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Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #1
Name: Brennen Schmidt Most recent line of work: Undergraduate & Entrepreneur Location: Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? First and foremost, I have learned what Open Thinking is, as well as how much potential/possibilities it has. I have learned how to use Twitter, as well as how to incorporate modern technology into the classroom from Alec; this has been very beneficial for my preinternship at the U of R, as I have received a LOT of praise for my technological literacy and interest - something that I must credit Alec for. Simply put, I was interested in technology before; Alec was the catalyst for making me use it in my educational program. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? In what ways have I not shared what I have learned from Alec Couros is a better question! I am a part of his EC&I 831 class, which is super exciting for me, as I look forward to being a part of the Elluminate session after my final night class each week! I sound like a genius in my classes, as an undergrad, and I sound like the most intelligent person bringing up such topics in class such as: "contructionism v constructionism" and "open vs. closed education," to name a few. Moreover, Alec has allowed me to get a glimpse into what the Master's program is like, and quite frankly (after being a part of EC&I 831) I am appalled at the insignificant and useless stuff that undergrads learn compared to Master's students! I am now looking forward to getting my undergrad completed, so that I can take my Masters (and hopefully be in Alec's class - officially!)
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #2
Name: Dave Childers Most recent line of work: Principal Location: Fresno, CA What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? In just a few months of following Dr. Couros on Twitter, I have benefited immensely from the thought-provoking discussions that he has both initiated and participated in. He regularly posts items that make me reassess some of the assumptions that I have made and practices that I have instilled as a high school principal. He has shared his own thoughts, his own teachings, as well as the work of some of his colleagues and students as evidence that educational technology is about impacting teaching and learning, not just about fancy gadgets. In conclusion, by highlighting the importance of practices over tools, Dr. Couros has made my own practices that much more effective. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I regularly share Dr. Couros's work with my own staff, as well as my colleagues on Twitter. I have referred individuals to his blog, recommended that staff members visit and utilize resources that he has shared, and soon I will include all of his work as reference links on my own educational technology blog.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #3
Name: Richard Nostbakken Most recent line of work: Technology Director,Teacher Location: Regina (Luther College) What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I have been following Alec's Tuesday evening course. Apart from the content, which is significant, I am interested in the methodology of presentation and the active use of backchannel and live real time participation off campus. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I teach Information Processing 20. I am attempting to use the innovations he demonstrates. Twitter/blogs/text messages are part of the class routine and cell phone texting is an active resource. We are able to combine big screen presentations with active participation.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #4
Name: Debbie Gleason Most recent line of work: stay at home mom Location: Chicago, IL, USA What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I have learned about how technology especially Open Source can be used in education. I caught online his keynote address at University of Delaware. As a result, I am contemplating how gift economy can be applied to education. Thinking about how we can reform education in a post industrialized society. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I know Alec Couros from Twitter. We have opportunity on occasion to exchange ideas if we are online at the same time.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #5
Name: John Lawrence MMT, MTA Most recent line of work: Session instructor - Concordia University College Location: Edmonton, AB What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Thanks to Alec Couros, I was introduced to the social networking revolution, the creation of a personal learning network (PLN) and Twitter. I now use these tools on a regular basis and have undertaken more research into e-learning, for educational and professional purposes. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I have connected with him via Twitter, often following links that he provides to his presentations or those of other colleagues. He has also given me some great pointers when I have asked for information about a particular subject or topic (related to e-learning and/or technology).
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #6
Name: Dan Reid Most recent line of work: Teacher Location: Vernon, British Columbia What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I first met Alec as a member of his EDST 499K summer institute course at UBC Okanagan. Alec introduced me to the power of social media and it has transformed my teaching and learning. Alec introduced me to the value of having a PLN (Personal Learning Network) and the professional development that I can do independently through contact with my PLN via Twitter and other tools. Alec also expanded my knowledge of Google Docs and Google Apps, and I have chosen to focus my masters project on my use of these tools with my students. After learning so much by taking Alec's course at UBC Okanagan I decided to take his EC&I 831 course this fall. I am enrolled as a forcredit student in this course and I continue to learn valuable information about educational technology and how it is changing education. I also see the Alec's influence on others in the large number of non-enrolling students that take part in our sessions every week. I know that I will continue to learn from Alec long after my time as a formal student of his comes to an end. He has played a key role in transforming my views on education and educational technology and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from him. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I routinely share what I have learned from Alec with others. I have passed on some of the skills and tools that I learned about to my work colleagues in both formal and informal professional development settings. Alec remains a key member of my Twitter PLN and I routinely "retweet" or share ideas about education and social media to other members of my PLN. I am also sharing what I learned about Google
Docs and Google Apps from Alec with my school and district administrators as a part of my masters project.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #7
Name: Colleen Rampelt Most recent line of work: Teacher-Librarian Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I was first introduced to Alec via two of his very helpful and engaging presentations at the recent ECOO conference (Nov. 2009). I am now learning from/with Alec everyday as I read his Twitter posts and check out the resources/ideas/links that he shares. I learn from his questions and from his answers. He has been very instrumental in connecting educators and finding support/resources for colleagues in education. He is masterful at helping others to help each other!
In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I have shared Alec's resources/ideas/links/questions/answers with my colleagues. More than that though, I am learning about how to share his mindset (that of open sharing and learning) with others... that has been the best part and the greatest learning!
