Inspiration for Leaders

Enjoy this news and reflection blog brought to you from the LHRIC Technology Leadership Institute!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Canadian Principal Sees Technology as Opportunity for More Personal Learning

There’s nothing impersonal about George Couros. In fact, everything about his recent Technology Leadership Institute presentation spoke to relationships, both personal and professional, and this philosophy has helped the Canadian division principal of innovative teaching and learning transform the way learning takes place in his own school and in schools across Canada and beyond.

George Couros delivers keynote presentation at TLI event
The affable educator and international speaker was the keynote presenter for the LHRIC’s Annual Pioneer Awards Celebration, which is hosted each year by TLI and are held at the Edith Macy Conference Center in Briarcliff Manor.

In his presentation titled, “Create, Innovate and Voice,” he talked about the need for educators to use technology as a way to make learning more personal and engaging for students.

“Educators are becoming irrelevant to kids,” he said. “And school looks irrelevant to the rest of the world. “ However, Mr. Couros contends that if schools give students the ability to create something meaningful, allow them to be innovative and empower them with a voice, they will succeed long after they graduate.

Mr. Couros said three areas are essential to building a learning organization that fuels such a process. They include:

Creativity – students should have the opportunity to “create” and be active in their learning. Examples include the creation of blogs, various media-related presentations as well as the traditional forms of literacy.
Innovation – the opportunity to share learning openly with each other and the world.
Voice – because we live in a world where everyone has a voice that reaches far and wide, it is imperative that students know how to capitalize on this.

Mr. Couros said the biggest shift that educators must make is not a shift in skill set, but rather a shift in mindset. “Seventy-year-old teachers have done the most innovative things, so it’s got nothing to do with age and how you grew up. It’s your mindset and what you are willing to do to create,” he added.

To promote inspiration within the classroom, Mr. Couros suggested that teachers think about learning as “meaningful creation,” not consumption.”

“The biggest game changer in education is in social media and the use of iphones, Google Apps and the like,” said Mr. Couros, who considers himself an innovative leader who can get teachers and students motivated to change. “We need to get educators to think of themselves as innovators and to grow and take risks.”