Byron's Babbles

Ideation SPAN™EX Style!

What A Great Group Of Education Transformers!

This past week I spent time with the great innovators and transformational leaders at Nureva, Inc. as part of an advisory board made up of education professionals to provide feedback and discuss new product designs, functionality, and desired solutions to educational needs. This was very astutely arranged by Kimberleigh Doyle at Nureva Education. During this advisory time we were introduced to Nureva’s newest product, SPAN™. Let me tell you, I was blown away. As you know I am a digital adoptee and believe in the power of what technology tools can do to enhance learning. Click here to learn more about my journey and click here to learn more about SPAN™.

I do need to explain the title of this blog post. With Smart Technologies we had SMART Exchange; a community of SMART Technology users where we could upload lessons, share lessons, and collaborate. Of course, I argued that we would need this for SPAN™. And…of course, I thought it should be called SPANDEX! You know, for SPAN™ Exchange! Can’t you just imagine the website? Anyway, I settled for SPAN™EX, but I am not sure I convinced everyone else.

Nureva, Inc. was founded by technology veterans David Martin and Nancy Knowlton in 2014. They are friends of mine and were also the founders of SMART™ Technologies. As a SMART™ Exemplary Educator I fully understand the functionality and power of interactive white board technology. The designers and innovators at Nureva have transformed the way we can use interactive technology with SPAN™. Basically, there are two interactive projectors and 20 feet of interactive space. The projectors employ solid-state illumination, SSI, and the projectors provides a useful life of 25,000 hours. As the user, you are provided with different backgrounds, called a canvas, then an entire collaborative group can be adding and manipulating content at the same time. 

The technology makes “ideation” possible. “Ideation” is a disciplined process of generating ideas and then working those ideas in a team or group environment over a sustained period of time. You have more than likely participated in ideation activities even though you may not have labeled them as such.This group does not even need to be at the same location – as the leader of a virtual school with students in all 92 counties can you see where my thoughts went immediately. Click here for an FAQ about SPAN™.

Check out these videos to see SPAN™ in action:

  Additionally, up to 10 individuals can be manipulating content, partaking in ideation, on the projected image, or canvas as its called in SPAN™, on the wall. You have virtual post it notes available. You can write. You can add pictures. And… You can move content by throwing it from one end to the other like we see them do on NCIS Las Angeles. You guessed it, I was sold on the power of this tool immediately! SPAN™ was originally developed as a collaborative tool for business, but the team at Nureva, Inc. very quickly realized the potential for education. Thus, why we were there.




 More importantly, however, Nureva made a very smart move and hired two high school interns to work on the project. In fact, they were the ones who taught us how to use SPAN™. They had learned it in a week’s time just by using it with no training. We had the chance to work with Mathieu Chin and Jathaniel Ong during the time we in Calgary and gain insight from them. Let me tell you; I learned a lot from them. I asked them to name the top five important uses of SPAN™ they would advise teachers to use in effective facilitation of learning. Here is their list:

  1. Collaboration – they believe they learn more when collaborating with other students. I hope this sounds familiar to all reading as we move to college and career readiness standards. Business and industry stakeholders continue to tell us we need to facilitate learning in a way our students learn to collaborate.
  2. Creation – these two very astute interns recognized the importance of being able to create and produce during the learning process. We were able to witness collaborative creations they had made during learning of chemistry, World War II history, literature, and food science.
  3. Student Centered – these interns wanted to be involved in the lesson, not just watching a teacher present.
  4. Transportable – our interns valued that they could collaborate and work in their groups from anywhere. They really saw value in being able to take the learning anywhere and have 24/7 learning. This product is cloud based and changes and collaboration are done in real time.
  5. Full class involvement – with SPAN™, unlike traditional interactive products, all students can be working in the collaborative space on their computers at once and 10 can actually be manipulating on the projected image at once. Talk about engagement! 

    I Learned So Much From Mathieu Chin & Jathniel Ong!


As you can see, I am very excited about SPAN™ and its possibilities for facilitating highly effective learning for students. It was so great to be a part of testing the product and providing feedback, but the most important point I want to make here is the power of the insight of students. This experience reminded me how important it is for us to seek the input of our most knowledgeable stakeholder – our student. Kudos to Nureva, Inc. for modeling this for us as they transform the way we use technology in education. 

Having A Little Fun With SPAN™



2 Responses

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  1. Stephan Doyle said, on July 21, 2015 at 1:44 pm

    It was a pleasure getting to know you at the Nureva Education Summit. Your passion for education, the knowledge and insights that you shared and your openness were invaluable to us in the development of our education offering. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to share your time with us.


  2. Michael said, on July 21, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Byron, what a great reflection on our time together. It was pleasure meeting you. Let me know if you will be in Northern Virginia this weekend. Michael Goodman


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