CONFERENCE DAILY ONLINE

AASA's award-winning newsletter, providing daily coverage of key speakers, topical sessions, photos and video clips of the conference.

George Models the New Way

Like so many of those who I was connected with on Twitter this morning during George Couros‘ keynote, I found it powerful and engaging. It was great to hear his focus so specifically on the student experience and the reminder that our students are really going to remember their experiences with schooling during COVID – so what do we want them to remember? And George, as he has a habit of doing, just says things that really challenge our thinking. He did that this morning with his focus on moving from being data driven to student driven in our districts.

As I have tried to do with other posts, though, over the last two days, I want to focus on something a little less obvious from the keynote. George was amazing with using the technology. For all of us who live in the Zoom world, from being stuck on mute, to having our slides not open to having sound now play on video we have all experienced the trials and tribulations of trying to be good models in the virtual world. George made it look easy. What he was able to do, that is rare and exceptionally difficult, is bring the power and emotion of an in-person keynote to the virtual world. Now, I am sure it was not his first virtual keynote and he probably has a set-up with a high quality ring light (I didn't know what this was 6 months ago), new camera and multiple controls for all his inputs and outputs. But he did things I haven't see others do at this event, or really at any education events. He moved effortlessly back and forth with his videos, he adjusted volume of his videos as he spoke so the audience could hear both and he used media to make powerful points to bring emotion to his words.

George's content is great – and both his books are excellent. He is also a great model for the new skills. How are we ensuring that teachers, administrators and superintendents can use the tools like George did? I have to believe that even when COVID-19 is spoken of in the past tense, so much of what has gone virtual will still be with us.