"We need to focus not only what we know, but what we do with what we know to improve education everywhere. Embracing change can create better powerful learning opportunities for our learners." - George Couros

George Couros

The Future of Education and Education Expert

George Couros is a leading keynote speaker on innovative leadership, teaching, and learning in the education sector. He has worked with all levels of school–from K-12 as a teacher and technology facilitator to school and district administrator. He is also is the author of the bestselling book “The Innovator’s Mindset; Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity”.

Couros is a sought-after speaker on the topic of innovative student learning and engagement. He has worked with schools and organizations around the globe. George is also the creator of ConnectedPrincipals.com. Connected Principles is an initiative that brings educators and leaders together from around the world to create powerful learning opportunities for students.

Although George Couros is a leader in innovation, his focus is always the development of leadership and people and what is best for learners. He believes meaningful change happens when you connect to people’s hearts. Couros model’s this message through his writing and speaking.

As an educator, this is the best time to be a part of school as the opportunities for learning for both ourselves and our students has increased exponentially. It is our willingness to connect with one another that provides these opportunities. George Couros will highlight some of the trends that are happening in both the world and education. He shares some of the ways that educators are and can create inspiring learning opportunities for a new generation of learners.

George Couros is the Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning for Parkland School Division. He has worked with all levels of school from K-12 as a teacher, technology facilitator, and school based administrator. He is one of North America’s leading experts on innovative student learning and engagement. His focus is to help organizations create optimal learning environments for innovation within schools.

Couros uses humour as a way to connecting with all of those that he works with. George Couros’ presentations are informative and entertaining, yet create an emotional connection that helps people move to the next level. His mix of research, personal stories, and practical ways to implement new learning help participants feel comfortable in taking risks in their own learning.

Topic Presentations

Carol Dweck’s work has focused on the ideas of “fixed” and “growth” mindset, yet educators will need to go a step further with these notions to create the learning opportunities and that our students and schools deserve. We need to focus not only what we know, but what we do with what we know. In this talk, George will discuss the idea and characteristics of “The Innovator’s Mindset” and share powerful examples on why this is so crucial for all educators. George’s presentations are known to be emotional, humorous, all while pushing your thinking, and will definitely connect to your heart first, in a way that will last with you long after this presentation.

Although schools are moving forward, change is always something that many struggle with. Focusing on an innovator’s mindset and our “why”, this workshop is meant for leaders to help others within their organization not only accept change, but embrace it, to create better powerful learning opportunities for our learners. It is not focused on the “how to” of technology, but is more focused on the conversations that will help staff move forward in a way that they will be excited yet feel supported in their journey.

The role of school/district administrator is essential to what happens in the classroom, yet we often are unaware of some of the amazing opportunities that social media is not only providing our students and teachers, but ourselves as well. As school administrators, we need to be the “Learning Leader” for our organization and social media gives us the opportunity to connect, openly learn, and humanize our organization. When we learn together first, only then can we effectively lead our schools to continuous improvement.

The role of school or district administrator has changed dramatically and instead of people serving the leader, it is more important that it is the other way around. In this talk/workshop, George discusses five key questions that we need to be able to answer as leaders and the innovative ways that we need to look at our role as administrators.

We know that the role of school has change, but it is important for people to understand why it needs to change. Once that can be established, then we are more likely to embrace this change, and move forward with the learning of ourselves, and more importantly help our students move forward as well. In this talk, George will discuss the “why” of change, and then using the ISTE Nets, give examples on “how” we can make this happen.

This keynote helps to address some of the “myths” or pushback that many organizations go through in moving technology forward in their organizations. With many powerful and personal stories of how technology can improve learning and relationships, this has been a great opportunity to help those reluctant move forward in their thinking and adopt a growth mindset.

The focus of the classroom has, for the better, shifted from a focus on the teacher to a focus on the learner. In this talk, George will share several elements of what we should be looking for in today’s classroom, knowing that focusing on only a few at a time, can start the move towards a transformational learning environment.

We often tell our students that what they do online can affect their future, but do we share or teach them how their online presence can also provide them opportunities that we never had as kids? There are many great examples of people and students doing things to not only improve their own opportunities, but to improve the lives of those in their school, communities, and around the world. Kids have an opportunity to make a difference and we need to focus on giving them both the opportunities and tools to make a difference in their world through the effective use of technology and social media.

Parent involvement in the learning process of schools is the number one factor for student success. As schools look forward towards using social media to improve learning in their schools, many parents are fearful of what this means. Social media provides an opportunity for parents to have meaningful engagement in the learning of their child. This can greatly change the conversations not only at school, but also at home with the child.  This talk provides peace of mind to parents while also engaging them in considering the unique opportunity they have to participate in their child’s learning.

When working with groups, George encourages discussing the “why” through a keynote then following up with hands-on workshops. This pushes learning forward, having participants leave with ready to use tools and educators ready to implement their new learning immediately.

Examples of workshops on specific ideas and tools that George provides are:

What is innovation in education and how do we move forward?

Twitter for administrators/educators/parents

Blogs as a portfolio

Google Apps in the Classroom

Web 2.0 Tools for learning/communication

Creating a Digital Footprint for our Students

Digital Literacy

Digital Identity

Creating Blended Learning Environments

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The Innovator's Mindset

Kids walk into schools full of wonder and questions. How you, as an educator, respond to students’ natural curiosity can help further their own exploration and shape the way they learn today and in the future. The traditional system of education requires students to hold their questions and compliantly stick to the scheduled curriculum. But our job as educators is to provide new and better opportunities for our students. It’s time to recognize that compliance doesn’t foster innovation, encourage critical thinking, or inspire creativity—and those are the skills our students need to succeed. In THE INNOVATOR'S MINDSET, George Couros encourages teachers and administrators to empower their learners to wonder, to explore—and to become forward-thinking leaders. If we want innovative students, we need innovative educators. In other words, innovation begins with you. Ultimately, innovation is not about a skill set but about mindset.

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