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #8
Name: Irmeli Aro Most recent line of work: Network Co-ordinator Location: Espoo, Finland What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? How to transform out-dated ways of working by implementing social media in the way of working, thinking, visualizing, sharing and knowledge management In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Recommended his open courses in my blog, 2009/365 photos, regular re-tweeting. I've mentioned his name in a number of meetings / workshops as an example of how to really put social media in practice in a way that reduces the pain the out-dated ways of working produce (i.e. ways still in use in majority of organization in my country). I've transformed my way of learning and working and distribute this new attitude on a daily basis.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #9
Name: Chris Craft Most recent line of work: Doctoral Candidate Location: Columbia, SC USA What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Over the years of interacting with Dr. Couros I have learned about the benefits of open and networked learning. As a middle school teacher and doctoral student, he has influenced my teaching despite us being separated by thousands of miles. Dr. Couros has provided a constant source of inspiration for me to continue innovating my own teaching and learning. He has also become a personal friend over the years and one that I cherish. The transparency of his own learning and his desire to share are admirable, and personally beneficial. Dr. Couros regularly presents ideas that run counter to my own, causing a disequilibration that is welcome as I progress in my own doctoral studies, nearing dissertation. While the distance between us would normally prevent me from studying with Dr. Couros, through the connective power of technology Dr. Couros has impacted my learning, my dissertation, and my life. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Dr. Couros and I regularly interact in Twitter, as well as through his well-written blog. I am also familiar with his online courses, and have watched many a presentation that Dr. Couros has given. These presentations are usually keynotes at technology conferences which he is ready and willing to share.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #10
Name: Ben Hazzard Most recent line of work: Program Consultant: Assessment & Evaluation - K to 12, Lambton Kent District School Board Location: Sarnia, Ontario, Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec Couros has been instrumental to my learning and research. Alec provided the forum and connection for my understanding of the emerging concept of connectivism. Mr. Couros didn't just expound knowledge, instead he engaged me in a conversation with his graduate level class in which the leading theorists in connectivism were presenting. The conversation was rich due to the fact that Alec had opened the virtual doors of his classroom and welcomed engaged and passionate learners into the discussion. My learning from Alec directly affected my research and M.Ed. thesis at UWO. In fact, he is directly thanked in my acknowledgments. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? What I learned from Alec Couros has been shared within the education academic community and the general education community. The thesis that Mr. Couros impacted through joint discussion was recognized at CSSE with a national award of recognition and the poster presentation shared this new learning with a traditional academic audience. The outcome of my thesis, which used a Design as Education Research methodology, was an interactive website - teachersconnecting.com This site was developed as a synthesis of various data sources learning from Mr. Couros. There are now over 800 teachers around the world using this tool and the impact on education is great. Mr. Couros assisted my learning of key concepts that were drawn on to inform this research object that had a practical application.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #11
Name: Martin Weller Most recent line of work: Professor of Educational Technology, The Open University Location: Cardiff, UK What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I would categorise what I have learned from Alec as threefold: Resources: There are many resources I have discovered as Alec is an excellent source of these, ranging from videos to papers. Most people in your network share resources, but Alec is particularly active in this and would count in my top five of useful resource gatherers. Process: Alec has been a useful peer in rethinking many of the processes associated with scholarship. I am leading a research project on 'digital scholarship' which is examining the ways in which new technologies are impacting upon all areas of scholarly practice. The manner in which Alec runs his open course, gives presentations and even this process of seeking tenure are all relevant to this work. Dialogue: Alec forms part of the network I have established (with people I have never actually met), who are engaged in a looselycoupled, distributed conversation about new technologies, scholarship and changes in the education and other business models. As such he is both a useful resource and also a person with whom one develops ideas. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I keep two main blogs: edtechie.net and http://nogoodreason.tumblr.com/ - the latter in particular is where I share any resources I come across, many of these I owe to Alec. In addition I have given presentations which include ideas from Alec and am currently working on a digital scholarship paper which again bears some of his influence.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #12
Name: Heather M. Ross Most recent line of work: Course Designer, Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Since I started in the field of educational technology, Alec Couros has been one of the people I have always looked to for guidance. He introduced me to blogging, wikis and a host of other tools and methods for engaging learners, developing my own learning and actively participating in an ever growing online network of educators. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I constantly share with colleagues, students and even those outside of education the things that I have learned through Alec, whether the information came from a presentation that he has given or a post on Twitter. I blog about things I've learned from Alec, "retweet" his posts on Twitter and find myself frequently saying, "Well, Alec Couros says ..."
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #13
Name: Lisa Read Most recent line of work: Info Tech teacher/facilitator Location: Duncan BC What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I connected to Dr. Couros through my Twitter network. On a daily basis he posts comments and links to things that are entertaining, thought provoking and challenging. Like any good teacher, he provides an opportunity to learn/look at things from a different POV. His Elluminate sessions are another example-- part of a course he is facilitating for a graduate program, he has opened the sessions to the Twitter-public. I have been able to attend a handful of them, and every time it has made me reflect not only on the content (always current, relevant an interesting) but also on this new movement of Open education. Rather than "fearing" I will "steal" his ideas for my own course, he welcomes and encourages sharing and collaboration. A prime example of how this "pay it forward method" works, I was able to send him some links/documents that I had put together for a class he was doing on that topic. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Perhaps not as much content as approach. I have been certain, for a long time, that his style of teaching/sharing-- being in the academic community-- was the "right" one, but I hadn't found the venue yet where that open, collaborative model thrived. I am now part of his PLN just as he is part of mine, and the sharing continues to grow as the network does
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #14
Name: Paul R Wood Most recent line of work: Administrator & Director of Technology Location: Dallas, TX, United States What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I have learned that it is important to share information, for in sharing we not only become better we become stronger. Dr. Couros has been instrumental in helping me gear my teaching of my high school students toward open thinking and learning in our classroom setting. I continually look to Alec for insights on the different way things can be done in my own world of education. As a result of things I have learned from Alec, my classroom is an open think tank striving toward understanding of the topic of Social Justice with Alec's own Social Justice wiki the center of our focus to use as a starting point in our endeavors. http://couros.wikispaces.com/socialjustice In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? As a result of what I have learned from Alec, I approach any professional development with my faculty in a manner that is consistent with what Alec has taught me, open, sharable, implementable and useful. That has caused me to personally stretch my limits in a manner which causes me to continually strive for new heights in my own learning. I just wish my own grad school professors approached teaching, learning and openness the way that Alec has shown and taught. They do not know what they are missing.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #15
Name: Don Dietrich, BBA, BEd, MDE Most recent line of work: Course Designer, SIAST Virtual Campus Location: Regina, SK, Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Hello and thanks for this opportunity to say a few words on behalf of Alec. Although I have never been formally enrolled as one of Alec Couros's students, I have learned many things from Alec over the years. Most notably, he has helped me to see the relevance of Web technologies to my own ongoing professional learning, and to the learning opportunities that I prepare for many students at SIAST. I appreciate Alec's thoughtful discussions of the ethics around the use of these technologies. Because of this thoughtfulness, Alec is recognized by many in the educational community. Alec is one of the few people that I follow on Twitter and Google Reader. I have attended several of his conference and inservice-type workshops. From those I have come away with ideas that are immediately useful, and some that have needed to percolate for a while. All in all, I believe that Alec is a strong candidate for the tenure track and I wish him much success! In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? 1. As an instructional designer, I have applied many of Alec's suggestions in the courses I design for SIAST. In particular, since learning about the ways Alec uses them, I now incorporate blogs and wikis in a variety of courses. 2. Following Alec's lead, I designed a wiki application for use by the
executive of a non-profit organization in Regina. 3. I use social bookmarking to share interesting web links with different communities of users.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #16
Name: Ellyn Schaffner Most recent line of work: Masters Student/Teacher/Administrator Location: Halkirk, Alberta Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Through various conversations, I have secured and validated my own beliefs surrounding developmentally honoured education for children of all ages. Alec has sparked an interest of mine and has motivated me, on several occasions, to write about those inspirations. His openness and expertise allows other educators to be comfortable in his presence and after twenty-one years of classroom teaching, I am grateful for the connection that I have made with him through Social Media channels, in order to continue on with my exploration of present and future educational endeavours. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? The shared experiences have been driven and guided through the use of blogging and twitter. We have shared experiences, writings, explorations and reflections. Some specific topics surround - communication's servers, being present, locating information to enhance knowledge and support skills, trust in education...
