“As a teacher, I believe that education is like a wheel that never can be stopped.” – José Luís Terol Esteve, Spain
As his school’s IT Coordinator, José Luís Terol Esteve (second from right, above photo) understands the value of professional development. This former Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (2012) has embraced every opportunity to expand his skill set, from adopting LEAP 21 to the M.O.R.E. (multiple options for results in education) approach, and that’s something that sets his teaching – and his school — apart.
At La Devesa Bilingual School, a Microsoft Innovative School (2013), every member of the staff is assessed through a 360º survey, identifying features such as talent, potential or leadership. Those who have the highest scores are trained in a specific course to develop their skills even more, and then play key roles in training other teachers.
“Our staff have the certifications of Teaching with Technology and Windows 8 in the Classroom, and we have one teacher who is a Microsoft Expert Educator (Global) and six Microsoft Expert Educators in Spain,” Esteve tells us. “Since 2012, [we] have achieved more than 300 Microsoft Office Specialist certifications.”
With better prepared teachers comes more engaged students, and Esteve uses a multitude of tools to connect with his students and get them excited about learning. His Cartoon Studios project has students researching how to create cartoons, and then designing their own. In doing so, they learn to use PowerPoint, giving them professional presentation creation skills. The project continues to evolve, now taking advantage of Office 365’s unique combination of cloud-based story and integrated productivity tools.
“If society uses technology, education must use technology, too,” Esteve says. “As teachers, we have to integrate these technologies in the classroom, and we have to give our students as many chances as possible.”
Esteve is indeed giving his students a chance to succeed, and he’s bring his fellow teachers along for the journey. Enjoy today’s Daily Edventure with José Luís Terol Esteve.
What inspired you to become an educator?
When I finished my degree I had the chance to work as a teacher, I realized that I could help students to reach their goals and make their lives easier. I felt filled with their gratitude and it continues up to this day.
I had a few teachers who have inspired me, they were great and they could turn a hard subject into an easy one. They were also fantastic communicators and a bit of a showman as well. My sister inspired me too, she is the best teacher I’ve ever met, and you can understand everything explained by her, even the most complex mathematical problem.
What was a defining moment in your career when you felt proudest to be an educator?
If I had to choose one moment, I would choose when I realized that being skillful in new technologies could save a lot of time in our daily routines, and I’m talking not just about students but teachers as well. There are a lot of tasks that can be improved with the use of new technologies, such as email, calendars, having a place for sharing information, using a spreadsheet, etc. — and the only way to show that you are skilled is with a certification title. That’s why I became a Microsoft Office Specialist teacher and all the staff in our school started the courses that the Microsoft Educator Network offers.
We have become a reference for teacher training, and Microsoft Spain (Education) has chosen us as a reference IT Academy. Last year, Ignacio Samaniego (Microsoft in Education Support Manager) came to our school to give the students their certifications. It was a great moment.
Why do you feel passionate about innovation and technology in the classroom?
I must admit that I’m hooked on every gadget related to technology, and I have been interested in how the brain works. If we mix these two things and put them in my work, it is easy to understand why I love innovation and technology.
PowerPoint is one of the greatest tools if you know how to use it. It has no complications and, due to the fact that it is a visual tool, we can have excellent results. As a teacher, PowerPoint offers me a way to teach multimedia and interactive lessons, which are easier to understand. For the students, it is the best tool to create presentations. Here in Spain, it is said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so imagine what students can do to improve their marks using PowerPoint.
Whether it’s a day-to-day challenge or larger problem, what’s the biggest obstacle you or your country or region has had to overcome, or will have to overcome, to ensure a quality education for students?
Education must prepare students for real life. Since new technologies have appeared, there is a big gap between teachers who are prepared to apply new technologies and teachers who are not. Besides this, in Spain, content (vs. skills) has been the core of education, and changing this is going to be hard. Now education is supposed to be focused on 21st century skills, and this change implies a big challenge. Fortunately, we started years ago in our school, but we are still only halfway there.
In terms of education innovation, what are you most excited about for the future?
As a teacher, I believe that education is like a wheel that never can be stopped. So I am excited about everything that can improve the learning process. I strongly believe that our students will be ready for the future, and they will be able to manage every situation successfully.
What is the best part of the Global Enterprise Challenge so far for your students?
This is really easy to answer: motivation. It’s been amazing to face the challenge because you can feel the enthusiasm in the air.
How do you strive to prepare your students for the future with 21st century job skills?
As I said before, we have changed our methodology years ago focusing on the development of skills. We have followed UNESCO’s standards and added some aspects related to our identity as a school and group (Grupo Sorolla). We invest in methodology, languages and technology (IT Academy) and our students can demonstrate this knowledge. Needless to say, we are sure they will be ready for the future, at least, that is what we hope.
About José Luís Terol Esteve, IT Coordinator, Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert
La Devesa Bilingual School (Carlet)
- Birthplace: L’Alcudia
- Educational background: IT engineer
- Website I check every day: Twitter
- Favorite childhood memory: Sunday lunch with my family.
- Favorite book: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: PowerPoint
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Don’t reinvent the wheel, make it roll.