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IT4K12 – Keynote Alec Couros

June 4, 2015

IT4K12 2015

I have an opportunity to be at BCERAC’s IT4K12 conference in Vancouver June 4/5, 2015. These posts are my notes from the various sessions.- Todd

The Power & Promise of Technology in Teaching & Learning
Alec Couros


Alec started out with a number of stories and examples from history about “new technologies” like blackboards, magic lanterns, etc. that people had a hard time adjusting to. Education is continuing to shift, from individual growth, to group growth.

perspectives on tech

Alec reminded us of many stories, quotes and magazine covers on various tech, like newspapers, or generational “We” descriptors. Looking at a picture of four kids sitting and looking at their phones suggests to some people that they are disconnected from each other, while others, looking at the same picture, will see four connected kids.

We’ve known for years that content is critical to schools, and over the years we’ve tried many many things to make this reality.

Book: The App Generation – Howard Gardner and Katie Davis

Framework that has caught Alec’s attention:

Imagination, Identity, Intimacy



  • VINE followers – media – six seconds at a time
  • iTr3vor


  • Much more likely to meet / find someone online, than in person
  • How are people announcing news online?
  • How are we coping with Death and Grief? Doing things online. What happens to our information and digital assets once you are gone?
  • Crowd-sourced lip dubs

The big shift isn’t that content is digital, it is that the learning culture is participatory – Audrey Watters @audreywatters

What are the big learnings?

  1. Tech Informed Pedagogy
    1. Is (tech-informed) practice based on sound pedagogy or just the latest tech-jargon & trends?
    2. Are IT implementation decisions (what tech goes to whom and when) informed by instructional goals of the district or by the nature of vendor agreements?
    3. Does the organizational decision-making process/structure allow for both academic and technical expertise and voice?
    4. Two items missing that I didn’t get the slide in time for… Will try to find and add later. – Todd
  2. Info & Networked Literacy
  3. Learning in a Connected Multimedia World
    1. So much learning can happen through watching YouTube videos, and other connected media. We see not only the successes, but also the failures.
    2. #learningproject
    3. Are we now “connectors” that is connecting students to different products and projects, not a content owner
  4. The Importance of Digital Identity
    1. When you decline to create or to curate a culture in your spaces you’re responsible for what spawns in the vacuum – Alexander 2014

  5. A Better Web, A Better Society
    1. Examples of people helping each other over the Internet. Like Reddit picture editing

Alec challenged us to make sure that what we’re doing is helping students be better people.



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