vrijdag 24 juli 2015

Naturally Accomplish

This day starts with the demoing from the outcome of the hackathon from last Tuesday. Each group needed to present their final thing and most of them were amazing! All was total NDA, so we cant' tweet, blog or post anything about it on the internet. We even couldn't take pictures of the new SMART ideas. My group didn't won the hackathon prize, but I think that it was still the coolest Notebook LAB thing ever. It was entitled 'Dino Team Quiz' and that's all I can share. ;)

After a few hours of presentations of possibly new stuff in Notebook, amp etc. we went back to SAIT Polytechnic for a presentation about Free The Children. An Educational partner in moving the world from “me to we”. Check out this site if you want to get involved. A program that I am really axious to include in my 'global citizenship' classes.

Tomorrow up for a ride in a big truck to the Canadian Rockies.

donderdag 23 juli 2015

Naturally Celebrate

This day was at prior summits the last day, but fortunately we have one more day to go! I had the honor to do the ice-breaker activity and did prepare a SMART Response quiz and a Kahoot. The SMART Response Quiz was an app logo quiz with edtech apps and the Kahoot was flags of countries from people that were at this summit. I brought a few prizes with me such as pins, flash drives, a mug etc.

With Yahir
Today we needed to think about the start of a new global collaboration project with another SEE and of course the use of SMART amp, especially now we can share workspaces with others outside the domain. I hooked up with Yahir from Mexico who is teaching computer science to 7th graders and I want them to collaborate with my 7th or 8th graders. More to follow.

During the fireside chat we got the chance to ask Greg Estell and Warren Barkley questions concerning education, SMART Technologies, the roadmap etc. That was nice and one quote I can recall from Greg was "How old is the technology in your pocket compared to the technology you use in the class room?" and this sums up the gap between teachers reluctant to use that technology that is already in their students' pocket.

Then we had to head to SMART Technologies HQ again for something special. And of course the peer mentors already what that was about! The White Hat ceremony!! Yes! The entire staff of SMART cheered for us and the head of the board gave us a big thank you, whilst we needed to reach under our seat to grap a coupon with a little surprise! The Oprah Winfrey moment. LOL. Three special big prices were a SMART kapp, a SMART kapp iQ and a SMART Board. How cool is that! The small video shows the moment all SEEs entered the building and were cheered by SMART Technologies. Honorary Calgarian again! :)

SEE of white hats cheered at SMART Technologies HQ

woensdag 22 juli 2015

Naturally Connect

Today started with a presentation about the brand SMART Technologies and branding. Branding is all about the perception of a product or service. SMART Technologies struggles with the fact that it’s not just an interactive white board company (anymore), but has much more to share and has shifted their core business to different kind of solutions for the classroom.
Of course SMART wants to get rid of the old SMART Boards, just as Apple wants all the old iPhones gone and exchanged for the newer versions, but Stephen Yao had a good story to tell. Although interactive flat panels are a more expensive than interactive white boards, you'll retrieve that with the far less energy costs. I was really surprised by the fact that (especially on a larger scale) moving from the interactive white board to the interactive flat panel could safe that amount of energy. Take a look at this document.

Did a presentation today with Kristin Straumann at the headquarters of SMART Technologies. We were asked to do so and share the things that we do in our school and classroom in front the entire SMART staff. Greg Estell was so nice to have us over and introduced us before we could share our story. I’m not nervous to speak in front of a large audience, especially not about this topic. But today I needed to share this with the company that provides me with the technology that I use and I needed to do my very best … and it all needed to be in English. We both Kristin and myself did a great job and presentation went very well. I also stated out that the classroom solutions are great, but being with all the SEEs and SMARTians feels like home and is epic! We got a very nice applause and staff members told us that we did a great job. Now that’s what I’ll be taking home with me … Oh wait, there’s more. Greg asked us about the one thing that we are missing at this moment in our classroom for our kids … we both were stunned and couldn’t directly come up with anything. And sort of asking for let’s say a SMART Board seems so greedy, wouldn’t you agree? Greg assured us that we could think about it whilst the offer would last throughout the week. Will keep you posted on this ...

After lunch I was up for the unconference about Changing School Culture with SEEs Rebecca, Holger and Lori. My question or discussion point was about How to deal with teachers that are reluctant in the use of technology'. And it was my first time that I did an unconference. We've shared a Google document which all teachers can use a resource.

And at the end I did a co-presentation with Lise Galuga and Charity Harbeck about Google Certifications and Google events, where we can share our experience with SMART amp.

