Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Principal of Change

Last Tuesday our class was fortunate enough to have George Couros Skype in.  George is a principal in Alberta, and in particular is a principal who absolutely embraces technology.   The use of computers and the internet for learning is very prominent within his school-early years students even use blogging as a tool to learn, share, and reflect!  Very impressive if not amazing that this school is so on board with the technological movement and have the support of their parental community.   

George’s presentation to our class was both refreshing and inspiring.  It was so great to hear about a school that is using technology to their advantage and for the benefit of their students.  Too often this is not the case and you hear (and experience) how schools and divisions block many sites that can prove to be beneficial to learning.  At George’s school they prefer to allow students and teachers access to these sites and to focus on teaching students how to appropriately use the internet and social media.  As part of this process students have an online presence and identity, using their first name, last initial and date of birth.  Now many people would automatically think that it is not safe to use your real name online, especially for students.  However this school believes that students need to become responsible digital citizens and need to realize that they can be held accountable for their online actions.  This is fantastic!  Schools spend so much time preparing their students to be good citizens, now with digital age I believe schools should also be preparing their students to be responsible and accountable digital citizens.

Blogging is an activity that the school does whole-heartedly-teachers, students, and even parents become part of the blogging process and the learning that is associated with the blogging.  Students as young as grade three (I believe) participate in blogging for their classes.  With blogging the classroom and learning is suddenly accessible anytime and anywhere. This is ideal for educators, as we want to encourage students to actively participate in their education and especially to participate outside of school hours.

I think it would be wonderful for our students if more schools would embrace technology the way George’s schools has.  Students are using these technologies outside of school so we should using them in school to keep learning relevant and interesting for our students, as well as to prepare them for life outside of school.  The world is becoming increasingly technologically advanced and shows no signs of slowing down its use of technology, so we as educators need to prepare students the best we can to be successful in this ever-changing world of technology.  And to do this we need to be using technology as a means to teach and to reach our students.   


  1. I love your point about the rest of the world not slowing down its technology use, so why should schools? If we aren't keeping up with the world, we are putting our students at a disadvantage when it comes to working and participating in the real world. I also loved George's presentation. It was very inspiring. The school's ideas and methods for getting participation in and out of the school is awesome and shows how schools can be innovative in their approach to including people like parents in the classroom processes.

  2. After seeing the presentation from George I agree that it is refreshing to see how well the use of social media appears to be working for their school. In a lot of our other classes it seems like we are almost scared out of using Facebook and Twitter etc. in the classroom but George made some excellent points about being a responsible internet citizen and that students are in no more danger posting on the internet than they are out on the playground. The social world is moving forward and it is good to see how a relatively young principal is getting his whole school community to move along with it.

  3. Great post Alanna :) You are totally right about the world moving quicker; schools need to keep up. I know I have lots of conversations with educators talk about preparing our kids for the future, but we need to start preparing them for now! Let's catch up to that first.

    If you want to prepare kids for the future, teach them to be learners. The ability to adapt to situations is essential.