Mount instructor shifting minds

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September 26, 2014

Al Reyner receives national leadership award

Al Reyner is a veteran of the teaching and learning environment, a graduate of the Mount’s Master of Education program in Educational Psychology, and a former high school principal. As an instructor in the Mount’s Faculty of Education, Al encourages students to take an active and leading role in their own learning, while embedding technology in a strategic and sensible way. It’s an approach that has earned him a national award: the C21 Shifting Minds Individual Leadership Award for distinctive achievement in the field of 21st century learning and innovation. On September 18, Al was presented with the award in a ceremony attended by colleagues and students within the Faculty of Education, and representatives from C21.

An organization made up of both educational and private sector institutions, C21 aims to support teachers and institutions who integrate 21st century technologies into their classrooms in meaningful and effective ways. It’s a vision that resonates with Al Reyner, whose passion is 21st century teaching and learning.

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(Photo: Al Reyner, centre, surrounded by students, colleagues and C21 representatives at ceremony)

Technology can make good teachers better

While technology integration in the classroom is important, Al stresses that it must be done strategically, noting, “Technology makes good teachers better and bad teachers worse.” His own approach has been to guide students in using technology through inquiry- and project-based learning. For students, incorporating technology to complete projects has led them to finding answers and inspiration on their own.

This method of teaching, Al explains, is an intensive and challenging undertaking. “Inquiry-based teaching is rewarding for educators because you spend so much time facilitating student progress and helping them to problem-solve. I tell my students that it’s okay not knowing, but it’s not okay to be okay not knowing.”

Al says that the future for the integration of technology in teaching and learning looks promising. “Although it is an honour to be recognized for something you are passionate about, my greatest joy is that inquiry- and project-based learning and creative use of technology are becoming widespread among our teachers and educators,” he says. “I believe we have surpassed the tipping point and have critical mass to create a 21st century paradigm shift.”

The Mount congratulates Al on receiving this prestigious award for his work with the Faculty of Education.













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