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #17
Name: Diane Cordell Most recent line of work: K-12 School Library Media Specialist Location: Queensbury, NY What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? In addition to educational content, I have learned the power of online interaction, both through "attending" his classes and engaging in dialogue with his students. Alec frequently leads me to looking closer, investigate more deeply, my approach to education. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I have used his ideas as the foundation for some of my own blog postings and shared his insights with my PLN (personal/professional learning network) on social networking sites like Twitter and Plurk.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #18
Name: Chris Collins Most recent line of work: IT Analyst, University of Cincinnati Location: Cincinnati, OH, US What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec Couros is an indispensable part of my personal and professional learning network. I've participated in many open discussions with him about the future of education and open access learning materials, and he's shared copious amounts of research and examples that I've then used in my own courses and projects. He's been a trailblazer in creating a culture of open access education and I consider him one of the brightest lights in our field. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec's work encouraged me to explore ways that I could contribute to the network - posting, linking, sharing, inviting all comers to share in both the process and the results of my research and projects. Through Twitter, blogs, virtual worlds like Second Life, RSS feeds, and other online resources, Alec has helped teach a new generation of educators how to best leverage the web to BE better teachers.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #19
Name: Jeannine St. Amand Most recent line of work: Mom, School Board Chair Location: Hanwell, N.B. What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? My interest in the use of technology in education stems from a desire to empower students in their own learning. I have long been an advocate for parent participation and increased student voice in k-12 education. As an individual involved in education governance in New Brunswick I believe our ability to move the system toward a participative, learner centric model has been greatly improved by the tools of modern technology. Early on in my exploration of the use of technology in K-12 education I found myself a participant in the “edublogosphere”. Numerous times I was pointed to the work of Alec Couros because he is so well regarded by many people who have an interest in the same things that I do. His ability to engage his students, other educators, and people like me in the work that he does, has made him an enduring part of my personal learning network (PLN). But what have I learned from Dr. Couros? Because Alec is a part of my PLN I have learned that the participative, learner centric model I desire has the potential to be even greater than I imagined. I have learned that the more you share of your own personal learning journey, the greater the learning of those around you becomes. I have learned that the best way to ensure the learning of those around us is to ensure that the systems we work in, and the tools and the networks we engage with, are as open and accessible as possible. I am a mother, a board member, a curious person - I am a networked learner. I am thankful for the open educators in my network, including Alec Couros, who have pushed my thinking and who have shown me
the best learning ecology favours adaptability, equality, and openness.
In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I have shared what I have learned by encouraging those I interact with to demonstrate their own learning journey to others, by pushing for open source products when possible, by spreading open education ideas in social networks I participate in, by encouraging people to learn more by attending the session he will give in Saint John, NB next spring!
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #20
Name: Todd Grant Most recent line of work: Special Education Teacher Location: LaCrosse, Wisconsin What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec Couros's EC&I 831 Social Media and Open Education course has deepened my thinking on the role and implications of social media in my personal learning and my students' learning. The walls of the classroom have come down to be replaced by a more fluid approach to learning. Prior to exposure to the class I saw web 2.0 as simply another tool that could be used to make a flashier product or simply a gimmick that would capture students' attention for the 50 minutes or so that I had them in class. Through the course, following Dr. Couros on twitter and reading his blog, I now have a better understanding of the true power of the tool. The true power comes in the connections that are made that lead to the learner being self-directed in the paths their learning takes, which has been the result in my personal learning. I have also been led to self-reflect on my own teaching methods to become more of a guide in the classroom, modeling the behavior (or language, according to Stephen Downes in his presentation to the EC&I831 class) that leads to deeper learning. What I've learned from Dr. Couros can be summarized as the real power of web 2.0 is in the connections that are made which can lead learning in unlimited and sometimes unexpected directions and that learning in this way is enjoyable and engaging.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #21
Name: Jeff Mozdzierz Most recent line of work: Director of Educational Technolgoy and Information Systems Location: Rochester, MI USA What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I have the pleasure of being connected to Dr. Couros through the PLP Ontario cohort this year. While never meeting Dr. Couros in a traditional academic setting, I feel lucky to have him in my Personal Learning Network. Through the use of Ning and twitter I have access to many of his insightful educational views and thoughts. His sharing of information through twitter has helped me grow in my position as Director of Educational Technology. I believe the most important thing I've learned from Dr. Couros is that in this day and age of technology, the more you invest in your learning (networks) the more you get out (for yourself, colleagues and students) In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Conversation, re-tweets, presentations, district committees, planning sessions, staff updates
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #22
Name: jclerch Most recent line of work: Secondary Teacher Location: Atyrau, Kazakhstan What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec is a constant presence as part of my PLN. His links are consistently excellent; I have used many of them in my classroom with great success. Learning here in Atyrau, Kazakhstan is enhanced because of Alec. I have learned not only content, but attitude as well. Alec's online attitude has taught me the importance of optimism and honesty. He teaches without being demeaning or arrogant, a quality that I really appreciate, and have learned from. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I often use information forwarded by Alec directly in my classroom. My students love learning new technology that often comes to me via Alec. One of my students once asked me, "Who is this Couros guy anyway?" They know him by name, and they appreciate what he does for them, as do I. I have also shared his links with colleagues.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #23
Name: Jennifer Wagner Most recent line of work: IT/Help Desk Location: Murrieta, CA, USA What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I have learned much from Alec Couros this past year. I have learned that he is a humble man who realizes that as an educator he must also always remain a learner. I have learned that he is a generous man and does not limit his students to his own intelligence but also allows them the chance to learn from others. I have learned that he is a family man and that the wows of technology will always take a back seat to the JOYS of family. I have learned that he is a learned man and have seen him argue both sides of an argument and both participants walked away as winners. I have learned that he is a man who shares and makes his teaching, thoughts, and resources available to any and all who wish to learn from him. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Probably not as much as I should .... I invite people to join us in the Tuesday night class. I have commented on his students blogs and thoughts. I have mentioned him a few times on my own blog,
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #24
Name: Ira David Socol Most recent line of work: Ph.D. Candidate, Research and Teaching Assistant, Special Education Technology Scholar Location: East Lansing, MI USA What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Dr. Couros has been a strong supporter of my teaching and research during the past year as I pursue my Ph.D. in Special Education Technology at the College of Education at Michigan State University. His sharing of teaching strategies and research in educational technology has added significantly to my knowledge base and my practice, impacting both my dissertation (on the subject of the intersection of human communications technology, education, and concepts of ability and disability) and the ways in which I teach CEP 452 at MSU. In particular Dr. Couros's investigations into the meaning and adoption of open learning technologies, and his willingness to share that research broadly and effectively, have pushed my own research into new areas. His insistence on strong research methods and effective communication of ideas has made my research significantly stronger. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I know Dr. Couros from Twitter, but since "meeting" him there, I have learned from him through his Twitter feed, his blog, his open, on-line course, and through email conversation, as well as through articles and data he has referred me to. In exchange, I have shared with Dr. Couros my research and knowledge via the same social networking and communication systems. In addition, Dr. Couros has given me new opportunities to review academic writing, allowing me to strengthen my skills in that area, and has helped me to become a better live presenter through my observations of his work, and via supportive
conversations. I consider Dr. Couros to be an essential part of an informal, but fully effective, academic "committee," which is as important to my academic development as any other part of my Ph.D. program, and I am deeply appreciative of his commitment to our global learning community.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #25
Name: Hadass Eviatar Most recent line of work: Substitute Teacher Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec Couros has introduced me to open teaching and learning, with his generous gift of time and patience. His deep thinking on the subject of learning has definitely influenced my own practice and thought on the matter. I wish I had had the opportunity to learn with Alec when I was a preservice teacher. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I am fortunately to share a Personal Learning Community with Alec, so I have been able to discuss his ideas with other educators.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #26
Name: Chris Harbeck Most recent line of work: Grade 8 Math Teacher Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec offers a graduate course every year. He opens this course up to others from around the world. We can join and learn from his classes every week. This model of open educating is very important. He is showing us the power of transparency. How to have a class and have a world wide audience. That Alec is teaching this to students in Saskatchewan makes your province a world leader in education training. I only wish that we had this course for credit in Manitoba. But here lies the beauty of what Alec is doing. No matter where you are you can attend his course. Be it in Canada, North America or the world Alec is allowing anyone to learn. He models what he teaches. Alec is a leader in the educational community on twitter. He is always there to support his network of learners. He reads, writes and shares so many powerful experiences with all of us. I will say when Alec tweets we all listen. I have learned how to improve my practice and pedagogy within my own classroom. He has shown me tools and modeled techniques that apply to my current students. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I participate in many "free" online courses. In these courses I always use the lessons that I have learned from Alec. In presentations in my own province I have spread the word of open education. Always
mentioning the ability of a course to be transparent and available to all 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I cannot count the amount of retweets I have sent out to my network on twitter. Not that it matters much but all of them follow Alec's tweets too.
