I joined Naace’s board as a primary head teacher back in 2008, and would be honoured to serve for a further term.
Professionally, the years since then have been exciting. I moved from primary school leadership to take up a role, currently as principal lecturer, in teacher education at the University of Roehampton, working with a large number of primary trainees and partner schools. This has afforded me insight into the broad picture of technology in education, and much optimism for the future. I’ve been involved with many projects beyond Roehampton, including international consultancy on curriculum development, authoring Switched on ICT and the new Switched on Computing, and regular keynotes and CPD throughout England and occasionally abroad. I was part of the team drafting the new computing curriculum, lobbying hard for a broad and balanced approach to the subject as a whole. I remain an enthusiast for the role technology plays in enhancing learning: I am a vocal advocate of 1:1 access, although I take a measured position on whole school iPad deployment, and am convinced of the transformative power of the web: I develop and admin web-based community sites for Roehampton projects.
For Naace, these years have seen the role of our association change, with a broader based membership, taking back ownership of the ICT Mark, the introduction of the 3rd Millennium Learning award and engagement with a wider range of stakeholders within and beyond the public sector. My period as chair of the board of management saw Bernie’s departure as General Manager and Mark’s appointment as CEO, as well as the transition from ICT to Computing on the English curriculum.
The national climate has changed markedly: gone are Becta and QCDA, and the DfE is far smaller than its predecessor and seems committed to letting schools and teachers lead initiatives: whilst the former contributed much, the latter has the potential for a far more agile approach to innovation, patchy as that may be. More recent ministerial speeches suggest that political thinking is now recognising the powerful contribution which digital technology can make to learning and teaching in schools. Naace’s voice in this conversation is an important one. Digital technology itself advances as per Moore’s law: 1:1 access, touch screen interfaces, the blog as a global platform form pupils’ voice, and an increasingly critical awareness of the role of data, and its use by government and business all feature prominently on the education agenda.
Looking to the future, I want to see Naace as a more dynamic community of those concerned to see education transformed through technology: we have much to learn from and share with one another, but our concern should first and foremost be children’s education, in the broadest sense. The professionalism, experience and intelligence of Naace’s membership has so much to offer, that we must do all that we can to make that available to all who could benefit. A strong, vocal and articulate professional association would be a brilliant way to make this a reality.