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Pioneering Education Technology & International Collaboration

Last week we were featured in an article on the Microsoft for Schools blog. Here is an extract from the article:

Written by education writer Gerald Haigh

Just before the half term Spring break I had a long and fascinating conversation with Jonathan Bishop, head of Broadclyst Primary, a village school not far from Exeter. Broadclyst, with its staff and children, as readers will know has been at the cutting edge of so many ICT developments over the years. They were pioneers of one-to-one computing, early adopters of Windows 7, and of what was then Office Communications Server (later to become 'Lync'). They have also been running collaborative projects with schools across the world with the aid of Microsoft technology.

Renewing an old friendship

IMG_2877I first visited Broadclyst and met Jonathan Bishop when I went there for Microsoft, together with a video team, in the Spring of 2008. We were there to produce a case study in a series on 'Innovative Schools'. Then, Jonathan was deputy head, and had already been a key part of a drive to improve teaching and learning, building the school to the point where it was – and is -- highly successful by every measure, and heavily oversubscribed.

When I made that visit, the school was attracting a lot of attention because of its very visible commitment to technology. The large, and then new, 'lecture-theatre' style classroom for Years 5 and 6, with a desktop computer for each child, made the news, sometimes, especially in the non-specialist press, in ways which distracted from the core mission which was actually all about learning. As a leadership team member put it to me at the time,

'We want our children to be communicative, socially adept, creative, empathetic and capable of collaborative working in teams beyond national boundaries.'

It's important, for example, not to miss either Broadclyst children's considerable achievements in music, drama and art, or the fact that they are friendly, socially adept, knowledgeable and very much at ease with themselves.

When Jonathan became head in 2010, he was able to take the vision on, working with a succession of excellent teachers, remarkable children and supportive families, to harness the latest technology to a vision of personalised, independent and yet serious learning which would fit children for life in the 21st Century.

Read the full article here