“Every student has different needs, different interests, different learning paths and different types of intelligence. So, why to teach them all the same?” – Pablo García-Brull, Spain
There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all teaching for Pablo García-Brull. And as a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert since 2011, and a Teacher Ambassador since 2015, he’s not shy about sharing that insight with other educators.
García-Brull, who teaches science, math and ITC at Julio Verne Bilingual School (a Microsoft Innovative School), uses every tool in his tool belt to ensure he’s not only connecting with all of his students, but also imparting the 21st century skills they’ll need for their next steps – no matter where those steps may take them.
“Students need to learn abilities that they are going to need in their future,” he says. “I don’t believe that concepts are the most important to be learned — skills are more important. But, every student has different needs, different interests, different learning paths and different types of intelligence. So, why to teach them all the same?”
One of the ways García-Brull reaches his students is through game-based learning. His recent Microsoft Educator Community learning activity has students using games to solve genetic problems, and even designing educational games with PowerPoint. It’s an approach he loves to share with other teachers.
“As a Microsoft Teacher Ambassador,” he tells us, “I’m trying to inspire teachers to make a pedagogical change, to lead a new form of teaching, and to use new technologies in their classes — not by introducing devices into the classrooms, but by using software as the engine for the change. This is my dream; this is my main goal. Every time people allow me to speak about this, something changes in their minds. A new spark appears when they see how they can use different tools like Office 365, OneNote, Sway, Office Mix, and Skype in the Classroom.”
In today’s Daily Edventure, García-Brull discusses his well-tested philosophies on teaching and learning, and shares his hopes that education investments, especially in Spain, become a priority. Enjoy!
What inspired you to become an educator?
I remember tenderly many of the moments with my grandfather. We always found time to wander about the countryside. He made me love nature and the important things of life, and I was inspired to devote to myself to education and transmit that passion for life and curiosity to other people.
The second person who inspired me was an old teacher I had in the last year of my university studies. He told me, “You are so passionate, you must transmit that passion to others. Become a teacher, students need teachers that inspire them.”
What was a defining moment in your career when you felt proudest to be an educator?
I’m really very proud when my colleagues say that I’m an innovator, always trying something new, something different. I am very happy when people say I lead and inspire educational change, but what pleases me more is when my students tell me that they like my classes.
Why do you feel passionate about innovation and technology in the classroom?
In my opinion, every student is different and needs personalized learning. Technology in the classroom allows me to design all these different learning itineraries, with a broad number of different resources, paths and forms to learn.
And, why only learn from a book or from the teacher? I believe that it is better to show students how to get organized, be autonomous, and be responsible for their own learning, letting them decide which is the best way to learn. If the teacher is not the center of the classroom and is part of this learning community, letting the students share their knowledge, work together and help one another, knowledge flows in all directions in the classroom. And why not beyond the classroom? Technology allows us to share learning worldwide.
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?
Our education system is completely outdated. It is impossible to believe, in the 21st century, there is a system that requires that every school year a student has to study 13 different subjects. It is obvious that we have to forget so many concepts, and focus our attention on skills, creativity, self-regulation, knowledge building and autonomy.
On the other hand, money has to be invested in education. New technologies have to be seen as essential to develop all these skills that our students have to develop for their future. A pedagogical revolution is necessary in our country, and the government has to lead it. But stagnation seems to be the general tone. A big digital divide is increasing between public and private schools, and between the Spanish system and other countries.
What is your biggest hope for today’s students?
To bring them to the heights and to inspire them for their future.
About Pablo García-Brull
Secondary Science, Math and ITC Teacher, STEM Coordinator, Microsoft Teacher Ambassador
Julio Verne Bilingual School
- Birthplace: Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Educational background:
- Ethology and Physiology Professor at Biology Faculty in University of Valencia (Spain)
- ITC Master Professor for the University of Valencia (Spain)
- Website I check every day: LinkedIn and many others, depending on the interest from tweets or Facebook topics.
- Favorite childhood memory: I have so many good memories, it is impossible to say only one, but I remember some of them that where especially memorable, as when I learned to swim my first time. I was so proud that it has encouraged me to improve myself in everything I do.
- Favorite book: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
- Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: OneNote, combined with Sway and Office Mix are the most powerful tools to change learning pedagogy.
- What is the best advice you have ever received? Do everything as if it were to be memorable.