uLearn2016- Keynote speaker: John Couch

Post Links to PTC4– demonstrate commitment to ongoing professional learning and development of personal professional practice 

Keynote speaker: John Couch


Abstract: John leads the Education business at Apple – his more than 40 years as a computer scientist and his advocacy for the use of technology in education has revolutionised learning in the classroom. At Apple, our dedication to learning has always been a part of our DNA.

Since joining Apple in 1978 as the Director of New Products, John went on to become Apple’s first Vice President of Software and Vice President and General Manager for the Lisa division, Apple’s first Graphics User Interface computer.

John has been heavily involved in the education market since 1985 and was Chairman of the Board at Santa Fe Christian School for 10 years. Under his leadership, the school’s annual losses were annulled and the student body grew from 150 to 1000.

John holds a Bachelor degree in computer science and a Masters degree in electrical engineering and computer science, both from the University of California at Berkeley where he was honored in 2000 as a Distinguished Alumnus. He has also been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters and a “Leadership in Innovation Award” from Philadelphia University.

Leadership model

-Think about your vision – WHY are you going to something, not just what you’re going to do

-Apple’s Model: technology as a mental bicycle – technology enables us to create, innovate and explore

    • Vision (inspiration) – mental bicycle
    • Mission (practical) – one computer, one person
    • Directions – strategic (consumer, education)
    • Steps – tactical (creative)
    • People – companions, not competitors
    • Guidelines – think differently

-Education vs Learning

Education Learning
Overall paradigm delivery discovery
Social structure hierarchy community
context classroom world
environment simulated real
content fixed open
assignments recipes frameworks
activities Consumption and repetition Construction & creation
infrastructure Administrative focus Empowerment focus
assessment Teacher driven community-driven
process standardised personalised
motivation extrinsic intrinsic
expectation Grades & certification Skills & experience

Vision is inspirational and mission is measurable

-How are we creating a learning environment around technology?  We look at technology as a tool. Digital natives see it as an environment

-All books, learning materials, and assessments should be digital and interactive, tailored to each student and providing feedback in real time – Steve Jobs.

  • Vision (inspiration) – Unique Genius
  • Mission (practical) – Personal Learning Environment


What does this mean for my own practice?

Think about your vision – WHY are you going to something, not just what you’re going to do. This comes back to school vision, values, and purpose to the lesson- having the WHY at the forefront.



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