When Alec speaks I listen, think and even mash up what he is saying to make it work for the students I teach. Thank you Alec for being a leader
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #27
Name: Derek Moore Most recent line of work: Instructional Designer Location: Pietermaritzburg, South africa What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec is THE networked teacher. He's been very willing to share freely, model open access and discover & engage with hidden audiences. I've learned much from both his content and his manner. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I've been teaching an educational technology module to approximately 80 pre-service teachers in at at the local university. Alec's course outlines and wiki pages have provided me with ideas and inspiration. I have also had to put proposals together for the establishment of an education technology centre, and some of Alecs papers and research that he posted on the 'net was useful as I pulled the idea together
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #28
Name: Lisa Winebrenner Most recent line of work: Instructional Systems Specialist Location: Fayetteville, NC What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I participated in the WebHeads in Action (WiAOC) presentation Alec gave 5/23/09 Open & Networked Teaching: A Transformative Journey. While I want to participate in other courses Alec offers between my job, my volunteering w/teens and my own educational pursuit I end up reviewing his archived presentations. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I referenced Alec Couros in a few assignments as he mentions the comment from the Dissertation Committee stating that they would probably be the only ones who read his dissertation besides his mother and provide the link to Alec's dissertation link. With the Webheads in Action events I am proposing that I be allowed to defend my dissertation in an open and networked environment rather than teleconference and PowerPoint. I try to support his students when Alec posts a request on Twitter and I am on a homework break. Sad but true part of this...I can remember Alec Couros' name better than the last 10 online facilitators, educators or mentors that have led courses I have taken
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #29
Name: Wendy Jackson B.A., M.A. B. Ed., OCT Most recent line of work: On-line Additional Qualifications Instructor, Faculty of Education, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. Location: Vittoria, Ontario, Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Initially, Dr. Couros provided me with numerous types of web 2.0 sites (via Twitter) that I could use in teaching English at the secondary level. Resources are important, but perhaps more importantly, Dr. Couros and his philosophy about open technology and education has made me rethink some of my initial trepidation in using web 2.0 in teaching and learning. His blog and his presence on Twitter provide a major source of professional development for me. I hope to get to a conference where he is speaking in the future. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I teach online Additional Qualifications courses for teachers for Queen's university. The course has a major module on technology and teaching. Although a relative newcomer to the Web 2.0 world, I endeavor to share with those teachers the importance of preparing their students for 21st century literacy skills and to engage those professionals in dialogue and discussion on open technology and education. I share routinely information, sites, articles and blogs shared by Dr. Couros. I also try to comment on the blogs of his education students, whenever he requests that via Twitter. It is great to see these future educators embracing the skills needed for teaching in the future.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #30
Name: Mike Nantais Most recent line of work: Assistant Professor Location: Brandon, MB, Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec has been a valuable member of my PLN, especially as I begin a new career as a teacher educator. I met Alec when I was considering applying to UR for a PhD program. Although I have decided to attend the UM, I often lament the fact that I would not be working with Alec. He is a forward thinker and very approachable for advice, input, resources and conversation. I have obtained valuable resources for my own work from Alec through my PLN, email, his web sites/blog and listening to some of his presentations online.Even though I do not know Alec really well personally, it seems like I do from exchanges in Twitter or via email. Alec is certainly deserving of tenure/promotion at UR. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I have shared many of the resources and ideas I have obtained from Alec with colleagues and students in my classes.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #31
Name: Kristina D.C. Hoeppner Most recent line of work: research assistant at University of Luxembourg Location: Luxembourg What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I think I came across the writing of Alec early in 2008 when somebody mentioned his blog either in a blog post or presentation. Alec is an open scholar who blogs, opens his classrooms and gives presentations that are either livestreamed or at least recorded. That way I was and still am able to follow his work from afar. He sets an example of how scholars can teach, learn, facilitate, do mentoring, interact, and engage their learners in the 21st century. Alec uses the technology available to him to foster the learning not just of his "formal" students, but of himself and also of all others who are interested in his work. I have been influenced in many ways because his work and his questions encourage me to reflect my own presence online in general and in the community of educational technologists, my teaching, my use of media. Alec's microblogging on Twitter proves to be a wealth of information similar to Stephen Downes "OLDaily". He lets us know about web sites and videos to check out that are connected to the field of media use (in education). In contrast to the OLDaily, his comments are very succinct (it's Twitter with its 140 character limit) but nevertheless convey meaning. In addition, he is not only interested in information, but also shares humorous videos, stories etc. that allow me to get to know the person behind the digital identity of @courosa. Alec is not just a scholar, but also an inspiring mentor. I have not been the recipient of his mentorship, but I see it regularly when he send tweets about his students' works, when he encourages them, when he asks about feedback from others on his students' works to give them the appreciation they are worth it. I am confident that Alec is very comfortable in what he does and is
open to invite others into his learning, teaching and presenting spheres at any time which then again gives him feedback about his work that he can then take to reflect upon his practices and make changes where necessary. Currently, I am participating silently in his EC&I 831 course by reviewing the recordings of the synchronous sessions (live is not possible due to the time difference). In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? A direct result of watching Alec, but also George Siemens and Stephen Downes, present online and livestreaming their presentations, led me to be confident in trying that out myself with presentations at my university. I had had the idea of recording lectures before due to exposure to iTunes U for example, but seeing others do it on a regular basis is encouraging. Due to technical limitations, a livestream has not yet worked, but we have recorded all our public lectures of the past 2 years as well as have already put videos of informal software presentations online that did not require a lot of editing. I share a great deal of resources that Alec points to in his blog or via Twitter with colleagues and students. Occasionally, though by far not enough, I comment on his blog, or retweet his messages to spread the word. Experiencing the exemplary work of Alec, George Siemens, Dave Cormier, Alan Levine, D'Arcy Norman and others who openly discuss their work, encourage participation and produce openly online, I also opened a number of the resources that I create for students and do not hide them in a learning management system, embrace social media, and attempt to use methods that they have trialed in my own activities.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #32
Name: Stephen Banks Most recent line of work: Vice -Principal Location: Delburne, Alberta, Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? The meaning of Transparency, that openness can, no must have a place in the classroom. That a PLN really does impact one's learning. how to run an elluminate classroom, through his open eci831 class. Alec models to the world what he teaches in his classrooms. I have read or viewed countless educational blogs and videos, thereby increasing my knowledge of theory as well as practice. He is truly an inspiration to us all... In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Spread the word about eci831. Used his material, with permission in my teaching. I preach the benefits of openness and transparecny as often as I can.i try to emulate Alec's sense of community as much as possible. I have tried to share the feeling that we are not all alone, and that we need not work in isolation.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #33
Name: Stephen Banks Most recent line of work: Vice -Principal Location: Delburne, Alberta, Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? The meaning of Transparency, that openness can, no must have a place in the classroom. That a PLN really does impact one's learning. how to run an elluminate classroom, through his open eci831 class. Alec models to the world what he teaches in his classrooms. I have read or viewed countless educational blogs and videos, thereby increasing my knowledge of theory as well as practice. He is truly an inspiration to us all... In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Spread the word about eci831. Used his material, with permission in my teaching. I preach the benefits of openness and transparecny as often as I can.I try to emulate Alec's sense of community as much as possible. I have tried to share the feeling that we are not all alone, and that we need not work in isolation.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #34
Name: Rob Wall Most recent line of work: Teacher, North Battleford Comprehensive High School Location: North Battleford, Saskatchewan What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I've learned many things from Alec. I'm probably going to forget many things, but here's the list of what I can think of. I worked as course co-designer and teaching assistant with Alec for his initial offering of EC&I 831: Social Media and Open Education in the winter term 2008. With him I learned how to create an online course for graduate students using freely available online tools - wikis, blogs, youtube, etc. Traditionally online courses have been developed and housed in an institutional course management system such as Blackboard. Our course design made use of a more decentralized system using tools that were also freely available to students in the class. While working as teaching assistant, I learned the value of opening up an educational experience beyond the traditional group of students. Opening up a course allows anyone to participate from anywhere, bringing in a diversity of knowledge and values. This increases the value of the class for the students. I have also learned the importance of having a professional learning network (PLN). Alec not only stresses the importance for teachers of a PLN, he models how one successfully participates as part of a network. Finally, I have learned from Alec that the roles of teacher and student are entirely arbitrary constructs. In a real education, all involved are learners and teachers. This has been a profoundly important influence on my work as a classroom teacher. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros?
