciones y Tecnología Educativa, Puerto Rico Department of Education. "The inclusion of SMART Board interactive whiteboards in our national education project has definitely increased learning possibilities for Puerto Rican schools."

Spain

Four hundred SMART Board interactive whiteboards are being installed in primary and secondary schools across Spain by Red.es, the telecommunications and information technology agency of Spain's Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce. The widespread installation of SMART products is part of "Internet in the Classroom", a programme promoted by the Spanish government to encourage the use of technology in education by students, teachers and their families and to make technology an integral part of teaching and learning in Spain.

Australia

SMART Board interactive whiteboards are being rapidly adopted with sales to schools in virtually every region of the country. This includes such places as the remote parts of the outback, the extreme far north of Queensland, the mining regions of Western Australia as well as in all metropolitan areas. Although adoption of interactive whiteboards was initially focused in the primary school sector, a rapidly increasing number of secondary-level schools are purchasing and implementing SMART Board interactive whiteboards. In addition to the primary/secondary classroom, SMART Board interactive whiteboards are being used in a growing number of schools with special needs students, in higher education/university faculties and in distance education.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has the highest ratio of interactive whiteboards per school in any state or territory in Australia. South Australia and Victoria are close behind because, like ACT, they have received strong support from their respective Departments of Education for widespread implementation of interactive whiteboards in classrooms.

Studies on the effectiveness of SMART Board interactive whiteboards in the classroom are currently being conducted by the University of Wollongong/Gordon Primary School, Education Queensland/Central Queensland University/University of Sunshine Coast, Sydney Catholic Education Office, the University of Technology Sydney/New South Wales Department of Education and the Victoria Department of Education.

Germany

Through a technology initiative from the education authority in Hamburg, Germany, and the Hamburg teacher institute (LI Hamburg), SMART Board interactive whiteboards have recently been installed in more than 20 schools in Hamburg. All participating schools send their teachers to workshops at LI Hamburg to learn how to integrate the SMART Board interactive whiteboard into their lessons. At least two SMART Board interactive whiteboards have been installed per school to encourage collaboration and informal training among teachers.

"The SMART Board interactive whiteboard is an excellent tool for classroom learning", says Michael Weißer, project leader at LI Hamburg. "We have a focus on providing winning concepts for modern schools, and this project demonstrates how easy the integration of great education technology can be."

About SMART

SMART Technologies Inc. is both the industry pioneer and global market leader in easy-to-use interactive whiteboards and other group collaboration tools. The award-winning SMART Board interactive whiteboard is the most widely installed product of its kind in the world. Many school jurisdictions have standardised on SMART Board interactive whiteboards, which provide interactive learning opportunities and enhance student achievement in more than 250,000 classrooms spanning every Local Authority in the UK, every US state and more than 75 countries. More than 7.35 million students worldwide are actively learning with SMART Board interactive whiteboards in the classroom.

SMART's education customers include New York City Board of Education (US), Oxford University (UK), Tokyo Nampei Senior High School (Japan), Barnier Public School (Australia), University of Ottawa (Canada), United World College (Singapore), Stephen-Hawking-Schule Neckargemuend (Germany), Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind (US) and Harvard University (US).

SMART is a private company founded in 1987. Employing more than 700 people, SMART is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, with assembly facilities in Ottawa and Calgary, and offices in Bonn, Tokyo, New York City and Washington DC. SMART has been issued and maintains a broad portfolio of patents with numerous other US, Canadian and foreign patents pending. In 1992, SMART formed a strategic alliance with Intel Corporation that resulted in joint product development and marketing efforts, and Intel's equity ownership in SMART. SMART products are sold through resellers across North America and distributors worldwide. For more information, visit www.smarttech.com.

For more information:

Michelle Maingat
Public Relations Specialist
SMART Technologies Inc.
1207 - 11th Avenue SW, Suite 300
Calgary, AB T3C 0M5
CANADA
Phone +1.403.802.2595 Fax +1.403.228.2500
michellemaingat@smarttech.com
www.smarttech.com

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