Friday, 5 December 2014
Today (5th December), my three Microsoft Innovative Educator Experts (MIEEs) & I travelled down to London to take part in the launch of the Microsoft Global Showcase Schools programme. Sandymoor School is one of only 6 schools from the whole of the UK that has been recognised by Microsoft as being innovative leaders in the use of ICT as a transformational tool in education. A truly inspiring day to launch what will be an amazing journey. There were about 30 teachers and school leaders representing the 6 schools in Microsoft's London headquarters, where we had the chance to discuss the opportunities the programme offers and experience the Microsoft Showcase Classroom. And while the classroom was inspirational, with it's integrated wireless screens and innovative designs, it was the people there that has to be The highlight. Everyone involved in education has to have some motivation to do it, something that inspires them to get up every day and work hard (in a physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting environment) interacting with young people, but I am always reminded of this most when I attend meetings like today's. There was a strong 'Moral Purpose' from everyone in the room, focused on wanting young people (& not just those we each individually have responsibility for in our schools, but all young people) to extend themselves and grow into the amazing people they have the potential to become. In the leaders break-out session in particular, we were having some passionate discussions about our responsibility, as leaders in education, for providing real, relevant experiences for young people, who are growing up in a world with technology embedded in everything they do. In the busy environment of a modern school, with all the issues that arise on a day to day basis, it can become far too easy to lose sight of the bigger picture and the wider purpose, so having the time to spend looking at the horizon and talking about where we want our young people to go and become is a rarity. In this modern world, we have to accept that technology is now truly embedded in everything we do and we do a disservice to our students by not recognising this. It is this recognition that the 6 Showcase Schools present are all aligned with and by working collaboratively, we truly hope to make systemic change for the better. Let the journey begin!