My 2012 SEE Summit Experience
By Julie Kuzma
The SMART Exemplary Educator (SEE Summit) is now over for another year and I’m amazed at all I have learned. Between the sessions led by fellow educators, trainers and SMART employees, I am bringing back to my schools a wealth of knowledge. Some of the sessions have left me much to ponder regarding the extensive ability of each of the products while others have allowed me to add to my ‘bag of tricks.’ I now have a large set of activities for the SMART board interactive whiteboard that I didn’t have before.
All of those items have been great and will benefit me, but when I think about that week at the Summit, I will think more about the connections I have made. The friendships didn’t begin the first day of the Summit, but they began the day we all found out we were selected: the amazing email that said “Congratulations! You have been selected to attend the 2012 SEE Summit!” Shortly after that we were invited to add to a forum where we introduced ourselves. And then it began…people found others within close proximity, similar jobs and interests. For the next three months this continued through forums, emails, tweets and Facebook posts.
The day arrived that we all met. Luckily for me it began at the Chicago O’Hare airport where I met six other SEEs. Three hours later we are at Hotel Alma meeting more and more people. Conversations and laughter emerged through night one.
During the rest of the week, I would often find small groups of Summiteers sharing how they use different SMART products, integrating technology within their lessons, and how they constantly bring, and renew, their love of technology with their colleagues. During the sessions, twitter was constantly filled with tweets of ideas, favorite features and websites links. What surprised me most was that the tweets were not only from the 51 Summit attendees, but also from past attendees, the EMEA SEE Summit attendees whose event occurred the week before and those that would have given anything to attend the Summit. Communication was constant and global in every sense of the word.
In a few hours I will be leaving the hotel with my new friends, which I am lucky enough to have on both of my flights! No goodbyes will be said…instead a “see you on Facebook or Twitter…” See the best part of this Summit is not an overwhelmingly great conference that lasted a week, but a springboard that has launched a personal learning network that has increased more than I have imagined. See you virtually soon!
About the author
Julie Kuzma has been an educator for 15 years, teaching grades first, third, fourth and fifth grade in southern Florida and northeast Virginia. Currently she’s an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher in Fauquier County, Virginia at C. Hunter Ritchie and Greenville Elementary Schools.
Kuzma has been a SMART Exemplary Educator (SEE) for the past year and has just returned from the 2012 SEE Summit in Calgary Canada. She has presented SMART software at county and regional conferences, and she’s the creator of the Kuzma Kronikle, (jkuzma.edublogs.org) which lists free sites for technology integration and how to use them in the classroom.