Christina PrestonI have volunteered to be a member of the Naace Board because I believe that communities like Naace that have thirty year history are very important to a democracy in providing national expertise in TEL & all aspects of education enhanced/improved by technology. I joined Naace in the 1980s when discussions between educators and government used to be informal, regular and fruitful. Now we see diminished opportunities for dialogue at a time when change is rife: like ITTE and MirandaNet, Naace need our support.

I see collaboration as a source of strength: in particular, I would encourage Naace to partner an international movement, Education Futures Collaboration (EFC)(http://www.meshguides.org/education-futures-collaboration/#aims) in order to leverage the power of international crowd-sourcing to ensure that education professionals have ownership of their own practice and theory like medics and lawyers. By collaborating Naace members can enjoy global publication of their knowledge, expertise, experience and evidence reconstituted into MESH (Mapping Education Specialist knowHow) Pathways that use multimedia concept maps (www.MESHguides.org <http://www.MESHguides.org> ). Naace members have a wealth of classroom practice and knowledge to contribute.

I’ve picked EFC out as a potential Naace strategy because I believe that the international protection of professional evidence is vital now that the current Coalition in England has closed Teachers’ TV, Becta and other government funded research websites. But MESH is only one opportunity for the future that I can see from my four decades in education as: an English, Drama, media and IT teacher; a London ICT adviser; a senior researcher, The Institute of Education, University of London; and, now part-time Professor of Education Innovation at Bedfordshire. I have planned, implemented and evaluated the strategic introduction of computers in schools in fifteen countries and won five international awards for innovative professional programmes and promoting collaboration across national boundaries –  as well as the Naace Lifetime Achievement Award.

Because of my conviction that teachers needed to support each other in learning about digital technologies in education, I founded the MirandaNet Fellowship in 1992. We now have 800 members in 80 countries and enviable search statistics. As CEO of the MirandaNet consultancy and the ‘not for profit’ professional organisation as well as a Trustee of our charity, World Ecitizens I bring some valuable skills.

However, in my heart I am an academic. As such I am bemused that, whereas Gove and Willshaw believe that all children have an equal chance to enter Oxbridge, they nevertheless have the greatest contempt for academics. In The Mail on Sunday, Gove, calls us ‘Marxists’ and ‘enemies of promise’. I like to quote this article as it bears the longest and angriest url I have ever seen (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2298146/I-refuse-surrender-Marxist-teachers-hell-bent-destroying-schools-Education-Secretary-berates-new-enemies-promise-opposing-plans.html). By the way, I am also now a proud card-carrying member of The Blob (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26008962).

We live in a very exciting time as far as technological developments are concerned, but it’s educational ownership of policy and ethical strategies where organisations like Naace have so much to offer. I’d like to help Naace continue to ensure that professionals have a voice.

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