Your Smartest Friend at School – Case Study

Murrays Bay Intermediate School, Auckland, New Zealand

Young minds are fertile ground for new innovation.  InsightNG founder Neil Movold visited Murrays Bay Intermediate School (MBIS) to see how year 7 students would engage with their own Smartest Friends.

By New Zealand standards, MBIS is a large school with more than 1,100 students across years 7 and 8.  Using InsightNG’s platform and web application, Neil worked with a class of 29 students engaging them in a self-directed, co-creative exploration.


Prompted by a set of photos, the children took a learning journey into the complex topic of the African ivory trade.


Students used Thought Canvases to note new concepts as they learned them, letting their Smartest Friend find and guide them along new avenues of knowledge they hadn’t considered.


When the children compared their canvases, they were surprised to discover that despite working from the same visual prompts, the information and concepts displayed on each canvas differed.


Excited by the possibilities of so many avenues of exploration, the students began collaborating and sharing their findings with each other, adding to their Thought Canvases and expanding their learning journeys.


Absorbed in their task, the children worked together animatedly: even the shy students came out of their shells to chime in with their ideas. The class teacher was amazed at the effective way the students worked together and thrilled with the learning potential and outcomes.

Stronger collaboration and co-creation

Critical Thinking
Deeper exploration of knowledge

Students drive the learning journey

Social and Cultural Skills
Respect cultural differences

One student’s Canvas

This image shows one of the Thought Canvases created by students during the session. Click on the image to enlarge.


Benefits to Students

  • Broader and more engaged collaboration and co-creation of new knowledge and insights
  • Deeper learning and understanding
  • Critical thinking skill development
  • Greater awareness and exploration of the differences in comprehension and thinking amongst the students

Benefits to the Teacher

  • More time spent engaging meaningfully with the students
  • Less time at the front of the class instructing and directing and more time observing student engagement with their individual learning experiences
  • Provided a new, creative way to engage a set of learning objectives with the students


Our session with Murrays Bay Intermediate not only helped students discover new ways to learn: it also allowed us to tweak our platform in ways to make student learning journeys even more intuitive.

Now, when the Smartest Friend sees students are working on similar topics, it can automatically discover knowledge and share it between students, allowing collaboration and exciting learning journeys without the need for prompting from a teacher.

Let’s have a chat

We’d love to speak with students and teachers who would like to explore the potential of our learning platform and Smartest Friend.  Please get in touch to discuss your needs and requirements.