Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Visit From George Couros

     On February 8, 2011, our class was priveleged enough to receive a visit from George Couros, a principal in Stony Plain Alberta.  He was able to take time out of his busy schedule to stop in and say hello to our classroom in Manitoba via Skype.  This method of contact with Mr. Couros was, simply put, all to appropriate.
     We were informed of how Mr. Couros likes to run his school by including large amounts of ICT.  Many of his students had access to laptops on a regular basis.  Many of his students communicated regularily on their blogs.  Social networking within his school was not looked down upon, but was rather encouraged.  We heard stories about his reaction to students getting around school safe guards, and stories about getting getting some good ICT minds to speak at his school.  There were plenty of good ideas shot around the room, such as identity days withing the school, and setting up alerts for becoming the first to hear if any new information about yourself was posted online.
     The session we had with Mr. Couros was a lot of fun, and very educational.  The only problem I had with this session was the realization at the end of it all...  that chances are I will not be teaching in a school that looks this openly on the internet and social networking.  Yes, I understand schools are moving in a positive direction to reach these levels, but most divisions I've worked with in the past are quite aways away. 
     I guess the silver lining I can take out of this is, at least there is evidence that some of our ICT goals are attainable.  Schools such as Mr. Couros' are essentially setting precedance, and making the fight for others a little easier.  When I do go out and find myself a job teaching.  If the school I'm at is not as technologically open as some examples I've seen.  I'll be keeping a close eye on schools such as Mr. Couros', and I will become a part of the fight for ICT. 

1 comment:

  1. Having that open environment where students are encouraged to blog, post their work and their comments online is fantastic. Mr. Courous had a very positive and practical approach. I suspect part of the reason, if I remember correctly, is because he dealt with IT before becoming a principal which means he fully understands what the potential and powers of IT are for students. On the other hand there are a lot of people that might not quite 'get it' yet or are uncomfortable transitioning into that realm. It will take time, but there is no better time than now. Even so, students are very active on these sites outside of school so they are well versed on social media but in using these in school we could harness that interest and hopefully use that to our advantage as educators as well. I'd suspect changes will come shortly.