Talking about . . .

International Teacher Magazine presents The ITM Podcast: Talking about . . . Each month we bring together two innovators from very different fields of international education and, as they learn from each other, we learn from them. Aiming to spark discussion beyond the podcast itself, Talking about . . . is hosted by Andy Homden, Editor of ITM, and produced by teacher and artist, Jason Lasky, Head of Audio at Honey to Your Ears.

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Being a school librarian

Wednesday Dec 13, 2023

Wednesday Dec 13, 2023

Librarians are perhaps the unsung heroes of international education. They always have a foot in more than one camp, playing both teaching and support roles. Story tellers and administrators, they will lead curriculum and community initiatives and often manage a wide range of physical and digital resources for the school outside the library.
In this edition of the ITM Podcast, we speak to two people who inhabit and shape this special environment. Rob George is the Head of Libraries at the Alice Smith School in Kuala Lumpur and Sally Flint was Head of Libraries at Bangkok Patana School before returning to the UK.
Just how and why they became school librarians is a story in itself: in their previous lives as teachers, Rob taught Physics and Sal taught English.
But when they made the move, was the job what they expected it to be? What were the challenges and just why did they come to love being a librarian so much?
And love it they clearly do.
Their conversation ranges from how library spaces and collections are changing, to why physical books have retained their special appeal, even in an age of digital resources to which a school community has access 24/7.
And it is that word ‘community’ they keep returning to, as they explore how the school community finds a place in the library, and how, in turn, the community is shaped by the Library itself.

Monday Jul 03, 2023

Wherever your school is with the issue of equity, this well-informed, down-to-earth conversation between two of the most experienced educators responsible for establishing a culture of equity in a school is a must-listen. In 20 short minutes Nunana Nyomi, DEIJ Coordinator at Leysin American School and Clare Ives, EDI lead at Sevenoaks School shine a clear light on the real issues that almost everyone has found challenging. How can a really good school be egalitarian - but not equitable? Why are Senior Leadership Teams hesitant about taking on issues of equity? How do you deal with the fear of being caught up in an unwelcome flare-up of the culture wars in your own community? 
After listening to Clare and Nunana, a pathway just might open up. After all, we've been giving additioanl learning support to students who need it for many years. Their argument is that not only is it time to address other serious issues of marginalisation, but that it will make a school community much stronger and productive to do so if it is done in the right way. 
Nunana Nyomi has been the University Advisor and DEIJ Coordinator at Leysin American School in Switzerland since 2021. He’s a TCK, growing up in the U.S., Ghana, Kenya, Switzerland, and the U.K. After graduating from Calvin University where he studied French and International Relations, he spent seven years in Calvin’s Admissions Office, where he became Associate Director of International Admissions. After completing a Masters in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University, he moved to the Council of International Schools as Associate Director of Higher Educational Services and finally to LAS.  
Clare Ives is Senior Deputy Head and EDI lead at Sevenoaks School in the UK. She is a graduate of St. Andrews, where she also took her PhD in American History, focusing on the development of Civil Rights in the 1960s. She spent eight years as a civil servant, before leaving to teach History at Canford School where she subsequently became a Housemistress and EDI lead before her move to Sevenoaks in 2021.