As a teacher I try to model the good practices of leading in an open style of class (as much as possible within a K-12 setting). As a professional, I follow his model of sharing my knowledge and expertise with my colleagues as much as possible. I have also recommended Alec's course to several colleagues and friends who are studying for their M.Ed.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #35
Name: Julia Hengstler Most recent line of work: Educational Technologist & Instructor, Faculty of Education, Vancouver Island University Location: Nanaimo, BC, Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec was one of the earliest academics in the field of Education to recognize the emerging trends in open source culture and their implications for education. More than that, Alec has modeled his commitment to open source culture in the way that he has openly shared his work--especially in the field of higher learning where such openness is not really encouraged by the traditional culture of competition--by using tools such as SlideShare, Twitter and various other forms of web publishing to share his knowledge & skills. Therefore, I have benefited not only through the content he has shared, but the model way in which he has shared it. As an Educational Technologist & Instructor in the Faculty of Education @ Vancouver Island University, I have used Alec's conceptualization of the "Networked Teacher" numerous times and have also posted on my office door as I believe it's a critical conceptualization re. how the teacher's role has shifted. Alec has contributed much to the professional community of educators, and continues to do so through all the insights and assets he shares. I believe that he would be an asset to any forward thinking Faculty of Education especially in a period where open source technologies & open content are being increasingly examined and adopted not only in the field of education, but in business, government, etc. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? As I have mentioned, I have posted his images of the "Networked Teacher" on my office door. I have shared his insights on open source
with my colleagues at the Faculty of Education at Vancouver Island University. I have shared his resources posted in places like SlideShare with faculty and students as well as any others in my networks on Twitter and Delicious. As part of my Twitter network, I retweet content that he has shared which may be of relevance to my faculty, students and Twitter followers. I also share content he and his students have created with my faculty and students via my Delicious (social bookmarking) account. I recommend Alec as one of the people that educators and especially educators with an interest in technology should follow. Moreover, I appreciate Alec's willingness to help others in their projects. For example, I started a project where I am attempting to collect school/district policies with pro-social networking language because there is so little scaffolding for policy or procedural language available. I was part of Alec's Twitter network and realized that he had a broader following than my own. When I reached out to Alec to mention that I had created a shared Google documents folder as a collection point that could be shared by all, he did not hesitate in Tweeting this to his audience to help me solicit more submissions. I have seen him do similar things for others in his network. I greatly appreciated that.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #36
Name: Jenny Luca Most recent line of work: Head of Information Services, Toorak College. Location: Melbourne, Australia. What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec first taught me through his blog and his writings helped inspire me to begin writing a blog myself. His thoughts on the validity of learning using connective tools and building community have helped to shape my thinking about the future of education. His contributions to Twitter lead me to new ideas regularly. I appreciate the presentations he posts on Slideshare to help others with their learning. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I regularly link to Alec's blog through my blog. I present at conferences regularly here in Australia and reference his ideas; in particular his Networked teacher diagrams.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #37
Name: M. Jolene Schweitzer Most recent line of work: Teacher (Grade 7/8) Location: Regina, SK, Canada What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Everything that I know about the use of technology in education I have learned from Alec. His class was the most valuable and practical class that I took in University, and I still look to him for guidance with technology to this day (about 7 years after taking his class). Alec taught me how to make a web page, web quest, and even a powerpoint. He helped me learn how to do effective research. He taught me the power of social networking sites as a tool for learning, and showed me the value in incorporating a variety of forms of technology into lessons to enhance learning. He also helped me to learn about open source software, and open teaching. I consistently look to Alec (especially in the form of his Educational Technology Blog, and his Tweets) for ideas and guidance in the use of technology in Education. Without his help I would not have been able to keep up with the rapid and constant developments in technology and education.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #38
Name: Kathy Cassidy Most recent line of work: Grade one teacher Location: Moose Jaw, SK What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I have learned a lot about what social media is and how it shapes us. I have also begun to learn how to use it to learn. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I have shared things that I have learned from Alec with family, friends and colleagues. Many of his ideas have also become part of what I share through workshops and presentations.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #39
Name: David Truss Most recent line of work: Principal, Dalian Maple Leaf Foreign Nationals School Location: Dalian, Liaoning, China. What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec does not just preach Open Learning, he lives it. It is too difficult to say what I've learned from Alec as the breadth of the learning is too wide to contextualize. He is an integral part of my PLN meaning both Personal Learning Network and Professional Learning Network. I've participated in many learning discussions with him and I have participated in his open classes. He is a co-learner. He is a teacher. He is a mentor. He is a leader. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? • His "Networked Teacher" images from his dissertation are the first things people see when they watch my "Brave New World Wide Web" video http://blip.tv/file/1262079 (viewed about 35,000 times so far). • An image from his Thinning Walls metaphor are shared in my POD's are Coming presentation http://www.slideshare.net/datruss/the-podsare-coming presented at BLC09 in Boston. The concept is key to the outline of my presentation. • I mention the use of this same Thinning Walls metaphor in my video about blogging, "Why I blog. Why blog with students": http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/blogs-as-learning-spaces/ -It is the only reference that I make in the video. • So far he has been tagged on my blog in 11 different posts: http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/tag/alec-couros/ I can't say how many links I have discussed on my blog after Alec pointed me to them via Twitter, but I know his influence on my blog goes beyond when I've
• I've bookmarked some of his online work 12 times: http://delicious.com/search? p=courosa&chk=&fr=del_icio_us&lc=1&atags=&rtags=&context=user posts|dtruss| (More than any other educator, and just for the 12 things I've bookmarked about 1,500 other people have also bookmarked these items.) • And there is no one else that I have Re-Tweeted (quoted by reposting a tweet) on Twitter than Dr. Alec Couros @courosa
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #40
Name: Tom Fullerton Most recent line of work: Faculty Associate, Simon Fraser University Location: Burnaby, British Columbia What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec's EC&I 831 course is a model of open, online course delivery. He's found a balance between private and public interactions that allow his students to participate in a community of learners they would not have access to if the course was taught in a traditional university classroom. He proves that the value of a good instructor is not in his slides or his personal stash of academic readings, but in the conversations that he has with his students, inspiring them and scaffolding their learning. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I've been working with Simon Fraser to redesign their Leading and Learning with Technology grad diploma program this year. I shared Alec's course with the other Faculty Associates as a model of interactive, inclusive, rigorous, open course delivery. I've shared Alec's work with the other instructors and would like to invite my grad students into the conversation starting next term.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #41
