Simple but extraordinary
By Cordelia Nkosi
It is 07h45 on Tuesday and getting off the bus in front of SMART’s headquarters just seems like too much effort. My entire mind is ready for the exciting day ahead of me at the SMART Exemplary Educator (SEE) Summit but my jet-lagged body is not in correspondence. As more and more SEEs are getting off the bus I can’t help wondering if SMART Sync classroom management software works for human bodies as well. All of a sudden I remember that we have a Content Creation Seminar with Heather Lamb, SMART’s Education Consultant, and I think very few things can get a jet-lagged SEE going quite like the prospect of a workshop with Heather!
Being the second day of the SEE Summit, I am beginning to recognise certain things. The first thing is the entrance to the SMART building (yes I finally made it to the door). As you enter the building there is a very strong breeze that takes your breath away, which I think is very appropriate. I must check with the other SEE’s if the same thing happens to them, it could very well be just me.
Heather began a presentation with a wonderful discussion about the need for meaningful content with an important reminder that simple sometimes is best…I took a look at SMART’s slogan and it is made up of three words, one of which is simple – Extraordinary made simple. As much as I had enjoyed learning about the new features of SMART Notebook 11 collaborative learning software, Heather’s presentation put these new features into practice. She had said at the start of her presentation that she might not teach us something that we don’t already know, but I learned so much. I use most of the features she highlighted but not quite to the level shown in her lessons.
In anticipation to learning something new and stepping out of my comfort zone, I brought with me an English lesson – yes English. I had developed the lesson based on texting and its impact on formal language. I knew this lesson needed a lot of tweaking but I didn’t imagine that with the help from Heather I would leave SMART headquarters with a brand new lesson. INTERACTIVITY was the word of the day, my lesson was designed for eleventh-graders who don’t always think it is cool to come to the front of the class but in being introduced to SMART Response interactive response system, I could see the need for it in my classroom and where I could use it in this lesson.
I was lucky to team up with Katarzyna Rasiewicz, a SEE from Poland. She too, had an English lesson to improve and together we bounced ideas off each other and learned a lot from each other. During this time, I found out she too shares a common interest – Walmart – and later that day we would go exploring and get home at 22h00 after a 5 hour shopping trip.
The afternoon activity was a REAL treat. That blowing wind at the main entrance seemed to be at the entrance of each and every room in SMART’s Executive Briefing Centre. The Executive Briefing Centre was like the Walmart of the headquarters. All the new, the improved and the out of this world are housed behind the walls of the Briefing Centre. It was a great way to end the day. I have always been under the impression that SMART offers products that are geared towards education but I learned that there are products for business as well.
The afternoon section has me really excited about my getting back home and sharing my experience. There are so many great things that we can expect from SMART…many of them very simple but ALL of them extraordinary.
About the author
At the age of 23, just six months ago Cordelia Nkosi completed her teaching degree at the University of South Africa and is now teaching Maths and Mathematical literacy at St. Andrews School for Girls in Bedforview, SA.
Nkosi is a SMART Exemplary Educator and she was shortlisted for the prestigious Young 200 South African Achievers Award in 2012. To learn more about Nkosi, watch this video that she created as part of her submission to attend annual SMART Exemplary Educator Summit. It’s quite entertaining and not to be missed!