Sunday May 07, 2023

In the May 2023 edition of the ITM Podcast, Nalini Cook of and Mansoor Ahmed, two of the most respected observers of the international school scene talk to Andy Homden about the post-pandemic world of international education and the changes already shaping its future.
They agree: although international schools have faced real challenges in the early 2020s, a new paradigm for international education is emerging from a badly disrupted world and it is charged for growth.
Mega-projects, the realignment of geo-politics, the rise of the digital nomad and the increasing mobility of a new and aspirational middle classes in growing economies are all contributing. 
Mansoor Ahmed is the Executive Director (Middle East and Africa) at Colliers International. Based in Dubai, he is the Head of Development Solutions in the areas of Real Estate, Education, Healthcare and PPP. He leads a team of over 30 experienced advisors and has been responsible for the completion of more than a thousand individual projects throughout the region in the last 20 years. After an early career as a research economist he made the move to the business world with Arthur Anderson and then EY. Now as a senior member of the Colliers team, he is a sought after commentator on the links between regional development, education and health.
Nalini Cook is the Head of Global Research at ISC Research, and heads the team analysing and commenting on the growth of the international schools market worldwide. A graduate of Lancaster University where she also took her Masters, her wide-ranging international career and long-term work at ISC Research has given her the kind of global insight and understanding of international education that makes her analysis of developments in the international school sector so highly valued in both the business and education worlds.
Talking about - the ITM Podcast is recorded and produced by sound solution expert Jason Lasky

Talking about EdTech

Monday Feb 06, 2023

Monday Feb 06, 2023

Where are we with EdTech? Forging ahead? On pause? Or even moving backwards? Al Kingsley, CEO of NetSupport and Matt Harris Ed.D, Co-Founder and CEO of share contrasting views with Andy Homden in this edition of the ITM Podcast, Talking about EdTech.
Optimism and frustration
Al Kingsley has every confidence that the foundations have been laid for personalising the learning of any individual student who can get online. For Al, connectivity and the potential that digital solutions offer for collaboration between learners are EdTech’s most exciting achievement to date - and there's more to come.
Matt Harris, on the other hand, despite his passion for Educational Technology, has been disappointed that we have not moved forward with greater conviction in the post-pandemic world. He is frustrated that we are still talking about the ‘potential’ of EdTech rather than reflecting on its established impact on learning. In his eyes there has been an unhelpful reaction against digital approaches to learning as we returned to ‘live’ teaching. As a result there has been a failure to build on what we have learned in the last three years.
Which way forward?
Both Matt and Al are both committed to finding student-centred ways to advance genuine learning by digital means. Both are concerned about ‘digital poverty’ and the widening gap between the haves and have nots – between the privileged few that have access to digital learning solutions and those who do not – and much of their work is aimed at narrowing that gap.
Listening to them both you sense the drive that drew them to the sector in the first place. Whether or not EdTech is going through an uncertain period, you get the feeling that with people like Matt Harris and Al Kingsley applying their creativity and experience to the sector, the ultimate winners will be our young people – and their teachers.
Al Kingsley and Matt Harris EdD: the backstory
Drawn to the emerging high tech revolution of the 1990s and 2000s, Al Kingsley and Matt Harris were fascinated by how the world was already changing when the creative minds around them started to apply digital solutions to the way things were done in everyday life.
Attracted from the business world to the education sector in different ways, they both saw what the ‘new technology’ might do for learning. They never looked back and both are now leading thinkers and movers in the sector.
Al Kingsley is based in the UK and is the CEO of NetSupport, which provides IT solutions for schools and businesses worldwide. The Chair of a Multi-Academy Trust, Al also Chairs his region’s Governors' Leadership Group, and is Chair of the BESA EdTech Group. He sits on the Regional Schools Commissioner's Advisory Board for the East of England and North London and is the author of two books, ‘My School Governance Handbook’ and ‘My Secret #EdTech Diary’. He is the co-author of ‘A Guide to Creating a Digital Strategy in Education’.
Matt Harris, Ed.D. is the Co-Founder and CEO of Having grown up in California, Matt majored in Computer Science at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, starting his teaching career on the west coast and completing his Masters and Doctorate at San Francisco State University. He then moved overseas to teach in Singapore and Jakarta before going full time as a consultant and entrepreneur in 2018. During this time, Matt served as Chair of the Board for the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). He is now based in Singapore where he leads, an eLearning platform that offers Child Protection training  for school support staff and parent volunteers. It is currently available in 34 languages and is being used in 67 countries.
Podcast production is by Jason Lasky
"Talking about . . . The ITM Podcast" is produced by voice-over, podcast, and sound specialist Jason Lasky, Creative Director and CEO of J.Lasky Voices. 

