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Staff Development with George Couros

On June 14th, nearly 50 of our staff participated in a lunch time session with George Couros, Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning from Parkland School Division in Stony Plain, Alberta. George talked about social media for teachers and it’s importance and uses in classroom teaching. He also describes how we need to prepare students for a future that is rapidly changing. George’s dynamic presentation uses lots if youtube video clips and twitter examples. He shared some great initiatives that he has started in his own school division, for example  184 days of learning.
Every day one person, student, teacher, admin, or support staff are highlighted showcasing their learning. 184 days of learning.

This initiative has grown into a new one called #365learn that will be open to staff in other school districts to contribute as well.  Many teachers and administrators in the Surrey School District are very enthusiastic about contributing to #365learn.

He has also started a Learning Leader project that we are eager to learn more about.  In addition, George has started a Connected Principals hashtag on twitter #cpchat that I enjoy staying in touch with.
George Couros is an energetic and enthusiastic speaker who managed to get many teachers thinking they should get onto twitter for all the professional learning it offers as well as to use social media in their teaching. You can follow George on twitter @gcouros. It was exciting to have him visit our school as we had some really rich conversations about teaching and learning and inquiry based learning. He challenged us by always asking why we are doing things the way we are. This in turn forces you to think about your practice and be able to talk about it and further develop it. Embracing technology in the ways that George showed us will help us move forward with 21st century learning in our classrooms.