The first thing I wish to say is that this is not an original title (See George Couros’ entry), and I borrowed much (including the above video) from Dean Shareski’s keynote speech yesterday at the Alberta Technology Leaders in Education. It was a great presentation and I really enjoyed listening to it, but this was the phrase which stuck with me. It has stuck with me all through yesterday and all through today as I’ve wandered and thought about what it is that we are trying to accomplish at school. It totally struck me today when our school was lucky enough to have a Spencer West as a guest speaker. Spencer West is a really unique motivational speaker that is part of Craig & Marc Keilburger’s Me to We group. This video is well worth watching, and it gives you a bit of a sense of how unique he is.
He delivered a really unique message to the students, and you know what, he had their attention, their whole attention, all 1000+ students. You could have heard a pin drop in there, for about an hour (I saw the odd flash of cell phone, but for some reason those devices were put away as quickly as they came out). Now I understand that he is a motivational speaker, and certainly he has a great story to tell, but it really drove home what I thought was Dean’s message. Students will care if you give them a reason to be engaged and to feel like they are getting something out of it. I think one of my key questions going forward is going to be: “Do I deserve to the attention of this group of students?” and if I don’t have it, I need to work on different approaches to try and get it.