George Couros: Why School Administrators Should Embrace the Social Web


By encouraging administrators to become learner-leaders, to use social media to connect with each other, share best practices and experiment, Canadian school principal George Couros is leading by example, exhortation, and instigation the people who are supposed to be leading our schools into the future. He created and regularly contributes to the website that serves as an online gathering place especially for school principals, Connected Principals, and has blogged in detail about why and how school administrators should be using social media in practical ways in their schools — linking in this one compendium post to

The Challenge of Teaching Networked Writing


In my last post I wrote about what Derek Mueller calls the “digital underlife,” the writing practices of students that fall below the radar of classroom practice, but which are crucial ways in which these students practice literacy. In that post I argued that it is important for teachers to acknowledge the ways in which our students actually write and encourage them to think of themselves as writers. Yet doing so doesn’t answer another crucial question: how does this writing fit into our instruction? For a sense of perspective, it is worth noting that this is a

Should We Fear Children Accessing Facebook?


In recent months, there has been an intense media and policy vortex surrounding the questions of when and how children – especially those under 13 – should gain access to popular online sites like Facebook. The outcome of these cultural and political conversations will have a profound effect on key components of connected learning from values such as full participation and social connection to activities that are peer-supported, interest-powered, and openly networked. The focus on age as a metric for assessing the appropriateness of children’s online interactions primarily comes from several historical sources, including alcohol and

On the Importance of Webmaking


I’ve come to realize over the last couple of years just how important the Open Web is for online innovation. It’s a standards-based platform that allows anyone to use relatively low-cost technologies to connect things and people together in new ways. It’s radical in its egalitarian, open, and democratic approach. But it’s under threat. When Steve Jobs announced the original iPhone only five years ago in 2007 he emphasized the importance of getting Web browsing right on a mobile device. Hot on the heels of the announcement, of course, came the wildly successful App Store. A

A Vision for Learning Designed by Youth for Youth: Notice. Dream. Connect. Do. Be.


The basics as defined by school is a very limited and restrictive set of skills. The word basic is often referred to as essential. Essential translates to absolutely necessary or extremely important. This mindset calls our publicly prescribed school basics into question. If we see something as basic it should by its nature show up as we live…no? We have a vision for an approach to learning that eradicates the standardization perpetuated in public education. The “we” is youth from the innovation lab in Thompson School District in Loveland, CO, who have just finished year two