Oh, and we even were very close to a tornado. How about that? Check this short time-lapse movie.

dinsdag 21 juli 2015

Naturally Innovate

This second day of the summit we spend all day at SMART Technologies HQ for three different activities and we started with the most awesome thing: the Hackathon. All SEEs were divided in smaller groups of 5-6 people with that same amount of software developers to start brainstorming on the next best thing for SMART Notebook, SMART LAB, SMART kapp, SMART kapp iQ and of course SMART amp. Brainstorming helped us getting further to an awesome plan within SMART LAB (activity builder), but is total NDA, due to avoid spoilers for new users. I really do hope that our idea will eventually really be added to SMART Notebook (LAB). We will find out more about that next Friday.

After spending a few hours with developers we were split into three large groups for a guided tour around SMART HQ:
  • software testing lab: real nice visit and we could all share our complaints. Did you know that in this testing lab they have all different kinds of computers with minimal settings and operating systems to test every release of soft- and firmware on all kinds of SMART Boards and interactive flat panels. Nice!
  • briefing center: Have been there before and was nothing new. Although the SMART Collaborative Classroom (showroom) is nice to be in.
  • hardware testing lab: this was the best. So many cool things were shared with us, but most of that is of course total NDA. The camera-testing was cool. Did you know that each camera is unique and has to cover and correct the errors from the other three cameras from the SMARt Board. This makes every board unique! How about that!

At last we all went to a reflection group, that we've signed up for. I was in the SMART Response VE group and could speak with the developers and we could share our wishes and the way we all use SMART Response VE in the classroom. There will be a new version coming soon, so nothing can be shared ahead of that. All I can say is that it will be very good! And it was nice to see that some of my earlier comments through a feedback session by phone were already in there.

Broken Toyz is on the plan for tonight!

maandag 20 juli 2015

Naturally Inquire

After two days spending on the campus and downtown Calgary with Allen Brooks and others the Global SEE Summit was finally going to start and this day was going to be a very busy day full of new stuff. The opening keynote on Sunday night by Marc Prensky was nice and gave us the right mind set for the next couple of days (and hopefully the next couple of years whilst practising teaching in our classrooms). At first we were welcomed by Greg Estell - president SMART Technologies - sharing with us how great is was to have us around and that we could definitely learn from each other. Really? I think that I speak for all the 77 attendees from the 23 countries when saying that it was merely our honor to be there and that we were more than happy to share every thought we have about SMART Technologies and their soft- and hardware.
The ones that attended the Global See summit last year were the mentors of this summit and did have special tasks like leading conversations, organizing ice breakers, timekeepers, social media experts and (technical) support for the day.

Sessions as the road ahead lead by SMARTians showed the roadmap of SMART Technologies of which a lot is not for sharing. What I can share is that SMART is well known for the SMART Board of course, but there's more that meets the eye. The brand name wants to get rid of the perspective that it's only known for the interactive white boards, but wants to be known as the company with mainly software solutions for education such as SMART Notebook, SMART amp™ and SMART kapp. Nowadays it shouldn't really matter which hardware one uses, yet the software that one uses does. Of course all the SEEs are already aware of that and it's like preaching to the choir, so we could join in on the how to discussion. We've shared our points of view on this matter via gold star challenges. Good.

Naturally SMART

And at last all three software solutions (Notebook, amp and kapp) passed by through the day and their role and possibilities in education and of course we all could give feedback. Very long day to start with ... Tomorrow heading to SMART Technologies HQ.

The one thing that I can share about a feature the new release of SMART Notebook 15.1 is that the popular add-on XC Collaboration will no longer be available, however its functionality will be available in the form of a new activity called “Shout it Out!” Shout it Out! will be a part of the Lesson Activity Builder in the SMART Notebook software, and will offer similar functions to XC Collaboration and more. We've used this one a couple of times and it's awesome! At first I was dissapointed with the fact that XC wasn't to be supported anymore, but this one is way cooler and better! Good job!

And the quote of the day was from Kristin Straumann, during the SMARTamp best practices session, she mentioned "I knew HOW to use it, I just didn't WHY to use it. UNTIL … I put my kids into a workspace" ... I LIKE THAT!

zondag 19 juli 2015


Het tweede jaar op rij dat ik bij het keuzeprogramma mondo op het Ashram College aan internationalisering heb gedaan vanuit eigen opgestarte projecten en het Global Teenager Project met Learning Circles over de rechten van het kind. Op eigen initiatief hebben we contact gehad met een schoolklas in Tsjechië via Skype en een met een schoolklas in Rusland via SMART amp™. En tijdens de Learning Circles met schoolklassen in Nederland en Suriname via een wiki. Het was leuk om een kijkje in de keuken te nemen bij een ander, maar ik ben van plan om dit structureler en meer in het curriculum te stoppen volgend schooljaar. De cherries on top waren het bezoek aan Gymnazium Zikmunda Wintra in Rakovnik, Tsjechië met 8 leerlingen en het bezoek aan Lycée Warocqué in Morlanwelz, België met alle mondo leerlingen.

