One SMART chick reporting from the SEE Summit
By Renee Fruge
Howdy from beautiful Calgary, Alberta, Canada! Yesterday was the first day of the 2012 SMART Exemplary Educator (SEE) Summit and I have one word for it….. WOW! SMART never ceases to amaze me and today was no different. Our day started with Tom Hodson, Interim President and CEO of SMART, speaking to us about SMART’s vision. What amazed me? He wanted to know what we thought about SMART Notebook 11 collaborative learning software, the implementation of iPad into the classroom and any other aspect of SMART or education that we wanted to talk about. How often does the BOSS want to know what you think? He was so interested in everything we had to say, it was refreshing to know that what we had to say will, in a small part, drive the future of SMART! How cool is that! Thank you Mr. Hodson!
Next, David Lapides, Director of Product Management, spoke to us about SMART in education and, once again, began asking US questions. We discussed how SMART affects our classroom today, as well as how SMART will be a part of the classroom of the future. He challenged me to think outside of the box concerning what I believe is possible in the future for education, and how SMART is going to be more innovative than ever. We also heard from the Product Manager of SMART Notebook software, Steve Schoen, and again, it was a great discussion of all things NOTEBOOK 11! He made it very clear that SMART wanted to know what we think about the latest version, and we told him! I am excited about SMART’s vision for education; it has unlimited possibilities! As I expected, SMART will be leading the way into the future! Thank you David and Steve!
Last, we heard from Neil Smith, Product Marketing Manager, on what the ‘classroom of the future’ might look like. We were given the challenge to design an ideal classroom. There were eight groups all around the room collaborating on the design and function of these “perfect” learning environments (the new word for classroom). As I looked around the room, I realized that this was what the classroom of the future will look like! Everyone was engaged in the activity, sharing their ideas, and creating a product to share with their peers. Some groups had iPad, laptops, or a SMART Board interactive whiteboard, and some had all three. Some groups used information and pictures from websites and one group even had a video from YouTube! Another group used a website they learned from an earlier presentation to get information for their project. Yes, prior knowledge! Afterwards, each group presented their project and each one was unique, yet amazing! Any teacher would call that a successful lesson! Thank you Neil!
Yes, yesterday was great! However, I know today will be another day filled with learning and excitement and I cannot wait! Today I am very happy that I am a SMART Exemplary Educator!
One SMART Chick
About the author
Renee Fruge has been an educator for eight years, teaching fourth-grade, special education, and currently teaching second-grade at Evangeline Parish School District in Basile, LA.
Fruge has been a SMART Exemplary Educator (SEE) for the past four years and has attended the SEE Summit at the SMART Headquarters in Calgary, Canada, the last 2 years. She is also a technology instructor and has presented SMART Content sessions at the district, state and national level. Fruge has also successfully written several grants for education technology and other products and is currently a grant writing mentor for her district.