It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you this year’s and the first ever Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts.
You will recognise some familiar faces here. Previous Innovative Teachers and Partners in Learning Award Winners were all eligible for this new programme. Subsequently I think we have ten of the most skilful, innovative and influential teachers in the UK. It’s going to be a pleasure working with them over the next year. Expect some awesome stuff from them.
My name is Scott Wieprecht, I am an educator born and bred from the South West England, having worked in education for the last 10 years, and as a teacher of Mathematics for the last 5 years.
I have always had an interest in anything technology based and spent his teenage years building computers for his classmates at school. Since then my teaching career has veered to Drama and Mathematics but has always had a strong ICT basis in the classroom.
I was one of the first teachers to adopt 3D technology for educational use and was featured in the BETT TES edition for his use with it. I have always been proud to try the latest offerings, and find out if it will benefit my pupils and their learning. This approach led to me integrating Office 365 into my practices in September 2012 when it has only just launched.
Setting up a group of students to discover and assist others with its use, now affectionately dubbed "The OffPerts", My student team created a website, and began to publish OffVids (tutorial videos on how to use Office 365 in a classroom) and tips and tricks on how to get the most from the platform.
This was noticed in early 2013, and meant the group were asked to present at the official Microsoft Office 365 in Education launch event at Reading. Since then they have also been interviewed on the radio, and presented to other schools and educational leaders and in June 2013.
I am Dan Roberts is a self-professed “geek” who has always loved school…and is sometimes known as “The Chicken Man” (a moniker bestowed on me by my students during an especially unique class project called “Recharge the Battery”). As I explained to the TED London crowd, “Learning actually saved me several times as I was growing up.” Luckily for my students, I have kept that love of learning, and it translates into my teaching each day. So much so, I have won numerous national teaching awards, most recently the ICT Visionary in Education at the TES Schools Awards. I have held various positions of responsibility within secondary schools, including Deputy Headteacher at Saltash.net Community School in Cornwall and most recently for the last 18 months was Headteacher at the International School of Seychelles. My 5 minutes of fame was in 2009 when I advised the Obama administration as part of their educational technology reform 2020 plan
I am currently Deputy Headteacher at Devonport High School for Boys.
What does Partners in Learning mean to me?
‘Partners in Learning has made a significant impact on both my personal and professional life, it has enabled me to be an innovative teacher in my own classroom, it has empowered many students and other staff that I have worked with in several schools contributing to their success. It has created lifetime opportunities for those involved in education, through this I have been part of a growing global community of inspirational teachers who continuously support and challenge my thinking and direction’
My name is Kate Boothman am in my forth year of teaching at saltash.net community school and I teach hstory. As a History teacher I am passionate about ensuring that lessons are not tarred with the traditional view of the tweed jacket and rote learning of events. Technology is used by the students to ensure that lessons are designed to their needs in a hope to have students who are active participants in the learning process. Further to this students are encouraged to use new technologies to make community links with primary schools and local people so we can get to the heart of what history really is – the people’s voice. Through the use of different products such as Photosynth, moviemaker, MineCraft and more we have been able to unite generations in a bid to share the past with the future.
As an Expert Educator I hope to encourage others to take the risk of putting the learners in charge of their education and see the classroom as far beyond the walls of their teaching space.
I am Simon Johnson, a Computer Science graduate with over 14 years experience in the education sector. During my career, I have had variety of roles, these have included: IT Technician; Network Manager; ICT/e-learning Co-ordinator; College Tutor. Having worked behind the scenes for several years, I recently decided to make a career change and, after a successful induction programme, qualified as a teacher. I am currently working as an ICT / Computing teacher in a 1:1 Secondary Comprehensive School.
I am a huge advocate for the use of technology to support teaching and learning across all subjects and phases and regularly blog about how to use technology in the classroom (teachwithict.weebly.com/blog & teachwithict.weebly.com/computing-blog). I also advocate the use of Social Media Technologies to support teaching & learning and regularly use twitter (@clcsimon) and facebook (facebook.com/teachwithict) to create networks with other education professionals and share examples of best practice.
My name is Gareth Ritter, I am a music teacher based in Cardiff. I graduated with a degree in Music in 2003 from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. I am currently the Leader of Learning for Performing Arts at Willows High School, Cardiff where I also work as a learning coach, working with my colleagues to help them improve the teaching and learning experience in their classroom. Outside school I am lead conductor for a number of Brass Bands, play a wide range of musical instrument and play in a Jazz band. Previously I was a Hang Glider test pilot and had great success playing on the Wing for Cwm Rugby Club.
I have always found the time to be interested in the use of innovation and ICT in music and over the past 6 years I have created technology-rich learning and teaching resources, and delivered inset to many schools on the use of ICT in the classroom. I regularly deliver workshops in education on how to implement technology into the classroom. In 2011 I was an award winner at the Microsoft Partners in Learning Global Forum in Washington and recently was an award winner at the National Teaching Awards for the use of technology in the classroom. Check out my Blog at www.askthemusicteacher.co.uk