Aan het begin van het schooljaar heb ik aan alle leerlingen gevraagd wat zij onder mondo oftewel wereldburgerschap verstonden. De leukste, beste en de meest treffende heb ik hieronder verzameld:

  • Wereldburgerschap is dat je goed omgaat met de wereld en de mensen om je heen. 
  • Wereldburgerschap is dat een mens iets goed doet voor de samenleving en dat hij of zij de wereld een kleinbeetje beter maakt. 
  • Wereldburgerschap betekent voor ons goed zijn voor de mensen en dieren om je heen, goed voor de wereld zorgen en niet vervuilen. De wereldburgers die er zijn geweest of bestaan zijn bijv: Ghandi, Mandela, Vrijwilligers,  mensenrechtenactivisten en nog veel meer andere mensen die zich op een positieve manier de aarde hebben geholpen en mensen in ontwikkelingslanden.
  • Wereldburgerschap is voor elkaar klaar staan er voor elkaar zijn om een multiculturele samenleving te worden. In deze wereld moeten we er voor elkaar zijn zoals de daklozen eten geven of een rommelig strand opruimen. 
  • Wereldburgerschap betekent onder andere dat je iedereen gelijk behandeld en dat je ook interesse toont in andere culturen/samenlevingen, dat je met z'n allen één wereld bent en niet apart van elkaar. Op school hebben we bepaalde vakken waar je meer te weten komt over andere culturen en samenlevingen en omdat je zoveel verschillende kinderen in de klas hebt kan iedereen er wat over vertellen en begrijp je elkaar meer.

vrijdag 17 juli 2015

Global SEE Summit preparations

This week we all received the summit guide and the program looks just fantastic and I'm really looking forward. Instead of the regular four days, we will now have five full days of learning and professional development at the SEE Summit in Calgary, Alberta.
As a summit peer mentor there will be some sessions that I will do. On Tuesday I'm one of the reflection group leaders to point out what we've gained on that day. On Wednesday I will be leading with three other SEEs the unconference about Changing School Culture. A great topic and really where my school is at now. And I will do a session with Lise and Charity on presenting about SMARTamp at Google Apps for Education summits. And throughout this day I am the social media specialist with Sergio, so keep an eye on the #smartee hashtag on Twitter and Instagram. On Thursday I will do the ice braker activity and I've prepared a education apps logo quiz with SMART Response and also a secret quiz ... and I will bring some prices as well! Looking forward. Will keep you posted. Whoohoo! 

vrijdag 10 juli 2015

Ashram College - SMART amp Champs

Begin juni ben ik met Henk-Jan naar Madrid geweest om een training van de nieuwste software SMART amp™ te volgen samen met 10 andere geselecteerde docenten uit Europa. Op de twee-daagde scholing waren docenten uit Tsjechië, Spanje, Finland, Zweden, Engeland, België, Duitsland en Nederland aanwezig en de training werd verzorgd door de ontwikkelaars van SMART amp™ uit de VS en Canada.

In Madrid zijn veel ervaringen uitgewisseld tussen de docenten, die allen met een ander onderwijssysteem werken en zijn wensen vanuit de lespraktijk geventileerd met de software ontwikkelaars. Dit waren voor zowel de docenten als de ontwikkelaars van SMART amp™ hele vruchtbare dagen en gaat SMART amp™ nog leuker en beter worden!

SMART amp™ is online software waarin leerlingen erg makkelijk samen kunnen werken binnen eenzelfde project. Je kunt het zien als een digitale poster waarin leerlingen tekst, plaatjes, filmpjes en websites kunnen toevoegen. En met elkaar kunnen overleggen via de chat functie, die door de docent ook gevolgd kan worden.

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Er zitten meerdere voordelen aan het werken met SMART amp™. Eén van de voordelen is dat leerlingen er aan kunnen werken wanneer ze willen. Het enige dat nodig is om gebruik te maken van deze software zijn inloggegevens en een apparaat met een internetverbinding. Groot voordeel voor de docent is dat er met een simpele muisklik is te achterhalen wat de bijdrage is geweest van elke individuele leerling.

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Binnen SMART amp™ kan je als docent ook toetsen en quizzen klaarzetten. Voor de docent biedt het de kans om veel makkelijker contacten te leggen met andere scholen (eventueel ook in het buitenland). Leerlingen van beide scholen kunnen dan in hetzelfde document werken. Ondanks de afstand en een eventueel tijdsverschil.

Vooral voor de onderbouw leerlingen is SMART amp™ zeer geschikte software om PO’s in te maken. Met de tablet en een internetverbinding kunnen ze in de school maar ook thuis werken aan de opdracht wanneer het hen uitkomt.