Introducing the UK’s Microsoft Innovative Expert Educators – Part 1

clip_image001It 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.

Let me introduce the first five teachers, who will be joining us at the Partners in Learning Global Forum in Barcelona in March.

My name is Ray Chambers and I work at Uppingham Community College as the Head of IT. I have been teaching for 7 ray2years. I graduated from De Montfort University with a 1st Class Honours degree in Computing. Eventually I decided that teaching would be the direction for me to go in. I started teaching I.T as an instructor and went for a joint GTP and PGCE in teaching. After teaching for about 2 years I started to experiment with immersive technologies in my lessons. I had the idea of utilising the Kinect to engage learning. Using the Kinect was one of the first steps for me. The use of the Kinect has since grown and I have managed to work with other teachers internationally to inspire them to use the Kinect in their lessons. I’m currently working on a project on Touch Develop and my school has been working with teachers to produce apps to help in lessons. For example, one student developed a P.E application to help with revision. It is encouraging critical thinking which in turn enables the students to go out and find everything they need on their own.

My areas of expertise are generally within computer programming, but recently I have been sharing the use of technology in other areas outside of computing. For example I have been sharing practice through blogging and have had over 150,000 views to my blog and 100,000 views to my YouTube channel. Recently I produced a how to guide which shows teachers how to program E-books for their Windows 8 device. I’m looking to share even more good practice with other teachers and look forward to the experience of being a Microsoft Expert Educator. Partners in Learning is a strong community of teachers and means a lot to me. When I was starting out as an educator, it was a great place to look for resources and a good way of starting discussion with other teachers. Teachers share a huge bank of resources which in turn help you develop your own pedagogy.

NK-ENG-069 - CopyI am Nicki Cooper (nee Maddams) and thank to Partners in Learning I am  global award-winning Advanced Skills Teacher in Computing and Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert. I have been teaching for eight years and is passionate about moving forward the curriculum in light of recent governmental changes regarding computing. As an AST I am responsible for a number of whole-school initiatives and outreach with other schools and agencies and has played a large role in the development of the Kodu Kup over the last year. It was not a name of my choosing but Stuart I believe gave me the dubious title of ‘Queen of Kodu’

I loves to organise activities and workshops on a whole school level for both pupils and staff. I am  experienced at teaching all year groups from age 11 to 18 and has been responsible for the delivery and development of the courses at sixth form level for the past 5 years. Currently I am focussing on bringing more girls into the subject and have been attending  events nationally to highlight this issue, which included presenting at BETT earlier this year and at the House of Lords


I am David Renton MVP. I have over 10 years’ experience working as a software developer in industry, over half of that time was for my own company. I have 14 years’ experience in teaching at Further Education level, where I have primarily taught Computer Games Development. In the past 5 years I have been involved with the SQA in leading, developing, writing, vetting & verifying qualifications, curriculum & assessments for various computing subjects.

In the past 3 years I have been involved in creating educational games that make use of gaming hardware such as Kinect & wireless XBOX360 controllers. This put me in touch with Microsoft Partners in Learning (PIL) & I became part of their Kinect Team (K-Team). The PIL network put me in touch with some amazing, highly motivated and inspirational teachers and opened up many doors for me. Since being involved with them I have presented at events such as MS Partners in Learning regional forums, ALTc, JISC, Computing at Schools Annual Conference, Scottish Learning Festival, Scotland’s Colleges Annual Conference, Games Britannia & BETT on my educational games, Kodu & Microsoft's TouchDevelop platform. I also made contacts with teachers in other countries, including a couple of teachers from Norway and thanks to that I recently travelled to Norway to train teachers in TouchDevelop.  I have also recently become a Microsoft MVP for Kinect again something that would have never come about if it was not for my involvement with the PIL network. I would highly recommend becoming a part of Microsoft Partners in Learning, to any teacher interested in making the most of technology in the classroom.

IMG_5583I am David Rogers an Assistant Headteacher at Patcham High School in Brighton where he helps look after teaching and learning. I teach geography and I am Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Chartered Geographer and have been awarded the Ordnance Survey for Excellence in Geography Teaching in 2013. On Twitter I list myself as  as a runner, Mission:Explorer, adventurer, pedagogic trouble maker and geek. In the past month alone I have taken part in a mountain marathon, two half marathons and lots of other adventures. I don’t like desks too much, but have sat behind one for just long enough to produce a few textbooks and award winning online resources. After Wales, the land of my birth, I love Iceland. He lives close to the beach in West Sussex with his wife and four year old son.

I have been involved with Partners in Learning since 2009 and used Twitter to provide a real audience to young people when exploring the impact of piracy in Somaila. I have also designed and implemented a successful BYOD mobile device policy and have developed the use of GIS and mobile devices to support learning during fieldwork. I did this by involving young people, who I admit basically did all the hard work for me. I believe in the power of executing simple ideas well. Partners in Learning has provided me with a fantastic support network as well as inspiration for using technology to enhance and transform learning experiences.

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I am Ollie Bray and I am currently Principal (Headteacher) at Kingussie High School located in the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands - I took over this post in October 2013.

I also spend some of my time as the Senior Consultant at and Senior Associate at the-learning-crowd where I pursue a variety of projects that ultimately aim to improve classrooms, schools and education systems through the development of new school buildings, better teacher professional development and the integration of technology, outdoor learning or both.

I have been a senior policy adviser, school leader, head of department and is an award winning teacher. My current interests include social media in schools, computer games in education, mobile technologies, school design, outdoor learning and 3rd millennium school leadership.

I've been a member of PiL since 2005 and it has had a profound impact on my thinking and practice.

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