Global SMART Exemplary Educators Summit


So back in March I posted about applying for SMART’s 2014 educators’ summit. Big news, I was accepted! And now here it is Thursday afternoon of the summit. What is there to say… yes, this is an all expenses paid trip; yes, there is tons of swag; yes, we have sessions to see what is in store for the future (and an NDA keeps me from telling you what we previewed) but I want to focus on the best part of my entire experience. SMART is a company which creates software and hardware which provides interactive and collaborative experiences, but what I learned this week: they don’t just sell this, they practice this. They truly want to hear feedback, what works, what doesn’t, what can they add, etc. Not only were we in rooms talking with Directors, V.P.s, and even the President, but the designers, programs, etc. were in the room taking notes. Some of the attendees were able to participate in a hackathon, where they presented an issue(s) and then as a group, over a two day period, they would create a solution(s). SMART’s Summit provided me an opportunity to truly collaborate with educators and others who are genuinely interested not just invested (for monetary reasons) in the instructional opportunities of our students. The best example of this collaboration happened Tuesday night. The weekly #SMARTee chat was happening virtually and in-person. The chat was evolving into a fantastic discussion on how education can move forward, regardless of location. Global (or as we termed it Glocal [Global + Local]) educational systems each face some of the same problems. One of the questions posed to the group was what would you change about your educational environment. Some people mentioned space, time, I said patience, but one educator mentioned access. They do not have wifi access. So as a collaboration, SMART is going to provide them the access they need. This is a company that listens to their customers to make educational opportunities available and possible. Thank you SMART for allowing myself as well as my 75 other fantastic Glocal Educators the opportunity to gather and create/share.

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