Name: Jeremy Brueck Most recent line of work: e-Read Ohio Web Services Manager at the University of Akron Location: Akron, Ohio What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I have gained a greater understanding of the open source culture, free/libre open source software and the concept of open thinking. I learn from and with Dr. Couros on a daily basis. He has stretched my thinking in regards to socially networked teaching and learning and continues to be an important influence on my view of education and 21st century learning environments. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I have contacted Dr. Couros on a number of occasions to seek permission to use portions of his slideshow presentations in professional development workshops and seminars that I conduct. Dr. Couros has always granted permission and on several occasions provided me with full versions of his PowerPoint and Keynote files. In addition, I also choose to critique Dr. Couros's dissertation for a doctoral seminar that I was enrolled in. During one class, my professor asked me a number of questions regarding the dissertation that I was not able to immediately answer. To try and find the answers, I send Dr. Couros a message via Twitter containing the questions. Not only did he reply, but he ultimately ended up joining our class session at the University of Akron via Skype. Dr. Couros graciously spent 15-20 minutes discussion, explaining and defending his dissertation to my professor and colleagues. His willingness to contribute to our class greatly enhanced our understanding of the course material and also made a huge impact on my professor, who until then did not realize that guest could join our discussion by a means other than face-to-face meetings.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #42
Name: Karen LaBonte Most recent line of work: Instructor, Doc student, Teachers Collge, Columbia Univ. Location: NY NY USA 10027 What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Although I have been integrating technology into my classes for many years, Dr. Couros' educational philosophies of openness and collaboration have challenged me to review and expand my own pedagogy, and to develop contexts for learning and teaching that are not bound by physical or temporal elements. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I teach in the M.A. Program in the Teaching of English at Teachers College, Columbia University (in New York); Dr. Couros' philosophy and practices have informed my course design in three of the seminars I teach, most notably Literacies and Technologies in the Secondary English Classroom. I model creative problem solving during instruction. For example, about five weeks ago, students in my four-hour seminar reported that they were spending twice the amount of time on our class than on any of their other classes. The reason? The blogs and forums on our class Ning were so compelling, they didn't want to miss anything. Because the Ning is simply asynchronous class time, I immediately suggested that we cut an hour off of our face-to-face time. I'm not sure I would have even thought to do that a year ago. Dr. Couros' lectures and the professional development sessions that he has made available online will be valuable resources for some of our faculty, who need to be prodded to learn new tools as well as recognize some of the new opportunities for teaching and learning that social media affords.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #43
Name: Jennifer D. Jones Most recent line of work: Learning Media Consultant Location: Seattle, WA, USA What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I have been following Dr. Couros' work for two and a half years and both my professional and personal practices are heavily influenced by his teachings and the connections he has facilitated for me. As a professional in the field of educational technology, it is easy to feel isolated within a system or organization. I always published my content openly online, but was unfamiliar with the potential scope of influence in sharing across disciplines, institutions and international boundaries. Dr. Couros' open teaching model created new opportunities for me to collaborate with learning technologists, educators, and students around the world to generate ideas, test solutions, and gather feedback for better-informed decision-making. Additionally, he has always been available to connect me with resources and support to help me further develop my ideas and research. While he is known for his extensive knowledge of educational technology and media, I have found more personal benefit from his honest expression of core human values that influence his work on a daily basis. I am humbled by his compassion and deliberate attention to social justice and human rights. His willingness to sacrifice personal gain in pursuit of fair copyright is an example that outshines many of his peers. I have connected many others in the state of Washington with Dr. Couros. His work is respected and modeled within our education systems, where budget cuts in higher education are now reaching 30% at some institutions. By openly publishing his work, he creates learning opportunities for so many people who would have been cut off from
local professional development and travel. His documented engagement with learners has served as a positive, open example to local educators who have previously been afraid to adopt new media. Not only are they able to see him engage with learners, but they can connect with him to ask him directly about his experiences. I've had the privilege to travel to meet him and attend several of his presentations in person and have watched him engage with the audience before, during and after the presentations. I have witnessed his dedication to all learners, and not just his own students. His generosity in his own personal learning community allows him to easily connect his students with the best educators in the field, who are openly enthusiastic about sharing and relating to his students. Dr. Couros' work currently informs my practice as an independent Learning Media Consultant. Without institutional sponsorship, I am responsible for my own professional development. I have saved countless hours and dollars by following Dr. Couros' work and participating in his open learning opportunities, as well as those of others who are now modeling their work after his. I reuse and remix his work into most of my presentations and publications, with his encouragement and support. As a model for the future of academic practice, Dr. Couros is the professor I will look to as an example of the potential transformational power of Open Teaching and Learning. I will continue to share his work with others and observe as they, in turn, pass the learning on to their contacts. In a world dominated by information, where high value is placed on the knowledge worker, Dr. Couros is a rare asset. He is truly wise.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #44
Name: Taryn Romanowich Most recent line of work: Student, University of Regina Kinesiology Location: Regina, Saskatchewan What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec is a professor in the Education faculty. I have never had the opportunity to be one of his students, and it is highly likely that I never will. However, this is not to say that I have not learned anything from him. Ten months ago, Alec was simply another person I followed on Twitter. I mainly followed him because he was from Regina and some of my friends followed him. What I would soon would find out is that Alec is a tremendous and valuable resource. The reason that I am writing this is not because of something Alec may have taught me to use in my education. I am writing this to reflect on the inspiration Alec provoked in me to learn. Too often people focus on what it is that we have learned. I would like to focus on how Alec inspired me to learn. Over the summer I tweeted about being frustrated because I could not find a used acoustic guitar for sale that was cheap enough. I previously have never played guitar and was interested in learning, but could not afford to do so. It was also something that was simply in the back of my mind; something I didn't pursue whole heartedly since I could not afford it. Alec quickly responded and offered a used guitar he had sitting in his office, that if I could come and get it then I could have it for free. His generosity and willingness to help was initially what started me on my path to learning how to play the guitar something that is probably not expected in a response to a question like this. I picked up the guitar (and also met him face to face for the first time), with high hopes on learning how to play, but unsure of how to go about
it. Lessons were too expensive. I didn't have any friends who knew how to play. I was pretty much on my own.
