In Conversation with…

Presenting the latest thinking from key educational technology influencers across the globe. We bring education leaders the intelligence they need to make informed decisions regarding education technology in their organisations. 

Mike TholfsenPrincipal Product Manager for Microsoft Education  – talks to Glaucia Rosas about how Microsoft is helping schools face the challenges of blended learning and what lies ahead. Mike stresses Microsoft’s focus on personalising learning  and accessibility tools in their platforms and shares how schools can keep up with the company’s new developments. 

Philippa Wraithmell, Head of Technology and Innovation at Cranleigh School in Abu Dhabi discusses the importance of having a structured education technology ecosystem in schools. Philippa also highlights the responsibilities that digital learning leaders have in schools (data protection, safeguarding, training and much more) and their critical roles as school advisors. 

Dr. Arnie Bieber, has steered the International School of Prague to become one of the most innovative schools in Europe. His 13 year headship is marked by a deep commitment to the school mission and a shared strategy that is present in all corners of the school. 

In this interview, he talks about embedding a strong mission and a solid strategy in schools, leading innovation and learning for the 21st century. He also talks about skills-based curriculum, challenging learning environments, and schools as learning organisations for students and staff.

Hannah Young is an experienced educator and specialist in blended and hybrid learning. She teaches History, Politics & Modern Studies at a prestigious school in Scottland and holds a masters in Educational Technologies and Instructional DesignIn this interview she shares her strategies for effective teaching and learning that any teacher can incorporate in their online or blended courses. Hannah also talks about future proofing the school curriculum and the role of technology to support this new educational paradigm.

JC Gaillard is an expert on security, risk and emerging technologies. JC is a thought-leader active across the Cyber Security community in the UK and abroad, and the founder of Corix Partners, a Management Consultancy Firm focused on assisting C-level executives in resolving Cyber Security Strategy, Organisation and Governance challenges. In this interview he talks about the importance for school leaders to understand cyber issues that can affect schools and shares corporate best practices that they can adopt to avoid data breach and ransomware attacks.

Silvia Scuracchio is the Founder and Principal of Escola Bosque,  a private school in São Paulo, Brazil.  Escola Bosque is a Microsoft Showcase School, a T4 Global Showcase School, and a true reference of leadership for innovation in education. In this interview, she shares the principles of a successful digital transformation and how her school navigated the pandemic with impressive results. Silvia shares how good leadership is the key for smaller schools to be innovate and maintain themselves as future relevant to students.

Ben Schorr is a Senior Content Designer in the Microsoft 365 Cybersecurity team and a guru on the subject. He is also an author, speaker, and columnist. In this interview he covers the wealth of cybersecurity features that Microsoft’s Office365 platform has to offer.  He highlights the features of Microsoft 365 that schools should deploy to be safer, such as conditional access, multi factor authentication, safe-links, safe-attachment, least privilege, and many more. Ben also explains concepts such as ‘Zero Trust’ and ‘Safe Access Surface Edge’ and touches on the importance of promoting a positive security culture within the school. The interview is not technical and is intended for School Leaders and IT Managers.

This is a fantastic session for school leaders – cybersecurity in plain English!

Eve Psalti has led Microsoft global strategy for its education programs, has worked as head of strategic platforms at Google and now is again at Microsoft as the Principal Group Project Manager. Having published a number or articles, Eve is a tech guru and AI evangelist. In this interview she covers the role of artificial intelligence in teaching and learning and in school operations. She shares where Microsoft is heading with its AI embedded tools for education and how schools can best incorporate them. We also discuss the role of teachers with the rise of AI and the importance of teaching students about AI and the effect on their lives today and in their future.

The interview is not technical and is intended for school leaders and digital learning leaders. 

John Mikton is currently the Head of Education and Media Technology (and Deputy Principal) at the International School of Luxembourg. John is an edtech guru and and a trainer at the Principal Training Centre – facilitating courses on Technology and Online Blended Learning. He is a Certified Google Trainer, an Apple Distinguished Educator and a facilitator at the Institut de formation de l’Éducation Nationale du Luxembourg. In this interview we explored how schools can create an intentional culture of innovation in the school and how school leaders can tackle the major challenges they face in their institutions in this post pandemic world. John also gives an overview of the major points schools should focus on when adapting to the new General Data Protection Regulations.

Adam Selwood is the Co-founder and CTO of the Melbourne based Cyber and Data Protection company Cynch, a company that provides what they term as ‘Cyber Coaching’ to over 400 small businesses of all types in Australia. They are now launching their new product ‘Cynch For Schools’, which helps school Bursars and Business Managers manage their organisation’s cybersecurity and data protection issues.

In this interview, Adam explains how their coaching program is focused on ‘cyber fitness’ and how adopting such an approach can help schools around the world deal with the growing cyber threats.

Bill Freitas is an experienced Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) in the Education field. He is a Certified Education Technology Leader (CETL®) by COSN and a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP).  After a distinguished career with several top US Schools, Bill now supports the EduTec Alliance in providing its member services.

In this interview, we tap into Bill’s vast experience and focus on his approach to protecting schools from cyber risk. He offers practical advice to school leaders who may feel overwhelmed by the complexity of the subject.

Martin Baker is the CEO and co-founder of The Safeguarding Company, the makers of the Queen’s Award-winning safeguarding software, MyConcern®. As a  former Chief Constable, Martin’s career spanned five UK police forces, including significant spells in counter-terrorism, safeguarding and child protection.  He is an experienced school governor and is currently a director of a Multi-Academy Trust.   Martin is co-author of the 2021 Amazon best seller, ‘Lessons Will Be Learned: Transforming Safeguarding in Education’.  In this interview, we discuss safeguarding strategies that work for today’s “digital school” and how proactive leaders are empowered to protect their organisations from issues around information management, data protection regulations and cyberattacks.

Krishnan Gopi is a change agent and turnaround specialist who is passionate about disrupting organisations from within. He has been leading business transformation strategy & execution for two decades, focusing on the potential of technology to leap-frog the competition. He has been a CIO, a CTO, and the first-ever CDO (Chief Disruption Officer) in the education world. Besides being the Group CDO at GEMS, the leading k-12 private education provider, he is also the CEO of TMRW, the edtech arm of GEMS.

In this interview, we discuss digital transformation as a necessity for schools to achieve teaching and learning excellence and operational efficiency.  Krishnan also provides us with an insight into TMRW’s innovative LearningOS – a disruptive system that promises to revolutionise education. Finally, we tackle the issues that schools must come to embrace if they intend to remain competitive, such as AI infused operations, robot teachers, data optimisation and fluency, blockchain, and much more. A must see interview for leaders in the education field.

Andreas Schleicher is the Director of the OECD’s Directorate for Education & Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General.

Even though many people  know OECD from its PISA studies, it does much more in the education space. In addition to policy and country reviews, the work of the directorate also includes the , the OECD Survey of Adult Skills, the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey and the development and analysis of benchmarks on the performance of education systems.

Andreas has worked for over 20 years with ministers and education leaders to improve education and has received numerous awards for his works. 

It’s fair to say that Andreas is possibly the individual on this planet with the best global overview of the current state of education and how it’s evolving.

In this interview he gives us a glimpse of how the future of education will look with the rise of blockchain, AI, the Metaverse and robots – and how schools will need to address this new reality.

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