Retail price: Elementary (4th or 5th grade) Stick, $249; Middle School (6th, 7th, or 8th grade) Stick, $495.
By MaryAnn Karre
The Ignite! Stick—Made for SMART is a grade-level digitalcontent solution, correlated to state standards and based on subject matter, that provides custom lesson building, assessments, and interactive materials for fourth through eighth grades in math, science, and social studies.
Quality and Effectiveness: About 3,500 media pieces provide brief digital lessons combining music, interactive media, critical-thinking activities, and more across the three core content areas. The audio clips, humorous interactive presentations, videos, and quizzes can quickly and easily be embedded in SMART Notebook lessons to stand alone or be added to existing lessons.
Ease of Use: As simple to use as a USB drive, the Stick requires no installation. Even teachers who are not comfortable with technology will find it easy, even exciting. Lessons can be searched by state standard, or via an index of key terms, or by drilling down through units of study in each subject area. Appropriate lesson materials display in related groups and can be saved in the “saved lessons” area of the search screen. Handy buttons provide access to a wholescreen quiz, which can be administered with or without SMART Response clickers; a timer; a glossary of terms; teacher guides and printable tests in PDF format; and a fun interactive money game.
Creative Use of Technology: A teacher can effortlessly find something of interest to introduce or reinforce a topic with, click the Notebook icon, and insert the Flash video object in SMART Notebook. Without leaving the lesson, she can use the questions to spark discussion or check for understanding, and address problem areas in related material.
Suitability for Use in a School Environment: The Ignite! Stick—Made for SMART will boost the teaching power of any lesson but is especially effective in classrooms with SMART Boards and SMART Response systems.
Ignite! Is a great name for this compact and easy-to-use tool, since it adds a spark to SMART Board lessons. The Stick makes it simple to engage learners and check for understanding seamlessly with SMART products.
¦ Objects for the SMART Board are easily located by subject or state standard and are a snap to embed in SMART Notebook presentations.
¦ The videos, music, graphics, and entertaining presentations engage and motivate hard-to-reach students, no matter what their learning style.
¦ By embedding four or five relevant questions in each Ignite! media piece, teachers can assess learning as the lesson progresses and add similar and reinforcing lessons as needed.