Alec set me up with an iPhone app that would ultimately save me a lot of effort. It was a guitar tuner, chord dictionary, etc. For a beginner, this was gold. Alec also set me up with an extensive guitar lesson YouTube link. Using this, I taught myself how to play guitar well. Without him, I would have spent all kinds of money on chord books, guitar lessons, guitar tuner, etc. Alec ultimately made this learning adventure incredibly easy for me. The main reason I share this story is because of his generosity and willingness to help. Upon picking up the guitar, he stated that although he was giving me the guitar for free, it was on the basis of "pay it forward." Meaning, once I learn, I must pass it on to someone else who wants to learn. So upon considering Alec and his tenure application, I ponder this thought upon you. I can answer the question, "What have you learned from/with Alec Couros?" or I can tell you how he inspires those around him to learn, and encourages continual learning and teaching. I will eventually pass this guitar on to someone new who wants to learn, and then they will be encouraged to learn. I may even teach them depending on the situation. I will also only give them the guitar on the basis of pay-itforward, so that this learning continuum can transpire. This rolling ball of learning initially started with Alec. Although this guitar story is by far the biggest influence on my learning capabilities, I also have learned a lot from him through Twitter. Alec is always sharing new links and information on different topics. I am not an education student, however I find the links and information that he posts incredibly interesting. It does not relate to my educational field at all (Kinesiology), but it sparks an interest from within me. The main point is that I am always finding better ways to enhance my online and educational experience from Alec that I otherwise would not know about. He is a passionate professor who is committed to each one of his students. Although I am not an education student of his, I am connected to him through the guitar. This may all sound surreal, but eventually I will pass that guitar on, and this story will be retold.
In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Obviously in relation to my previous answer, I haven't had the opportunity to share my main learning experience. That time will come when I reach the moment in my guitar career in which I will pass the guitar on to someone new. In that moment I will share the story of Alec and the "pay it forward" idea. From there, learning will start and be transferred on to someone new, etc. Although this story is about a guitar, I think the underlying concepts are much more powerful. Teaching others is a powerful skill. Alec has perfected it. If I had the opportunity to take a class from him at the University, I would not hesitate.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #45
Name: Scott S. Floyd, M. Ed. Most recent line of work: District Instructional Technologist Location: White Oak, TX What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I had the good fortune of having Dr. Couros present to my staff and about 100 other educators in Texas last summer. Everyone walked away with an understanding that outdated instructional methods do nothing to move students forward in a society that is built around 24/7 technologies. It is a society that they must grow, communicate, collaborate, learn, unlearn, and re-learn both face to face and virtually. Without the practice of utilizing current tools and methodologies in a safe environment such as a classroom, students may very well learn how on their own resulting in poor decision making and bad practices. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? As the district instructional technologist, literacy specialist, and educational consultant, I have been able to count on the teachings of Dr. Couros to guide my own instruction in a sound manner. As part of my larger PLN, Dr. Couros has played an integral part in sharing a higher ed perspective demonstrating the necessity of the skills needed for incoming students. I utilize this knowledge throughout my work including legislative policy creation affecting positive change for all Texas children. These educational experiences continue to extend his work.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #46
Name: Ann Leaness Most recent line of work: Adjunct Lecturer, HS English Teacher Location: PA What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I recently started following Aec Couros on twitter. He offers so much to this networked online community. He offers superior resources for teachers using technology. He shares his student blogs, offering a way for both his students and other educators a means of opencommunication and shared thinking. He shares conversation and offers help with technological problems. He also seeks information, continually learning and growing as an educator. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec has been very helpful to me whenever I needed a tip or resource t make my own grad students' experience richer. I enjoy reading his student blogs and responding. His websites are all tagged and bookmarked for future reference. I have also shared links and conversation with Alec. I hope to get to meet him face to face at Educon 2.2, so I can thank him in person for all his help.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #47
Name: John Hadley Strange Most recent line of work: Professor of Professional Studies, University of South Alabama; Former Vice President Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL); Founding Dean College of Public and Community Service, University of Massachusetts/Boston Location: Mobile, AL 36688 USA What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? From my observations, interactions, reading and watching performance as a teacher would conclude that Dr. Couros is extremely knowledgeable about media, educational media, impact of media on society, open education, networked communities, technology, the educational "establishment," communication technologies, implications for education of changes in communication technologies. Know him (from July 2009) from Twitter, viewing all are parts of his presentations several of his presentations (University of Delaware, etc.), taking ECI 831 as a fully participating but unregistered student, commenting on most of blogs posted by registered students on a weekly basis. I have included in my EDM310 course (http://edm310fall2009.blogspot.com) many of the materials Dr. Couros has collected for use in his courses as assigned materials; two links to ECI831 student blogs as material for my EDM310 class this semester, used material from his undergraduate media class (ECMP 455) as examples for my students to consider when preparing their presentations. I consider Dr. Couros to be one of the five most informed scholars on new media and education with whom I have come into contact. I do not know Dr. Couros personally, only through contact on the internet. But consider him a colleague in every sense of that word because he makes the internet work in building a learning community with people all over the world.
Would recommend him enthusiastically and without reservation for tenure. John Hadley Strange, Ph.D. (http://www.johnstrange.com)
EDUCATION Duke University B. A. (with Honors), Political Science, 1960 B. A., Politics, 1963 Ph. D., Politics, 1966
Princeton University Princeton University
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #48
Name: Colin Jagoe Most recent line of work: Instructional Leadership Consultant: Science & Technology Location: Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB, Peterborough, Ontario What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I have participated in some of his online open class sessions. One of the best things I observed was final presentations from Education students. I was inspired to listen to their thinking and energy on the ideas of embracing openness and technology to leverage student learning. I learned that building an online network of professionals is about gaining and maintaining trust. Trust in each other as supports and guides. His model of sharing and learning has lead me to engage in similar styles in my day to day work with teachers and students. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I have shared his ideas and thinking with colleagues. I've build an online network based around education and working together. I've presented at conferences and workshops and used his ideas to work with teachers on building a network and working online. I've incorporated his thinking into an online community of science educators within our school district who are actively sharing and collaborating using all sorts of available tools.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #49
Name: Lisa Parisi Most recent line of work: elementary teacher, staff developer Location: Long Island, NY What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? It is difficult to narrow down my learning to one or two points. From his webcast to his tweet links to his joining my own webcast show, Alec continually contributes great ideas, thought-provoking articles, and educational links that help contribute to my growth as an educator. He is always available to help out and always willing to share his learning. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I retweet Alec's tweets often, sharing his ideas with my own followers. I also talk about his ideas frequently in my Sunday morning webcast.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #50
Name: Andy Duckworth Most recent line of work: eLearning Director Location: Tacoma, WA USA What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I have learned that the network is the new filter. Sharing is incredibly powerful. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? His philosophy of "openness" has been very inspiring. His enthusiasm for "openness" has spread to faculty on my campus. I have thouroughly enjoyed attending his open classes and have learned a great deal. It has also allowed me to connect with others thta have taught me a great deal.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #51
