Mick Walker, Educational Strategist
Mick’s teaching career extended over eighteen years including work in secondary, sixth form and Further Education institutions as well work in Higher Education as an external examiner. He has worked as a local education authority advisory teacher and as a general adviser working with primary and secondary schools. Throughout his teaching career, he has been closely associated with the assessment system holding the posts of chief examiner and senior moderator.
Following his position as head of the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority’s (QCA) regulatory monitoring programme, Mick played a key role in the National Assessment Authority’s (NAA) modernisation programme leading on support for examiner recruitment and recognition of their professional status through the formation of what is now the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors (CIEA). Following delivery failures of national curriculum tests in 2008, Mick took over the post of Acting Managing Director of the NAA and is credited with re-building the national curriculum assessment system. A former acting Director of QCA and Executive Director of Education at the QCDA, he was responsible for national curriculum assessments and supporting the delivery of general qualifications. He was also an adviser to the Expert Group on Assessment in 2009 and more recently supported the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) Commission on Assessment without Levels. He is currently a member of DfE’s Marking Review Group set up in response to evidence collected from teacher colleagues as part of The Workload Challenge. Mick has acted as an Associate Director of AQA and Adviser to the Welsh Government, PwC and FrogEducation. Mick holds degrees at masters and bachelor levels and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Trustee and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors. He is passionate about education and aligning the aims of a national education and high volume examinations and testing system with the aims and realities of everyday delivery in schools, colleges and the workplace to benefit society and support each individual to reach their true potential.
Mina Patel, founder and Executive Director of Video Conferencing for Global Learning
Mina has recently given a Tedx talk “The Rise of the Global Teacher” in Washington DC alongside former UK minister for Education, Lord Jim Knight.
Mina is the founder and Executive Director of Video Conferencing for Global Learning (VCfGL). She jointly chairs the UK VC Partnerships Group, where she has worked alongside national advisers from across the UK, to put together broadband guidelines for the Department for Education to support VC technology in schools. Mina has worked for JISC (UK) in 2013 and wrote a report highlighting national recommendations for VC in education. Her company, VCfGL ltd, was founded in June 2014 and aims to deliver thousands of English lessons via video conference to children all over the world directly from London. Mina writes a blog, which showcases teaching and learning opportunities that the schools in Redbridge have developed through using VC technology. Her blog highlights the importance of the use of secure and interoperable, high end, video conferencing technology in education for all subject areas.
Brian Lewis President of ISTE
ISTE CEO Brian Lewis is an energetic education advocate and nonprofit leader specializing in management, governance, education policy, corporate communications, branding and marketing. His history of building vibrant, mission-focused teams, fostering organizational brand strength and advancing long-range growth plans has proven him to be a dynamic leader.
During his tenure at ISTE, Brian has established sustainable global partnerships with Virtual Educa, Worlddidac and the Arab Bureau for Education in the Gulf States (ABEGS) as part of his continuing effort to spread the ISTE vision and mission to transform learning and teaching worldwide. He has also strengthened working relationships with UNESCO and the World Bank. Additionally, Brian has empowered education organizations in Indonesia and India, and signed an agreement with ABEGS to deliver professional learning opportunities to educators from six Gulf States.
Brian has expanded the organization’s work globally to afford greater reach and impact. As a result, ISTE connects regularly with partners in the corporate world to promote global partnerships and to inspire the uptake of education innovations. He actively collaborates with the ISTE Board of Directors in its strategic role of guiding the ISTE mission worldwide. Prior to joining ISTE, Brian worked closely with public policy leaders, education leaders and industry representatives to support the transformation of learning and teaching. He has nearly three decades of experience in leadership roles with diverse nonprofit education associations.
Donald Clark – EdTech entrepreneur
Donald Clark is an EdTech entrepreneur. He was CEO and one of the original founders of Epic Group plc, which established itself as the leading company in the UK online learning market, floated on the Stock Market in 1996 and sold in 2005, and now invests I in and advises, EdTech companies.
Describing himself as ‘free from the tyranny of employment’, he is a board member of City & Guilds, Cogbooks, LearningPool, WildFire and Deputy Chair of Brighton Dome & Arts Festival. He has worked in schools, vocational, higher, corporate and adult learning, delivering real projects to real learners. These include change management, strategy, tool selection, content design and build. Donald has over 30 years experience in online learning, games, simulations, semantic, adaptive, social media, mobile learning and virtual reality projects. He has designed, delivered and advised on online learning for many global, public and private organisations. He is an evangelist for the use of technology in learning and has won many design awards, including the first ‘Outstanding Achievement in E-learning Award’. An award winning speaker at national and international conferences, he has delivered keynotes in Europe. US, Africa, Australia, Middle and Far East. Also regular (and controversial) blogger (10 years) on learning technology, his iconoclastic pieces on Robinson, Mitra and others, attracted lots of attention. His series on learning theorists is a valuable open resource.
