Tell us a little about yourself and your current role.
My name is Craig Kemp and I am currently Head of ICT and Learning Innovation at Avondale Grammar School in Singapore. It is an Australian curriculum international school in Singapore catering to expat families. I have been here 3 years.
It is often stated that many of the jobs that students of today will have are unknown. What skills do you believe are essential in preparing students for the future?
Creative thinking, critical thinking, thinking outside the box, the ability to adapt to a variety of situations, communication and engagement. All of these skills are transferrable and are important moving forward to a workforce we are unsure of.
Can you share a few examples of how technology has created opportunities for students that would not otherwise have been possible?
Global connections. I am a huge believer in using technology as a tool to support learning and the ability to connect and collaborate online with the touch of a button to classrooms and experts all over the world is incredible.
Here are a few examples about how I utilise technology to support global collaboration:
What are your go to apps for teaching and learning?
Every teacher needs a good coding app in their arsenal – my favourites across different age groups are: Tynker, Scratch Junior, Cargo-Bot, Hopscotch and Daisy the Dinosaur. Other great apps that are my go-to apps are: Class Dojo, Google Drive (all Google Apps for iOS), Remind 101, Explain Everything, Easy Portfolio, Blogsy, ShowMe
What is your opinion on BYOD? Do you think these schemes are viable options?
I think BYOD is great but it definitely depends on context. The most important thing about a 1:1 device program or a BYOD program (I have been involved in establishing both) is the infrastructure that supports it, in particular, the importance of strong wifi connect ability! Everything else falls in to place. Often forgotten elements of a BYOD program include appropriate staff and community training in order to support the learning of students.
What are your views on social media in education? How have you used it with your students?
Again, context. Also age of students and confidence of staff and school are important! I use Twitter for professional development and networking. The best PD and learning I do is via my PLN (professional learning network) on Twitter. I have used Twitter in the classroom with Year 7 students as a form of research / investigation when they were developing their own learning environment. Here is the link to the article all about it:
You are the co-host of the weekly trending Twitter chat #whatisschool, can you tell us a little about this and how it has shaped your practice as an educator?
#whatisschool is an edchat space where people can express an unbiased response to questions about schooling, where educators have a voice in shaping the future through their experience, recommendations and interests. Join us on Twitter Thursdays 6pm EST, Friday 12am BST, Friday 7am SGT, Friday 10am AEST, Friday 12pm NZT
As an educator it has shaped my practice and ability to lead. The ability to moderate a chat, in some ways, is similar to leading a team of teachers. It is an engaging way to communicate with like-minded educators from every corner of the globe on a new topic every week. Professionally, it is the best development EVERY week that I could imagine.
You can find the weeks questions and archives here.
What advice do you have for other educators who are interested in embracing innovative methods for teaching and learning?
Get out there and do it. Don’t wait or be afraid that it will not work. “You don’t know until you give it a go”, wise words from my Primary School Principal when I was 8 years old. There are so many opportunities to be innovative in your chosen field within education. The important thing is to have a plan of what you want to achieve, and like anything, make sure you have a purpose. Watch on Social Media, go to conferences and engage in professional conversations with colleagues.
What's next for you and what exciting upcoming projects can you share with us?
At the moment I am very happy in Singapore with my family and I have amazing opportunities to be innovative within my current school. I am heavily involved in leadership and have just completed a post-graduate diploma in Educational Leadership and Administration. I am hoping to continue this journey to support and engage other educators to lead with enthusiasm within their classrooms. I have many speaking engagements coming up around the world which is exciting and I hope to continue with this into 2015/2016. More information about my upcoming speaking engagements can be found here.
I am also very excited about extending my current major project with William Chamberlain called The Edu Amazing Race. The Edu Amazing Race is a new concept for us, where teachers can use our idea to create and collaborate on their own Global Collaborative Project. It is free and easy and you can seek support from other like-minded educators, or do it yourself. Watch this space. I am also currently working on a series of e-books for teachers, parents and students
What's the best way for our readers to keep up to date with what you're up to?
Craig it's been a pleasure speaking with you. Thank you for taking the time and look forward to continuing the conversation Thursdays in #whatisschool.