Upskilling students for life at Hale School

For Toby Trewin and the team at Hale School, maintaining a longer post-school vision for their students is critical for ensuring the skills learned in the classroom today are the skills that will set them up for success tomorrow and beyond.

Having originally studied Industrial Design during the digital revolution, Toby has experienced – both as a student and educator – the true impact of technology in terms of up-skilling for life.

“What has always stuck in the back of my mind, is that the skills I learned, and the skills we are now teaching our students through technology are not going to be wasted. These are skills that are always going to be beneficial, regardless of the career path our students decide to take,” said Toby.

“The skills we are now teaching our students through technology are not going to be wasted. These are skills that are always going to be beneficial, regardless of the career path our students decide to take.”

As the Education Technology Manager, Toby works closely with teachers to deliver consistency across all year groups as part of Hale’s ‘one-school’ philosophy. From the technology the students use, to how it is used in the curriculum. Toby is also a strong advocate for driving collaboration amongst teachers and students.

Toby is a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Expert, part of a global program of educators who work closely with Microsoft to drive technology innovation. As part of this community, Toby has learnt from peers how to strengthen the link between educators and IT managers to achieve a more blended learning environment.

“Whether it’s research and development or one-on-one ICT peer coaching with teachers, we’re always looking for better ways to empower our teachers through different technologies. To do this, we have to be quite robust in the way that we support teachers, providing a number of workshops and one-on-one training so they can get exposure both in and out of the classroom, to ensure they are confident using the technology.”

“Whether it’s research and development or one-on-one ICT peer coaching with teachers – we’re always looking for ways to empower our teachers through different technologies.”

Toby believes that having the opportunity to collaborate with other Expert Educators has kept him motivated to try new things, as well as provide him with feedback and affirmation on how his team at Hale School are using technology to further education.

“The opportunities that have presented themselves simply by connecting with other educators and schools from around the world has been amazing. One of the things that has become a new development for me is Minecraft – actually being able to see the benefits of gaming in education.

“We’ve also had some great results from using Office Mix, especially with regards to achieving a flipped learning model where teachers can use specific data and analytics to provide feedback to students who are struggling to understand difficult concepts. This allows our teachers to respond in real time – not when it’s too late,” concluded Toby.

“The opportunities that have presented themselves simply by connecting with other educators and schools from around the world has been amazing. One of the things that has become a new development for me is Minecraft – actually being able to see the benefits of gaming in education.”

Toby is a firm believer that technology in education should not be used for technology’s sake, rather it should only be used if there are efficiencies and pedagogical benefits that can’t be achieved any other way.

“Parents often query us on how we use technology, and rightly so; we need to show that their investment is having a positive learning outcome. Whether it’s through our own research or sharing ideas with fellow Expert Educators on Yammer, we’re always trying to deepen our understanding of how our students are benefiting from technology.”

Toby is one of four Expert Educators who have been selected to represent Australia at the Microsoft Global Educator Exchange (E2) in Budapest, on March 8, 9 and 10 – an annual event that brings together 300 of the most innovative educators and students from around the world.

To learn more about the Expert Educator program, including how to become one! Visit:  https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/education/educators/miee/default.aspx.