“[My philosophy is] to inspire young people with passion, vision and future NOW. Education is not the filling of barrels, but the spark of flames.” – Kurt Söser, Austria
We often talk about collaboration in loose terms here at Daily Edventures: teachers connecting via Twitter to solve problems, classrooms using Skype to work on projects with peers on the other side of the world, etc. So when technology not only facilitates collaboration, but takes it to a new level, it’s worth noting.
In today’s Daily Edventure, Kurt Söser talks about his approach to making math more collaborative. Using Microsoft OneNote, Söser has created an online, collaborative workbook that enables students to learn from each other.
According to Söser’s blog (aptly subtitled Passion, Vision and Future NOW), “My job is my calling. As a teacher I must participate actively in the future by working with children and adolescents. I see my job as a great addition to my life, because the new challenges, the complexity and the variability challenge me every day.”
Söser, who presented his math collaboration tool at a recent Microsoft Summit in Vienna, has been teaching since 2004 and finds daily inspiration from colleagues and online connections, especially as an active participant in the Partners in Learning network. Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure, where Söser shares his teaching philosophy and approach to driving collaboration in a subject not traditionally viewed as collaborative.
Why did you become an educator?
I wanted to inspire young people with passion and vision. Everybody said mathematics is difficult, but I didn’t think so. I want to show the beauty of math and knowledge.
What is your philosophy as an educator?
To inspire young people with passion, vision and future NOW. Education is not the filling of barrels, but the spark of flames.
What type of learning environment do you create in your classroom?
Why is using technology an important part of your educator toolkit?
Not using technology is not an option! The 21st century is here!
How has technology changed education for you?
Pedagogical and didactical diversity (a lot of scenarios I can’t do without technology), being organized, having all the information at my fingertips, and focusing on real problems, not mechanical solutions (especially in math).
What are three things every student must have in order to be successful?
Passion, vision, and endurance.
What is your biggest “pet peeve” (annoyance) as an educator?
Organization structures like classes (number of pupils), classrooms, marks, etc.
Where do you find inspiration and new ideas for the classroom?
Other innovative colleagues, the Internet (blogs, social networks).
What lessons have your students taught you?
Minimalism: how to survive school by working as little as possibly necessary.
What is your key to success?
Passion and vision.
What’s one piece of technology in your classroom that you can’t live without?
My tablet PC.
Who was your favorite educator and why?
My PE teacher in middle school: he was living his job as a teacher and meant everything he said. My biology teacher in high school: never lost one “loud word” because he was calm and stood above things. My German and history teacher in high school: he opened my mind and showed me the connections of the world!
What is the worst excuse you’ve heard for not completing an assignment?
(Not an excuse, but also very funny.) Some boys photocopied homework and traced the lines with their own handwriting.
About Kurt Söser
- Hometown: Wolfsegg am Hausruck (Upper Austria)
- Education: University of Salzburg, Master in teaching mathematics and physical education
- Personal interests/hobbies: Tech, music (playing guitar), blogging (www.kurtsoeser.at), sports.
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