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Educational Excellence


Achieving Educational Excellence through technology


‘Educational excellence’ is a term with many different connotations and


interpretations. For some schools it’s about achieving the highest grades, for others it’s about addressing the needs of the whole school community, and for many


it’s about providing excellence in the quality of classroom teaching. The way we define excellence dictates the way we achieve it.


Essentially though, it’s about raising standards to provide outstanding education for all students. In today’s classroom, employing education technology is one of the most effective ways of doing this. With 18 years experience in technology and education, ex assistant principal and managing director of New Ways to Learn, Sanjesh Sharma offers his advice and guidance. Educational excellence is a term that is regularly thrashed about in the education sector. For me, it encompasses a number of things. To begin, it’s about extending learning beyond the classroom, community and country so that young people are


aware that their future careers can have an infinitely global dimension.


The mark of true excellence in education is that no child is left behind, this means tailoring systems and processes to meet the diverse need of learners. By marrying the impact of human interaction with excellent data systems and business intelligence, this will meet the needs of learners more quickly and in a manner that is better informed.


Training staff is also a hugely important factor in ensuring educational excellence. While an assistant principal at Djanogly City Academy, each week one faculty ran a CPD session which focussed on how to best use technology for their subject. The emphasis for this was to show that training shouldn’t be an add-on but about continuing to develop staff in a way that’s more accessible. Today, educational technologies make a huge contribution to ensuring educational excellence. However, too often technology is relied upon but its application isn’t right. By steadily and effectively introducing new functions and capabilities through technology as an enabler and enhancer, outstanding teachers will nearly always embrace technology well.


Encouraging a new way of thinking At a recent conference, I discussed the importance of encouraging schools to think differently about technology and how this can help schools move from ‘Good’ to ‘Outstanding’ when inspected by Ofsted. One of the things I wanted schools to think carefully about was the number of annual renewals they had for software and hardware; schools need to fully review the


22 www.education-today.co.uk May 2014


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