Adopting Technology in a Way That is Education-Ready
As manager of the Microsoft School Technology Innovation Center (STIC), a showcase for education technology in Brussels, Jacques Denies sees the best of the best in teaching tools. As a coordinator of the Innovative Teachers judging process for several years (first for Belgium, and later for European and global competitions), he’s also been exposed to some of the world’s finest educators. So Denies knows a thing or two about what makes education work.
What is your proudest professional achievement?
I’m proud of the STIC in Brussels, and that we’ve created a holistic view of education technology and assistive technology. All of the demos we do show educators and learners how powerful integrated technology can be in their own lives, at school, at work… The STIC is not just about demonstrating technology – it adopts technology in a way that is education-ready.
How can other educators implement what you’ve learned?
Experience is the best argument to convince educators starting to implement new ways of teaching and learning. My suggestion: let’s create enough showcase centers where educators can meet and where they can get acquainted with new didactics, based on technology.
If you could change one thing about today’s “system” of education, what would it be?
Facilitate training for teachers (within their commitments) so they are equipped to address in a better way the individual needs and learning styles of the students.
What is the best opportunity for innovation in education?
Better address the individual learning needs and styles. A relevant integration of technology is a key enabler to making this happen.
What advice would you give a new teacher (or to anyone wanting to make a difference in education)?
Always look at new ways of teaching to find and to enable the best way of learning for each individual. Try to become a trusted advisor for the learner.
About Jacques Denies
Jacques started as a teacher in 1976. He was responsible for teachers’ training in Flanders,
Belgium between 1987 and 2006. Since September 2006 he has managed the
Microsoft School Technology Innovation Center (STIC) in Brussels. STIC Brussels runs about 90 events a year, covering executive briefings, training sessions and workshops.
Birthplace: Overijse, Belgium
Current residence: Leefdaal, Belgium
Education: Teacher Science, Economics, Informatics
Websites I check every day: Microsoft education – Research, news sites
Person who inspires me most: Father Damien
Favorite childhood memory: being together with other people in a warm, safe and encouraging environment like at home, in the school and within the local community.
Next travel destination (work or pleasure): Lisbon, Portugal