Tuesday, January 13, 2009

SMART 21.0 Reflections

Reflections from the Dallas SMART Users Conference produce a myriad of images. Images range from seeing learners, leaders, and listeners switch roles constantly to a well organized, seamlessly run conference from the Texas SMART ECs. Knowing they couldn't adequately facilitate monster breakout sessions, they called on many SMART power users and SMART Exemplary Educators to facilitate the numerous learning sessions throughout the day. A big shout out to Heather Lamb, for her amazing leadership and planning.With a focus on training and building users groups, the day began with high expectations and ended with everyone knowing it had been a great day of training. As for myself, I was experiencing a brain overload by late Saturday afternoon after delivering the keynote address and facilitating 3 different sessions. Yes, I prepared adequately for my address and it was very well received. Comments ranged from inspirational to incredible, with credibility and validity adjectives thrown in as well. One of the high school students videoed it, so when it's transferred to a better user format, perhaps it will be available for those wishing to view it.

I see a great need for these type of conferences held more often in more parts of the country. By mainly focusing on SMART integration ideas and building a community of SMART users in our local area, many of the day's objectives were accomplished. Networking among teachers was encouraged and sharing of ideas was promoted. The SMART Exchange will be a good storehouse of shared files for all of us wishing to extend and share the learning. Check out the Texas folder once in a while.

If the other attendee/teachers are like me, I'm just now catching my breath and getting back on track with time to spare. Two days of classes are behind me, the laundry is caught up, and my routine is back to normal. Now I can reflect. How often do we get so busy that we have no time to reflect, just push forward day after day? It is in reflecting on our day, our work, and our SMART practices that we can separate the chaff from the wheat. Let the wind blow away the chaff, leaving only the good things behind.

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