Smart Choice to Attend the SMART Academy
By Susan Blakely
Today was absolutely fascinating! The SMART Academy was so impressive. Everyone with SMART was very professional and informative. The Academy attendees walked away mesmerized and filled with knowledge about SMART Notebook collaborative learning software. They also were informed about the SMART Exemplary Educator (SEE) program, the SMART Showcase Schools program, SMART Training, and we all got a sneak a peek at SMART Notebook 11 software, which is so close to launching!
We reported promptly to the SMART Academy at 7:30 am ready to help. Everyone from SMART was already there ready to go (talk about totally prepared). The SMART Academy actually got under way at 9:00 am, but attendees started to arrive after 8:00 am. They were treated to coffee and scrumptious breakfast items as they waited for everything to start.
SMART passed out USB drives which coordinated with the training. I thought it was really great marketing and support for the teachers to take the physical knowledge back home with them (plus the USB drives had SMART written on them – great advertising!).
The SEEs were there to encourage and help the attendees. We wandered around the tables and crowds looking for those desperate looking faces from “newbie’s” to SMART products. The participants came with all levels of knowledge, from “Yah, I already know this”, to “Tell me again, how do I load the software?”
I was really surprised to see so many teachers from my own school district in El Paso who attended the Academy. I recognized some familiar faces, but met a lot of math teachers whom I did not know. We handed out emails, and are looking forward to collaborating when we get home.
During the last hour, it was great to see how involved everyone was in creating their own game versions. Some really neat things were shared and the attendees were encouraged to load their presentations to the SMART exchange website.
I am a”rookie” at this Academy. Stacie and Renee, the other two SEEs here with me (seen in the photo to the right), are pros – been there done that before. In fact, they are even doing their own presentations….maybe someday I will have the privilege as well.
The very best part of the entire academy were the hugs and thank yous we received from the attendees – warm fuzzes to take home and remember.
About the Author
Susan Blakely is a SMART Exemplary Educator in El Paso, TX. She has been an educator for 24 years. For 18 years, Blakely was dedicated to homeschooling her three children. After they headed off to college, she became certified to teach high school mathematics. She has been teaching algebra and geometry for the past six years at Coronado High School. She is very active on her campus with promoting and teaching her colleges how to use the SMART board interactive whiteboard effectively in their classrooms.
Susan was awarded first place in her district “SMART Idol” Contest. Her campus was awarded $5000 for professional development or technology equipment. This allowed four of their freshman teachers have SMART Response XE interactive response systems in their math classrooms!
Her current goal is to learn how to create flash animation pages to enhance the SMART tool kit with math oriented interactive pages. Check out some of her math content creations in the SMART Exchange website.