So, who is Sanjesh Sharma?
I qualified as a teacher of D&T/ICT in 1996 having completed a Masters in Technology Management and a degree in Computing at Manchester University before going onto my first teaching role in inner-city Leicester as Head of ICT. Over the years I moved within ICT roles as we started to understand more about the impact of technology whole-school and across the curriculum, from Head of E-Learning at Lutterworth to the most exciting role of my teaching career, Head of ICT Development at Djanogly CTC in 2002. I joined as the government’s Academies programme was coming to life and would go on to oversee ICT across the school at Djanogly City Academy, in the role of Assistant Principal for ICT. Working with Intel, Toshiba and Microsoft we sat right at the bleeding edge of technology, implementing 1:1 tablets, real-time reporting to parents and virtual mirroring technologies on opening in 2005. In my role as a teacher I got to make the lives of some very socially-disadvantaged pupils significantly better and in my role as senior leader, I was able to work with a dynamic team to bring about systematic change, recognised on an international level through best-practice research and awards, including Best Whole School ICT- Secondary in 2008 (Becta).
I left teaching in 2008 and worked on national Academy projects helping new schools define their vision for learning and teaching with ICT, before joining the UK’s largest BSF project as Director of Education with Birmingham LEP with a £12M budget for CPO. My disillusion with working in such a corporate setting and the change of government meant that it was time for change.
New Ways to Learn was formed in 2011 and has grown into a leading organisation that is about the role of technology in education, innovation, introducing teachers to digital tools that have an impact in the classroom and working with school leaders towards understanding technology today and in the future. I typically spend 2-3 days per week in schools – doing everything from team-teaching Reception classes, embedding collaboration tools with KS4 and visioning with Heads. Every day varies and feels like we are genuinely helping schools. Last summer we ran the country’s first Minecraft Summer School and also worked with children in Nigeria on using tablets. This year we are bringing flipped-learning using augmented reality to primary teachers to support the curriculum at KS2. Every day is varied, and fun.
What’s his involvement with Naace?
I have existing professional relationships with a number of board members and have seen how their perspectives have matured and evolved and helped to shape national thinking around ‘digital’ in education.
What is his vision for Naace?
I see membership to the board as a milestone in my own professional career and would welcome the opportunity to work with you all to continue to grow Naace further into the leading voice it has become in education.