“Acquiring 21st century skills is a two-way process.” – Dimitrios Charalambidis, Greece
For Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert Dimitrios Charalambidis, education transformation isn’t a discussion that applies to the future. For Charalambidis, the future is already here. “What makes me most excited about the future is the here-and-now reality,” says Charalambidis. “It is here and now that we transform key educational methods radically. This transformation creates a substantial turning point in the history of humankind. So, here and now we become the creators, the sponsors, the stakeholders and the beneficiaries of that transformation. This is a great responsibility as well as a great time to live.”
Charalambidis puts his philosophy into action each day at the St. Joseph Hellenic-French School, a Microsoft Showcase School. A stalwart champion of ICT in education and author of the book “ICT in the Future Classrooms and Teaching: Preparing the Knowledge Workers of the 21st Century,” Charalambidis firmly believes in leading by example.
“My biggest hope for today’s students derives from the scope of [education] transformation,” he says. “Imagine a world were knowledge is acquired by a seamless experience, where a classroom is full of every kind of device, and where cities like those envisaged by Microsoft’s CityNext project interconnect to create a constant learning ecosystem. At that time, learning will not be a painful, time consuming duty, but a lifelong, enjoyable activity.”
Here’s today’s Daily Edventure with Dimitrios Charalambidis.
What inspired you to become an educator?
I was 15 years old. I enjoyed reading aviation and space technology magazines during my free time. My astronomy teacher encouraged me to make a series of presentations to my peers about these subjects. It was only then, with 150 peers before me, when I realized that teaching was the right field for me.
What was a defining moment in your career when you felt proudest to be an educator?
The defining moment in my career was when I received the “Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert” distinction two months ago. A moment to be proud. The impact will be inexorably enormous, but its evaluation is currently en route.
Why do you feel passionate about innovation and technology in the classroom?
Acquiring 21st century skills is a two-way process. Those skills are essential for our students’ future and also for our personal and professional development. We make impact and a point more efficiently when we lead by example and teach by example. Our students learn more willingly when technology and innovative pedagogical approaches inspire and motivate them (we are currently working on a project using STEM, project management and coaching techniques). So, do I feel passionate about innovation and technology in the classroom? Absolutely.
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?
Quality education for students is a scope that requires clear vision, mission and values from the government realm and the school microcosm. It takes a lot of time to inform all the stakeholders about the benefits of an inspired vision, a well-defined mission and a set of pertinent values. But, most of all, it is difficult to find leaders that act as strategically-conscious and resilient sponsors to every effort that ensures quality education for students.
About Dimitrios Charalambidis
Saint Joseph Hellenic-French School
- Athens, Greece
- Birthplace: Athens, Greece
- Educational background: MSc, PhD
- Website I check every day: www.engadget.com
- Favorite childhood memory: My first home computer (Amstrad CPC 6128)
- Favorite book: The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: OneNote 2013 – Windows Phone 8.1 – SharePoint 2013
- What is the best advice you have ever received? To lead by example.