“I often think that student voices are the quiet voices when it comes to education.” – Gavin Dykes, UK

While I was at the Partners in Learning Global Forum in Prague last week, I was lucky enough to talk with some of the world’s leading minds on education and technology. Gavin Dykes, an independent education and technology advisor who works with governments, agencies, major corporations and institutions across the world on policy and strategy, was one of these thought leaders. Dykes has been working in education for over 20 years, after a successful career as a civil engineer. He started by contributing to engineering courses and increasingly focused on technology. Now, he is known throughout Europe as one of the foremost minds in education, having helped Ireland with their digital strategy and England with their strategic vision, among other things. I asked him what energized him most as we move into the next year.

“Probably the most exciting thing is actually just how we’re changing the balance of what ICT is for,” Dykes said.  “There is greater thinking going on about learning first, and then what supports it in terms of technology.”

Dykes is a big believer in the power and intellect of students today, especially with their knowledge of technology. “I often think that student voices are the quiet voices when it comes to education,” he notes. “We are not listening enough to what they are doing.”  Dykes emphasizes immersing students in real-world learning to not only keep them engaged, but to solve our world’s problems.  “I think a fundamental thing that we haven’t really explored is the releasing of the enterprise and capability of students,” he says. “If we could release that army of students who are desperate to make their mark in the world – help and support them, invest in their ideas – then I think we will be in a better place with regard to education and perhaps a better world altogether.”

Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with Gavin Dykes!

About Gavin Dykes

Gavin Dykes is an independent education and technology advisor who works with governments, agencies, major corporations and institutions across the world on policy and strategy.

His work with technology led to developing, managing and implementing strategies for e-learning adoption, at first at the institution level. When Dykes was invited to work with the UK’s government in 2002, it was to contribute to development of policy and strategy of e-learning at national then at international level. Since that time, he has been engaged in innovation and the use of technology to support education and training. He has worked with agencies such as UNESCO and the World Bank, with governments, with organizations such as the Innovation Unit, the New Media Consortium and Futurelab, and with major corporations such Microsoft, Cisco, Promethean and HP.

He currently splits his time working for a range of organizations on the use of technology to support learning both in the UK and internationally.

  • Secretary General for iTEC’s High Level Group – iTEC is a four year European Commission project to develop and mainstream innovative technology based practice in Europe’s schools/design the future classrooms
  • Senior Director for International Relations at the New Media Consortium (Austin, US) leading development of online webinars and video interviews for the HP Catalyst Program focused on innovation in STEM education
  • Fellow of Education Impact (Paris, France) providing technology and education advice to governments and agencies including acting as lead fellow for work with the Azerbaijan Ministry of Education and for development of the WISE programme in Qatar
  • Programme Director for the Education World Forum
  • He was lead consultant to Maltese government for development and delivery of Malta’s e-learning strategy.  Gavin launched the strategy (2007) together with Dr Louis Galea and Austin Gatt, the Ministers of Education, Youth and Employment and Investment, Industry and Information Technology
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