Sandy Warner

Teaching with technology


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What is the purpose of schools?

On Saturday I was fortunate to once again work with George Couros in a masterclass in Adelaide.
Throughout the morning George shared his views on social media and the impacts that they are having on teachers professionally. He challenged our own thinking on what was acceptable to post online and reminded us that nothing is ever truly private.We need to remember that connecting on social media is not just about putting information out there but it is also about having conversations and making personal connections. We need to guide our students in becoming responsible global citizens. Students are already using these tools from a very young age and they need to understand the implications of what they post.

We explored twitter. Twitter has opened up a global community to me and I enjoy connecting with educators and leaders from around the world. George is passionate about being connected and he inspired us to take control of our digital identity; our digital footprint so to speak!.

We were pushed out of our comfort zones and into the unknown where the magic happens. We were encouraged to learn more, to create and collaborate with our colleagues. We were stimulated by you tube footage to think about our own practice and how we can improve.

During the last hour, George posed the question “What is the purpose of schools?” and challenged us to create a response using two different types of formats (audio, video, media, writing, drawing, etc.) and then left us to engage in a range of “new” tools to formulate our response to this question. I am still working with my colleagues on our creative response and we will present it to staff at our school. Hopefully I will share it here also.

And so …What is the purpose of schools?

For me I feel the masterclass above mirrors the purpose of schools. Schools stimulate thought. They challenge students and inspire them. They install a love of life long learning. They engage students. Schools encourage students to ask why and nurture in them the urge to find answers to all the why questions they have. Schools allow children to create and explore. They guide students in their learning and encourage them to participate. Schools allow students to go outside their comfort zones and create magic!

The challenge is how do we ensure that schools do this?  What do we do in our schools to make this happen for every child?

What is the purpose of your school?

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