The Friday morning Keynote at the ICE Conference in St. Charles, IL was from none other than George Couros, Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning. With a huge crowd present, George delivered an incredible keynote – one of the best I have seen. As Jennie Magiera commented afterwards, it was so refreshing to listen to an inspiring presentation that really focused on students the majority of the time.

Below are some of the key quotes and notes from the presentation with linked videos he showed and pictures from slides.

“The smartest person in the room, is the room.”

As a principal he met the students in the morning and made it to each classroom every day. His goal was to make them feel welcomed and get them fired up to be in school.

“Transformational leaders don’t start by denying the world around them. Instead, they describe a future they’d like to create instead.” Seth Godin

Be More Dog

“If you don’t like change, you’re going to like irrelevance even less.”

Are schools teaching for yesterday or tomorrow?

‘No Cell Phones No iPods’ gets translated to students as ‘we don’t trust you.’

Learning happens everywhere. “The longer we keep up the facade that school is the primary place of learning the sooner we’ll become irrelevant.”


Self Defense video

If you think of the internet as a place ‘to look up stuff’ then you are missing out!

Isolation is a choice that educators make.

Video newsletter as a way to change the way we communicate and engage students in that process.

The Big Question: Would you want to spend the whole day learning in your classroom?


“To innovate you need to disrupt your routine.”

“If I die, I hope it’s during a staff meeting because the transition to death would be so subtle”

Remix creates good for the community and for education.

Talks about audience and redistribution using the three versions of a Taylor Swift video.


  • Are kids creating “because of” or “in spite of” schools?

Haiku Example


  • Buy kids a domain name for them to develop and create with as they graduate – no more pens or trinkets.
  • Projects through Instagram – students are writing more than ever.


We live in a world where everyone can have a voice.

Twitter gives students a voice – example of a student tweeting the Toronto School Board.

Are we confusing narcissism with kids just wanting their voice to be heard?


Teacher shares middle school choir and they end up performing with big bands and on TV.

“Kids often defy expectations if you give them the opportunity.”


What is the biggest game changer in Education?

It is an educator that thinks differently and is constantly willing to grow.”