“People are not yet comfortable with empowered teachers and empowered learners.” – Mike Searson, USA
Mike Searson’s title – the head of School of Global Education and Innovation at Kean University — is a great representation of where his focus lies: on helping teachers. Searson, who is also president of the Society of Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE), is working on a number of fronts to ensure that professional development for teachers translates to better outcomes for students. And technology plays a significant role.
“What technologies allow us to do is liberate the learners and teachers, get them out of the classroom,” Searson says. Yet not all teachers are comfortable breaking out of the traditional lecture format teaching approach. “Teachers must have the ability to change their teaching styles. Technology is a neutral tool, and it’s how they use it [that matters],” he says.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down to talk with Searson about his views on transformation in education, something he says society has a rather poor track record in doing. We also talked about the importance of collaborative innovation in that equation, and the work Kean University is doing together with its Chinese counterparts. Here’s my conversation with Mike Searson – enjoy!
About Michael Searson
Michael Searson is executive director of the School for Global Education & Innovation at Kean University. This new school works within the intersection among global education, learning technologies and world languages. He is also president of the Society of Information Technology & Teacher Education (SITE). Searson has authored or co-authored about $8 million in state and federal grants, including the StarTalk program, designed to introduce college students to Hindi and Indian culture, and one of the first college-led 1-1 laptop programs in an urban middle school.
Much of his recent work has focused on international initiatives, and he has worked with educators from Angola, Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Pakistan, Rwanda, and the UK, among other countries. He has served on the Global Learn Asia Pacific Executive Committee and has delivered a number of keynote addresses at global conferences.