Name: Barbara McLaughlin Most recent line of work: Academic ICT Consultant, OCDSB Location: Ottawa, Ontario What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I have learned that Alec is absolutely committed to his belief in open, shared learning. While many people speak to this theory, Alec models this time and again, sharing his many theories and models, in line with Creative Commons. His willingness to help any of his PLN was never more demonstrated than when I told him, via Twitter, that I was guest lecturing at Ottawa University on Educational Use of Technology to Preservice teachers. His response was immediate, let's Skype, and collaborate. I have met Alec only once, and yet this open-ended sharing is consistent with everything that he writes, and purports throughout a large educational community. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec is a deep resource of research, networked colleagues and collegiality, and I often converse with him, and retweet his comments on Twitter. His willingness to share his work resonated deeply with me, and as I result I openly share any resources that I create, and advise colleagues who are still retentive, do so as well. I believe, as Alec does, that the more sharing and collaboration that we as academics do, the greater the knowledge creation. I received my MEd 5 years ago, and I would have very much liked to have had the opportunity to have Alec Couros has a facilitator at that time.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #52
Name: Dr. George Veletsianos Most recent line of work: Lecturer of Digital Technologies & Education (Assistant Professor equivalent) Location: Manchester, UK What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I joined Twitter after reading Alec's proposal for a book I was editing (Emerging Technologies in Distance Education, published by Athabasca University). Right after I joined, Alec welcomed me and announced to his network that I was joining. Thereafter, I discovered a community of like-minded educators who share ideas and resources and find joy in helping others. This community has helped me push my research and scholarship to new directions and has often provided me with "critical friends" who have reviewed my work. Alec himself has been helpful in push my thinking in my work and for that I am very thankful! In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec's work has motivated me to be more open. I now offer more and more of my work freely available online. Indeed, the people who have benefited from the posting of my work, would not have benefited had it not been for (virtually) meeting Alec.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #53
Name: Errin Gregory Most recent line of work: Secondary Art/Photography Teacher Location: Gold Trail district, British Columbia What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I've learned quality information regarding teaching and learning. I've learned about new ways to integrate technology into my practice. I've learned about what it means to be a connected educator and I've learned about the power of a global professional network. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Today I shared his 'Networked Teacher - Updated' image (found on his Flickr account) with teachers in a presentation I did on creating and maintaining a personal learning network. I did a Twitter demonstration and sent him a tweet asking him to say hi and retweet my request to show how fast and far-reaching my Twitter PLN is. He didn't disappoint - he tweeted back to say hi, then retweeted my request which led to people saying hello to us from all over the world. It was a very successful demonstration, largely due to Alec's willingness to help.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #54
Name: Rodd Lucier Most recent line of work: http://thecleversheep.blogspot.com/2008/10/top-20-uses-forwordle.html Location: Komoka, Ontario What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Just a few of the links he's led me to: http://delicious.com/thecleversheep/aleccouros
I've been lucky to use Alec's Creative Commons licensed work to create my own mashup of the digital learner. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I've posted resources to Alec's 'Open Learning' wiki, and he's participated in numerous discussions and presentations which I've been privileged to experience from afar.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #55
Name: Kristen Jacobson Most recent line of work: Librarian, Glenbrook South High School Location: Glenview, Illinois, USA What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Dr. Couros’ approach to the field of educational technology exemplifies the discipline at its best. Most practitioners whose work I am familiar with are conversant with the changes going on in both technology and education and do a good job of disseminating this information effectively through the relevant web 2.0 professional networking tools. The better ones provide evaluation and analysis of the effect of technological change on the delivery of information and help educators like myself to understand how these changes are affecting education and provide some direction for incorporating new technologies into the classroom (or in my case, the library). By providing excellent resources like his Open Thinking Wiki, Dr. Couros takes educational technology instruction to a higher level. This is not merely an online syllabus for his coursework with relevant resources. It is an excellent online guide to educational technology for educators. He introduces major concepts such as media literacy and digital citizenship clearly and effectively and also provides excellent and well-organized resources for the users to continue their research and enhance their understanding. Specifically, his section on Digital Storytelling is one of the best resources I have ever seen on this topic. He concisely explains what it is and how this type of narrative can be used effectively. He then provides links to excellent examples of the form and tools one can use to create digital stories. Dr. Couros never gets caught up in the “cool” factor of the medium, but rather clearly identifies and effectively communicates best practices. His Open Thinking Wiki is a model of what online texts of this type should be.
In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? Our school is in the process of creating a school-wide educational technology plan. I am sharing Dr. Couros' Open Thinking Wiki with other educators at myschool so that they can understand the benefits and strengths of incorporating these tools into our teaching as well as the responsibility we have to teach information literacy and digital citizenship. So far, the response has been very enthusiastic. I believe his thorough, thoughtful and hype-free approach to educational technology will receive a positive response from even those who are more reluctant to use some of the tools and methods described in his work.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #56
Name: Lesley Edwards Most recent line of work: Teacher Librarian Location: North Vancouver BC What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I take every opportunity I can to watch, listen and learn from Alec Couros as I know he produces quality content for today's educators. He has taught me much about: -social media in education -using a PLN -presentation design -bringing technology to my colleagues -supporting others using technology -networking -being open to new ideas -becoming a lifelong learner
Alec is one of those rare people who models what they teach and is unstintingly generous with his time and resources. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I often discuss ideas that have come from Alec with colleagues as we plan professional development for teachers in our district.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #57
Name: Stephen Rahn Most recent line of work: Instructor of Foreign Language Education Location: Kennesaw, GA USA What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? Alec shared some techniques for monitoring teaching interns. He suggested the Flip camera for videoed microteaching for analysis/reflection, Tokbox for asynchronous video, Ning for private SN for many interns. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I have shared his ideas with five colleagues at my university. These colleagues are all involved in the supervision of student teachers.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #58
Name: Luann Lee Most recent line of work: high school science teacher Location: Washington State What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? As a doctoral candidate at another university, I've looked to Dr. Couros as a role model in open learning. I've learned that it's not only OK but necessary to make use of different means of electronic communication with my high school students. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? My high school science classroom has benefited from many technologies shared and encouraged by Dr. Couros.
“What have you learned with/from Dr. Alec Couros” Informal Survey – November 25-28, 2009 – Record #59
Name: Anne-Marie Holmwood Most recent line of work: Media & Creative Arts high school teacher Location: Kelowna, B.C. What have you learned from/with Alec Couros? I met Alec Couros at UBCO this past summer - I was looking to learn about how social media (and related web-tools) could be used in education – both for a PLN and for direct classroom applications. My expectations were more than met as I discovered a virtual world I knew little about. My commitment to delving more thoroughly into these topics led me to use the Western Dean's Agreement and register at the U of R for Eci 831. Once again I have been keen to explore concepts of blogging, social-media (Twitter, in particular), open education, 21st century languages, digital storytelling, remix and open data, the back channel, and even gaming. Alec utilized his vast PLN and introduced us to specialists every step of the way as they presented to our class. I appreciated how Alec modeled the class as a true open education experience, and though this was intimidating – I am a for-credit student – I always felt supported and understood. Indeed, Alec has a way of validating his students various needs and concerns while challenging them to explore and discover new ideas. In what ways have you shared what you have learned from/with Alec Couros? I have shared my experiences with the high school students I teach, with undergrad students (I have presented at UBCO on social media), and with my colleagues at the large high school I teach at. In addition, I have created a blog (my 'creative media test kitchen') where I try out ideas and tools and then link to my my postings when I teach. My students love that I am able to challenge them with many new tools and possibilities on the web, but more importantly they have responded positively to the concept of digital identity, and, I believe,
truly are beginning to appreciate its importance. My presentation to the undergrad education students resulted in some of them creating their own PLNs on Twitter, and in a neat twist some have connected with U of R undergrad education students. Lastly, I discuss all of the topics covered in Eci831 with my colleagues every chance I get. I recently recorded a podcast (for my blog) where I interviewed our school librarian. In terms of district presentations for Pro-d the possibilities are endless, and include an invitation to present at the provincial teacher/librarian conference next fall. Alec Couros is an excellent candidate for tenure at the U of R, and I support his application wholeheartedly.