Special Needs Students Participate in International Collaboration Project
Students from Cumberland Academy of
Georgia, a private school specializing in the needs of children with Autism
Spectrum Disorder, ADD/ADHD and learning disabilities, are participating in the
Smartee Project, an international collaboration project organized by six
teachers from five countries and three continents.
Five of the teachers created the Smartee Project this summer when they
attended the Exemplary
Educators event hosted by Smart Technologies in Calgary, Canada. The
project is intended to encourage students aged 8 to 12 in different
countries to use technology to get to know each other and learn from each
other. Other classes participating in the project are located in Finland,
Sweden, Germany, South Africa and Albuquerque, NM.
The classes kicked off the project on World Global Collaboration Day on
September 17, 2015 by sharing videos introducing themselves and their school.
According to Staci Gelbaum, the participating teacher from Cumberland Academy,
her students were amazed by the differences and similarities between themselves
and the other classes, and they were also excited to locate the other countries
on a map and figure out how far they are from the United States.
As part of the Smartee Project, the teachers adopted a small stuffed animal
that travels to each of the participating classrooms, and students document its
travels on a shared blog. So far the mascot has traveled to Finland and its
next stop is New Mexico before continuing on to Cumberland Academy of
According to information from Smart Technologies, the special needs students
involved in this project find it motivating to use technology to learn about
other countries and cultures, and the international collaboration is intended
to help improve their social skills along with their geographical and cultural
The Smartee Project will continue throughout the school year, during which
time the classes will collaborate on projects and share information, and the
teachers plan to expand the project next year.
Further information about the SMARTee Project can be found on the Smartee blog.
Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].