Edmonton New Media Roundup 15


George Couros, by Kevin Jarrett
It’s back-to-school season in our house. The kids return to class on Thursday, Trustee Spencer’s meetings have resumed, and I am preparing to teach (!) reporting and news production in the journalism diploma program at Grant MacEwan University. So I’m in an education frame of mind for this week’s roundup.
In many ways, the Internet has disrupted education as much as it has disrupted journalism. As with journalism, there are some in education who resist the change, pine for the good old days and are certain things are going to hell. And then there are people like George Couros, who embrace change and see all the good that can come of it.
I haven’t met George, but I’m a fan of his Twitter feed and find myself increasingly drawn to his blog as I work on turning myself into an educator. He is a principal in Stony Plain and now holds a newly created position as division principal in charge of innovative teaching and learning in the Parkland School Division, which covers several communities west of Edmonton.

George has exactly the attitude I want to see in anyone involved in teaching. He considers it part of his job to turn students into “strong Digital Citizens,” and he models that behaviour by being one himself. He also created Connected Principals, a group blog where school administrators from all over share what they’ve learned. From where I sit, Parkland is pretty lucky to have him.

What networked teachers inspire you? Let me know in the comments, on Twitter or on Google+.

Rounding up some other new media stuff from the past week:

– Speaking of networked education, registration is now open for EdCamp Edmonton, a one-day unconference on learning. It will be held Nov. 5 at Lillian Osborne High School. I’m planning to be there.

– Which reminds me, plans are underway for another MediaCamp Edmonton. The first one was held in May 2010, and it felt like a success, but then life got in the way of working on the next one. Efforts are now resurrected. An organizational meeting will be held at Guru Digital Arts College at 6:30 p.m. tonight (Aug. 29). Minutes will be posted here.

– My own education efforts this fall will be centred on guiding students through the production of West Edmonton Local. MacEwan grad Mathew White has done a bang-up job keeping the site going through the summer, and he’ll be helping me and Lucas Timmons turn it back into a learning experience for the next group of MacEwan journalism students. If you have any suggestions for improvement, let us know.

– In other news, Andy Grabia has launched a new photo project called My Edmonton, documenting the beautiful buildings in our city. As Andy points out, there is a lot of talk about how ugly our architecture is, and while much of that criticism is deserved, it obscures the fact that we have lovely and striking architecture here as well. He’s looking for suggestions, so be sure to chime in.

(Addendum: Also on the theme of beautiful things about Edmonton, see Sharon Yeo’s post on Edmonton Transit’s historical tour.)

– Speaking of Andy, a fierce opponent of the proposal to build a new arena for the Oilers downtown, the discussion continues in Edmonton’s blogosphere in light of the city’s new proposal to fund the arena through an expanded community revitalization levy. Of note are Alex Abboud’s call for downtown development with or without the CRL, Ryan Batty’s skeptical look at CRLs, and Mack Male’s coverage of the proposal to expand the CRL boundary. For more commentary and links to what mainstream media and others are saying about the arena, keep an eye on the edmontonian.

(Addendum 2: Looks like the edmontonian is hanging up its cleats. Nooooo!)

For more on media new and old, check out Mack’s Media Monday.

(Image of George Couros courtesy Kevin Jarrett, taken Jan. 30, 2011)

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