Zoe Philpott – Creator of Ada.Ada.Ada, Director, Philpott Design Ltd
Zoe is an interactive storyteller with 15 yrs of digital experience and over 20 yrs of collaborating, writing, producing and directing. She founded “Moral Support” multimedia theatre company to “cross boundaries in storytelling” collaborating with artists, astrophysicists and computer scientists. Their award winning “Faith Hope & Charity” appeared at The National Theatre, London. She created virtual theatre for education using gaming technology with Immersive Education, winning a BETT award for “Kar2ouche Twelfth Night” and a BAFTA nomination for a physics creative learning tool called “Krucible”. She choreographed 4m high industrial robots for Ford, and created a crowd controlled driving game in India. 2013’s highlight was an interactive arts installation for London Underground’s Tube150. 2014’s highlights were directing an immersive theatre production with leading immersive theatre company Punchdrunk, and, working with Google and The White House to engage girls with computer programming. 2015 was the creation of Ada.Ada.Ada. – a one woman show with associated workshops that tells the story of Ada Lovelace (the world’s first computer programmer) as an inspiration for STEM engagement. The show is touring globally and involves an LED dress and a lot of string. This year Zoe is building connections with former gang members to create “Gangland Karma”: interactive gaming for Social Good platform for 9-13 year olds students using gaming technology. Zoe is director of Philpott Design, a brand experience agency
Genevieve Smith-Nunes – founder at readysaltedcode and Computer Science Educator in the South East of England.
Computer Science should have a creative aspect “STEAM” not just “STEM”. Developing creative experimental projects to bring computer science to life. I founded readysaltedcode C.I.C to make available a more creative approach to computer science education. Involving students, educators, industry and the wider community. Awarded Grants for Arts | Arts Council England and Google’s RISE Award for Computer Science Education through project Art of Computer Science and the Ballet [arra]stre 2014. [data]Storm 2015.
Chris Holtby OBE – British Ambassador to Estonia
Chris was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Estonia in January 2012. From 2007 to 2011, he was Deputy Head of Security Policy Department in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, responsible for UK policy on NATO, European Security, military and civil-military operations and co-operation, as well as maritime security. From 2009 to 2011 he was the chairman of Working Group 1 of the international Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia, leading work on operational co-ordination and regional capability development. From 2002 to 2007, he was seconded to the European Union in Brussels as UK liaison officer to Javier Solana, the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, and policy adviser to Dr Solana on Asia/Pacific issues. Chris has worked in both the FCO and MOD on Balkans issues and was posted to the UK Delegation to NATO in the 1990s.
British Ambassador to Estonia
The Ambassador represents Her Majesty The Queen and the UK government in the country to which they are appointed. They are responsible for the direction and work of the Embassy and its Consulates, including political work, trade and investment, press and cultural relations, and visa and consular services.
Sharon Ashley, Director, Makewaves
Sharon has over fifteen year’s experience working within the education and technology sector. Developing, designing and managing digital engagement projects for national partners such as NHS England, Royal Observatory Greenwich and Siemens, Sharon leads on schools’ activity across the Makewaves platform. Focusing on how young people engage with partner programmes through Open Badges, over the past three years, Sharon has had a lead role in the deployment of Mozilla’s Open Badge technology into the Makewaves safe community of schools and young people. Translating this learning to the Open Badge Academy with a focus on Open Badges and career development, Sharon is working closely with DigitalMe on the development of this new badge platform. Since Makewaves began in 2003, Sharon has been part of the progression of one of the UK’s leading social networks for schools and children, working closely with teachers, youth workers, health professionals and now employers and awarding bodies. Sharon is interested in how new technologies used socially can be usefully translated in to an education context in a relevant, safe and supported way for teachers, practitioners, and most importantly for children and young people.
Matt Rogers, DigitalMe
Ex-Computing Lead Educator within Southwark Local Authority London, BCS/CAS Certified Teacher in Computer Science. After completing a 4-Year Specialist teaching degree at Manchester University focusing on SEN and what was ICT at the time, I moved to London to begin my teaching Career. Teaching in 2 different Local Authorities over the 8 years I taught. For the past 3 years, I have been focusing on developing the teaching and preparation materials for the new computing curriculum within Southwark, looking at training opportunities for schools, and ensuring they were ready for the impending changes to the curriculum in September 2014. As of January 2015, I began working for DigitalMe as an Education Project Manager, still working with schools and Local Authorities, on the computing curriculum, but also with the development of a new ‘Digital Currency’ – Open Badges. These help to recognise the skills and talents of young people in and out of the ‘formal’ education setting. One key program of interest, was Safe Social Networking; and e-safety SoW supported by O2 to scaffold young people’s understanding of the Social Web – working with over 5000 schools globally and reaching over 33,000 young people. Alongside this, I have been working closely with Naace to develop CPD badges to support both teachers with their understanding and application of the Computing Curriculum, and more recently on a project developed to accredit technicians and network managers for the work they carry out in schools.