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SMART Innovation Team

Written by: SMART Innovation Team

"At the heart of everything at SMART is the notion of connection to foster environments where everyone thrives. Our goal is to help you in creating connections that matter. Simple, intuitive, flexible connections that drive positive outcomes and inspire greatness." #WeAreSMART

2 Minute Read

The spark of curiosity is a powerful connection-maker.

Ola Brorson is an English teacher at Thoren Framtid School in Växjö, Sweden. He often begins his classes by saying “Hey, let’s do something fun together. What do you want to do?”

This open-ended approach to instruction fosters curiosity and possibility in his students.

Ola and his class demonstrated how fun - and powerful - curiosity can be by asking the seemingly simple question “what do you eat for breakfast?”

Then, they explored this curiosity across an ocean.

The cross-classroom connection

Ola connected with another SMART Exemplary School in Florida who showed interest in collaborating - Divine. They jump-started a modern-day pen pal relationship connecting their students via Lumio lessons and Zoom video calls in class. 

From there, the connections took off. Their students found each other on Playstation and Flipgrid. These platforms allowed them to foster their new friendships.

Ola and his students were inspired by their time connecting with students in America. So, they decided to host similar meetings with classes in remote areas of Sweden, too.


SMART helps make it possible

“SMART helps me to stay connected to the world by taking part in a global network to be inspired as a teacher,” Brorson said. “When I started working as a teacher many, many years ago, I could only dream about this - to have a conversation with a teacher in Italy or in, you know, in the U.S. or Canada or all over the world.”

For Ola, these connections all find their root in a sense of curiosity. “As I teacher, I show that I am super curious because we want our kids to be super curious and brave.”

He's armed with powerful technology at his fingertips and an innate sense of curiosity. Ola and his students prove distance isn’t a factor when it comes to connections that matter.

“I tell the kids all the time, it's, you know, we're here to fail, we're here to learn - school is about learning. Yes, we have tests, but it's learning. That's what school is all about. And life.”

-Ola Brorson, Thoren Framtid




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