Pathways to the Future (Audio)

Thursday Nov 03, 2022

Thursday Nov 03, 2022

Beyond schoolTwo initiatives apparently at the opposite end of the international education spectrum and half a world away from each other seem to have little in common. The Universal Learner Passport is being designed in Switzerland by Conrad Hughes and his team at the International School of Geneva. It aims to record the full range of student achievement upon graduation following a rigorous academic program at one of the world's leading IB schools. Steps is an inclusive program being developed by an innovative team led by Max Simpson and Uang Hotrakitya in Thailand to support neurodivergent learners in their journeys to personal, learning, and career independence.In "Talking about... Pathways to the Future," hosted by Andy Homden, CEO of Consilium Education, Simpson and Hughes in fact find that they have everything in common as they scaffold the progress of young people on their journey to the kind of independence they will need during the next stage of their lives. By the end, the group talks about how the Hughes-led Coalition to Honour All Learning may become the next great evolution in international education.Further reading in ITM:Conrad Hughes: Learner Passport Andy Homden: A world that sees us
BiographiesMax Simpson (MA Special Education and Inclusion, PG Dip Special Educational Needs Coordinator) has been working with the neurodivergent community for over 15 years, and the longer her team works alongside this community, the more evidence they have that they are value-adding employees for the businesses they serve. In 2019, Max was listed as one of the top 50 young leaders shaping the future of Asia. Steps was honored with the International Provision of the Year Award by the prestigious National Association for Special Educational Needs (UK). Max also sits on the board of the Special Education Network and Inclusion AssociationConrad Hughes (Ph.D., EdD) is Campus and Secondary Principal at theInternational School of Geneva, La Grande Boissière where he also teaches philosophy. Dr. Hughes led two major projects with UNESCO-IBE to rethink the guiding principles for learning in the 21st Century and preventing violent extremism through education. He has published three books on different aspects of 21st Century learning. Understanding Education and Prejudice (2017), Educating for the 21st Century (2019), and Education and Elitism (2021). He is a member of the advisory board for the University of the People, a research assistant at the University of Geneva's department of psychology and education and is a regular contributor to the World Economic Forum’s Agenda blog. He speaks at conferences across the globe.
Podcast production by Jason Lasky"Talking about... The ITM Podcast: is produced by voice-over, podcast, and sound specialist Jason Lasky – a playwright, actor, director, and IBDP teacher specializing in Theater Arts, as well as the Creative Director and CEO of J.Lasky Voices. 

The Future of Learning?

Saturday Oct 29, 2022

Saturday Oct 29, 2022

Visions of the future from the past
Future skills, Edtech, the metaverse, a curriculum for teaching sustainability are much talked about topics in contemporary education. All imply a need for change in what we teach and how we teach. Some would argue for radical change: Anthony Seldon has written about the need for a 'fourth education revolution'. 
But do the needs of  today's students have more in common with those of previous generations, despite our rapidly changing world?  If so, good teaching now might have more in common with good teaching in the past than is commonly thought. There is nothing new about wanting to stimulate curiosity, provoke thought and encourage students not only to think through their answers, but to ask good questions. Perhaps there has never been a greater need for encouraging young people to be open-minded and to seek the evidence they need to reach their own conclusions about the world. As good teachers always have.
No one, arguably, is better qualified  to debate the question of 'the future of learning' than our guests today, Professor Deborah Eyre and Kevin Bartlett. Both Deborah and Kevin write extensively about education and learning and both have had – and are having – a major impact on the way children learn. They are two of the most important educational thinkers of our time and in this issue of 'Talking about . . .' they don't disappoint.
Professor Deborah Eyre
An internationally influential thinker, writer and speaker, Professor Eyre was Director at the UK National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth (NAGTY) between 2002 and 2008 while based at the University of Warwick. She entered the international field in 2008 with the DEL International Education Consultancy in the service of high profile clients such as the Government of Hong Kong Education Bureau and the Hong Kong Institute of Education. She subsequently became Director of Education at Nord Anglia and founded High Performance Learning for schools in the UK and around the world in 2016, driven by the belief that all students are capable of high levels of achievement. She now works with a rapidly growing number of schools to develop the competencies young people need for academic, workplace and lifetime success.
Kevin Bartlett
Author, learning practitioner and educational thinker, Kevin has had a long and distinguished career in international education, most recently as Director of the International School of Brussels. He was named International Superintendent of the Year in 2014 and inducted into the AAIE Hall of Fame shortly thereafter. A restless educational innovator, he was one of the key initiators of the IB’s PYP , co-founder of The Next Frontier: Inclusion and co-author of NEASC’s new approach to international school accreditation, ACE. He is the founding Director of the Common Ground Collaborative, which embraces a fresh approach to co-creating culture, curriculum and community, and which is gaining support from an increasing number of schools.

