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.
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!