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What’s for breakfast? How the spark of curiosity led to an cross-cultural connection

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What’s for breakfast? How the spark of curiosity led to an cross-cultural connection
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A Teacher That Stays Curious

The spark of curiosity is a powerful connection-maker.

Ola Brorson is an English teacher at Thoren Framtid School in 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 Certified SMART Exemplary School in Florida who showed interest in collaborating. They jump started a modern-day pen pal relationship using  Lumio to connect students with one another. Where students explored their interests, location, and cultures using  Lumio activities, and connected live over Zoom and SMART Interactive Panels. 

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 Makes It Possible

For Ola, these connections all find their root in a sense of curiosity. “As a 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.

The Challenge: Getting A Credential From Afar

Felix Fernebring had a problem.

In the spring of 2021, Felix needed to finish his apprentice hours with a master teacher. But, he was unable to physically be in the classroom due to COVID-19 restrictions.

So Felix devised a plan: he would teach his students without stepping foot in a physical classroom. His master teacher, Ola Brorson, was on board.

How He Made Remote Teaching Work

So, Felix used his phone, laptop, and software such as Lumio by SMART to co-teach the class. Initially, the thought of teaching students he had never actually met intimidated him. But, he found that the tools he had at his disposal made connecting easy.

Spoiler: Students Loved It

Many students preferred the individualization that Felix’s teaching approach allowed.

From live feedback on essays, to Zoom room writing conferences, students benefited. The online dexterity that Ola and Felix were able to provide was impressive.

Felix and Ola finished the spring semester with their hybrid online co-teaching model.

This fall, Felix was thrilled to meet his former students in person. To deepen the connections he already made through the screen was the icing on top.