Learning at Sevenoaks, 2022

Friday Sep 02, 2022

Friday Sep 02, 2022

Director of the Institute of Teaching and Learning at Sevenoaks School in the UK, Mark Beverley, talks about teaching and learning in 2022, and a different route being taken to staff development, which has had a profound difference on how everyone in the school learns. 
In the process he talks about the shortcomings of IGCSE, why the school has not adopted the MYP (yet?) and the balance between subject-centred and student-centred teaching. Teachers are asked to engage in conversations and research (there is a special link between Sevenoaks and the Harvard Graduate School of Human Flourishing) and then to try out new ideas in their own lessons as a matter of course.
Which School Advisor says of Sevenoaks "It is not a hothouse school, but delivers the results of one – a very considerable achievement."
Listening to Mark you can see one of the reasons why kids enjoy learning and teachers enjoy teaching - and learning - there. 

People who lead

Wednesday May 18, 2022

Wednesday May 18, 2022

Two leaders talk about their jobs
Magic weaving, messy learning and 'relationships, relationships, relationships'
When you listen to Katie Tomlinson and Stephen Priest talk about what they do for a living, you realise that school leadership is all about people.
They discuss the influences on their careers (Sir John Jones, Sir Alex Clegg and a 'school head who saw something in me that I did not see in myself'), the nerves that never quite go away, the 'messy business' that is learning and the importance of dropping into classrooms without any kind of agenda and then just having a conversation 'rather than grading the lesson'.
These are real people who value relationships above all else and who are willing to empower them to make their own mistakes and consequently feel proud of their own successes.
In the course of the conversation they also learn from each other . . .
Katie Tomlinson is Head of Primary at Sri KDU International School, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and is just about to take up the position of Head of Primary School at the British School Manila. 
Stephen Priest, is the Principal of the British International School of Tbilisi and Chair of Black Sea Schools Group.H7w3EpLovOcTphnOXz4d


International Teacher Magazine  

ITM was launched in March 2015 and is now a regular feature of the international school scene. Published every month, articles are written by teachers, school leaders and supporters of international education from around the world.

ITM's content reflects the conversations heard in faculty lounges and staff rooms around the world - about new ideas, what works well in class, what to do at the weekend and where to go on holiday!

The  ITM Podcast: 'Talking about . . . '

And now ITM writers are talking with each other in the ITM Podcast about what matters to them as educators.

Each month we bring together two writers  whose interests will overlap, but in the normal course of things are unlikely to meet. Their conversations with host, Andy Homden, CEO of Consilium Education and Editor of ITM, are the ITM Podcasts,  Talking about . . . 


Nothing would be possible without collaborator, producer, technical wizard and podcast mentor, Jason Lasky of Honey to Your Ears the creative force behind 'Talking about . . .' 

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