Teachers ‘need to be more innovative’

  • November 2, 2011
Teachers ‘need to be more innovative’

Gates scholar Simon Breakspear urges teachers to take control of technology.

Technology has been the driving force of change in education for too long and teachers need to become more innovative in their use of it, a Gates scholar has told an international conference of educators.

Simon Breakspear [2009] gave the closing keynote speech to over 1,300 delegates at the International ULearn conference in New Zealand in October.

He told the conference, which ran from 18 to 21 October, that teachers needed to harness technology for their own needs as educators and to become creative innovators, learning from business entrepreneurs. He said the working world of tomorrow will be vastly transformed and teachers needed to educate children for that world rather than preparing them for today’s world.

Earlier in October, Simon, who is completing a PhD in Education with the help of a Gates Cambridge scholarship, delivered a keynote speech at the Australia Council of Educational Leaders’ international conference in Adelaide.

He also ran a two-day emerging leaders conference for a network of innovative young educators. Simon founded the Global Emerging Leaders’ Summit in 2010. It is a network of emerging educational leaders across Australia and New Zealand whose aim is to develop innovative solutions to local learning challenges. .

In addition to his talks at education conferences, Simon also delivered an academic paper on 26 October in Herzliya, Israel, to the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment Governing Board with national representatives from over 40 education systems. 

PISA surveys 15 year olds in the principal industrialised countries every three years to assess how far students near the end of compulsory education have acquired some of the knowledge and skills essential for full participation in society. Simon says his PhD research is increasingly aligned with helping the OECD better understand the policy impact of its work. It focuses on the role international comparisons of school system performance can play for policy makers who are seeking to improve their country’s performance. Simon has spent three months at the OECD in Paris as part of the PISA team and is interviewing policy makers across five countries.

Picture credit: Pixomar and www.freedigitalphotos.net

Latest News

Shaping policy and Alzheimer’s research

Just six years since leaving Cambridge, Brianne Kent has secured a role as Assistant Professor, won multiple awards,  become the first early career researcher on the Governing Council of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research [CIHR] and is currently setting up her own laboratory to further her studies on Alzheimer’s disease. Since January, when she […]

Ed-tech wins Gates Foundation funding for access work

An ed-tech non-profit co-founded by a Gates Cambridge Scholar has received a $980,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop its free college affordability tool. Moneythink, co-founded by Greg Nance who is also its Board Chair, says the money will help it to accelerate the development and reach of DecidED, its free […]

Gates Cambridge: a purposeful community

As the Gates Cambridge Scholarship reaches the end of its 20th anniversary year, its alumni association is holding an event late this month which celebrates some of the factors that have shaped the scholar community. That sense of community, of a global network of leaders, developed and owned by the scholars and alumni themselves, is […]

Fibre optic project aims to improve Sri Lanka’s infrastructure

A Gates Cambridge Alumnus has formed a partnership between his university, Cambridge and Oxford universities and a local engineering company to introduce a cutting-edge technology to Sri Lanka. A team of researchers and industry experts from the University of Moratuwa in Sri Lanka, the Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (CSIC), the University of […]