SMART To Launch Online Content Store
SMART Technologies Inc. — Saturday, June 11, 2011
SMART Exchange™ Website To Offer Easy-To-Find, Publisher-Developed Content for Purchase
Washington, DC --- June 8, 2011 --- SMART Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: SMT) (TSX: SMA), a leading provider of collaboration solutions, announces an e-commerce store on the SMART Exchange website (exchange.smarttech.com). The store will provide a repository of content and applications created by education publishers and available for purchase online. Already one of the world's fastest growing online education communities with more than 50,000 digital resources, the SMART Exchange has recorded almost 10 million visits and 52 million page views since the website was launched in September 2009. The addition of a store to the SMART Exchange will add even more content, giving educators greater options for creating engaging lessons. Education publishers are invited to create content for the store, including lesson activities for SMART Notebook™ collaborative learning software, gallery manipulatives for use on the SMART Board™ interactive whiteboard, and content and applications for the SMART Table™ interactive learning center. When visitors to the SMART Exchange website search for relevant content, they will see both free content and subject-related publisher titles that can be previewed and purchased online via the store. Publisher-created content will be accredited by the SMART Software and Content Accreditation Program (SCAP), ensuring that every title is compatible with the SMART Board interactive whiteboard or another SMART hardware product. The store for the SMART Exchange will be available in the United States and Canada in the spring of 2012, with planned expansion to other countries. Publishers interested in developing content for the store can find more information by visiting the SMART Ecosystem Network (smarttech.com/ecosystem).
The announcement of the store on the SMART Exchange website coincides with SMART's support of and participation in a global standards initiative that will make it easier to find educational content on the Web. The Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) and Creative Commons (CC) have announced a partnership to improve search results through the creation of a metadata framework specifically for learning resources. The work is being underwritten with grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This represents the first industry-specific initiative since major search vendors Google™ (NASDAQ:GOOG), Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Microsoft® (NASDAQ:MSFT) Bing™ recently announced Schema.org, a site that provides a collection of schemas, or html tags, that webmasters can use to mark up web pages in ways that are recognized by major search providers, enabling a faster and richer search experience. A number of education content providers, including SMART, have agreed to support the implementation and contribute to the development of specifications.
"The SMART Exchange website hosts millions of educators each year who are searching for high-quality lesson activities, digital content and resources," says Linda Thomas, Vice President, Products, SMART. "The combination of the Internet search initiative and the expansion of the SMART Exchange to include a store that will host publisher-created content and free resources will make it even easier for educators to find relevant content that will help them create and deliver engaging, interactive lessons."
SMART Technologies Inc. is a leading provider of collaboration solutions that transform the way the world works and learns. We believe that collaboration and interaction should be easy. As the global leader in interactive whiteboards, we bring more than two decades of collaboration research and development to a broad range of easy-to-use, integrated solutions that free people from their desks and computer screens, so collaborating and learning with digital resources are more natural.
Contact:mLaurie Long, Senior Public Relations Specialist, SMART Technologies Inc., +1.403.407.5085, LaurieLong@smarttech.com