Sunday, January 22, 2012
SHARE(ski) Lives Up to His Name
For the past few years, I have been working to develop my course titled Internet for Educators. This is an optional course for students in their final term of an after degree B.Ed. degree. My goal is to create an engaging, up-to-date course based on constructivist principles. Shortly after I began my work in the faculty of education at BU three and a half years ago, I became acquainted with the work of Alec Couros and Dean Shareski at the University of Regina, about a 4-hour drive west of Brandon. Since that time I am pleased to count these two educators as friends. They have jokingly called themselves “lazy professors”, since they often had various educators present to their classes. I have since “borrowed” this approach. For the past few years I have been fortunate to enlist several excellent educators to present their insights and experiences to my students (this post talks about the speakers who helped out last year). The students keep a blog in which they make sense of the presentation topic and how it would apply to their own teaching and learning. This has proven to be very successful, as evidenced by the reflective thinking of the students as they explore these ideas.
This term my 1st guest was none other than Dean Shareski from Moose Jaw, SK. Dean is known far and wide for his views on sharing as an important part of teaching. Dean spoke to my class (and to a colleague’s class who joined us) via Skype. He presented his ideas about sharing and transparency and how it can benefit not just the individual, but others as well. He provided many examples to illustrate. Dean certainly lived up to his credo, giving up over an hour of his time to share his ideas with student teachers from another Province. It was gratifying to see the effect this talk had on my students. Not only did they speak and write glowingly of the presentation, many have taken Dean’s advice and have been working to increase their online presence in order to share their own work.
I personally try to actively promote and model the same attributes. When others, like Dean any other guests I have lined up to present, are so willing to share their expertise, it can only help to promote this culture of openness, respect, and sharing. If you have not heard Dean speak about his passion, I would suggest you watch the video of his K to 12 online conference keynote below.