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

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