Around the world on Global Collaboration Day teachers and students are collaborating with each other on projects. Collecting data about sunlight, taking a poll on chocolate – using technology in ways that are ingenious and inspiring. With access and connections to classrooms around the planet, students and teachers are interacting with different cultures, languages and people, giving them unprecedented exposure. That’s the beauty of this event.
Global Collaboration Day fosters cultural awareness, highlights the importance of diversity, and supports access to education. In many cases, our technology is an enabler in this process, and that means a lot to us.
When teachers and students collaborate across their communities, or across countries, they’re exposed to life-changing moments. And it’s technology that helps to make those opportunities not only possible, but also natural, fun, and inspiring. We are freeing students to evolve their thinking, simplify sharing and explore unlimited ideas with technology that intuitively connects across devices around the planet. This is what excites me about working at SMART.
Each year, we host a SMART Exemplary Educator Summit – bringing the best of the best of educators from around the globe to Calgary to share, learn, listen, and network. And it was during last year’s summit where we saw the excitement and enthusiasm for collaboration that our technology enables from one of our South African SMART Exemplary Educators. While she loved using SMART Boards in her classroom for in-class collaboration, what her school didn’t have was a connection to the Internet.
Our reaction? A team of SMART employees visited the school and equipped it with Wi-Fi and broadband access. We provided them with interactive flat panels and gave them access to SMART Notebook.
More recently, we worked with the Ministry of Education in Gauteng Province in South Africa and our channel partner Vastratech to begin the largest deployment of collaborative classroom technology on the African continent. Now teachers and students who previously did not have access to technology in the classroom can collaborate and co-create across Gauteng province – and the world.
Technology is a powerful tool for education. It levels playing fields. And access to information changes how a student understands the world and expands his or her awareness and role in it. Enabled by technology, students can go anywhere to learn, engage, and participate. All it takes – creativity, imagination and the technology and tools to unleash them.
That’s just one of many reasons I’m a huge fan of Global Collaboration Day. Opportunities like this one for students and teachers to interact, learn about, and improve our world – well, that means the world to us.
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- Engaging, Collaborative, and Powerful Education Software: SMART Learning Suite - February 23, 2016
- Partnering with Free the Children to Change the World - October 27, 2015
- Global Collaboration Day: Intuitive Technology Makes a Difference - September 16, 2015