“We have the chance to sculpt such a bright future for the next generation.” – Jose Kingsley, UK

Jose Kingsley grew up dreaming of being a teacher. So it’s no surprise that he’s now tirelessly committed not only to ensure successful outcomes for his young students from diverse cultures, but to helping his fellow teachers discover the value of teaching with technology.

To fulfill those commitments, Kingsley takes full advantage of the resources and opportunities that come with being a Microsoft Innovative Educator Expert (MIEE) — from participating in the E2 Educator Exchange in Budapest to being an active member of the Microsoft Educator Community.

“I believe that Microsoft allows us as MIEE’s to work through challenges we face, making it personalized, Kingsley says. “[Attending E2] was almost like being back in school myself! It was on returning to school the week after and drawing up an action plan that I realized just how much I had taken away. I felt like I had enough to write a whole new curriculum, I kid you not!”

That new curriculum had a lot to do with putting the power of learning in the hands of his students – an approach Kingsley brings to life using programs like Skype in the Classroom (Kingsley started the #SkypeMeet series) and Sway.

“Giving children ownership of their learning empowers meaningful learning,” he says. “Using the Microsoft Educator Community, as MIEE’s we have the opportunity to create a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program that entirely suits the learner’s need. I adopted this attitude within my classroom, giving children the power to make decisions about what they wanted to learn. The motivation and confidence of my children have increased massively and they feel prepared to take risks and learn from mistakes.”

Kingsley’s passion for teaching is palpable, especially when he reflects on his students’ future.

“I teach five- to six-year-old children,” he tells us, “and it is makes me immensely proud to see their excitement about using technology within their everyday learning. They often enjoy telling me that if they presented their learning using Office 365, the outcome would be enhanced. Always in the back of my mind is that question: What impact will this have on their future? This is a question that I cannot answer, but I can prepare them for.”

Here’s today’s inspiring Daily Edventure with Jose Kingsley. Enjoy!

What inspired you to become an educator?

Becoming an educator was always a dream. Growing up, I remember learning new languages, sports and musical instruments. I was brave to take risks and pushed myself to ensure I achieved the best possible outcome. Having a supportive and accepting family ensured that I had the best education and opportunities!

I believe it was the moment of applying to universities that I knew that education was the right path for me. My drama teacher spotted that I had the ability lead effectively and create a positive environment. I was so fortunate and blessed with my upbringing that I wanted to give something back. Education gave me a cause and a belief that I can make a difference to a child’s life.

This is an exciting time for education as the traditional models of teaching and learning are being enhanced through the use of technology. Each day I am thankful for every opportunity given to me and I ensure that I give 100% to enable my students to achieve!

What was a defining moment in your career when you felt proudest to be an educator? How did you feel at the time?

Attending the E2 Educator Exchange in Budapest, Hungary endorsed the realization of the responsibility I had as an educator. Sometimes we spend so much time worried about data, that sadly we can lose the true meaning of what it means to be an educator. During my time at E2, I worked with incredible and innovative MIEE’s from different stages of their MIEE program, making it truly enriching to learn about the different barriers that we strive to overcome.

So I started by thinking, how can I incorporate technology within a traditional model of teaching and learning? After attending a Sway workshop during E2, it was clear to me. I would teach the children how to collaborate together to showcase their work. Simple, but effective.

Creating this classroom environment was something I thought technology would never play a part of. It wasn’t until you see that end product, of a child ‘performing’ to their peers with new knowledge that they wanted to learn about, questions that they could find the answers to and confidence that they never knew they had!

Why do you feel passionate about innovation and technology in the classroom?

I feel passionate about technology within the classroom for its endless potential. The children in my school come from a variety of backgrounds. As a school we pride ourselves on the diversity we have and the strong relationship we build with our community. We want the children in our school to see outside of their area, city, country and even continent! Skype in the Classroom has enabled me to remove the walls of the classroom and take my children on virtual journeys around the world.

Our next topic is based around “Countries within Europe,” and to introduce this topic, I arranged for a teacher from my previous school in Valencia, Spain to connect with my class and teach them about Spain and also some basic phrases. The experience for the children was invaluable and something they will always remember.

A week later, the children shared links to their Sway presentation for the Skype expert to see. I am currently working on a project with one of my very good friends who is also an MIEE. We are creating a Digital Leaders program for our children using Office365, Yammer and Skype. All updates surrounding this can be found through my Twitter page.

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?

A day-to day-challenge for me is considering how to engage all staff with using technology within their classrooms. There will always be an educator who is fearful of embracing and incorporating technology within their practice. I view this fear as a caring quality, whereby encouragement plays a key role.

As an MIEE, receiving a high quality CPD through the Microsoft Educator Community has given me the confidence to believe I can make an impact on children’s learning outcomes. I promoted the Community in a way that would allow educators to access content that they would find beneficial. There was a common theme of mastering a concept and wanting to learn something new. As a result, educators built strength in those areas that they before would never have believed they could. When an educator believes, so do the students!

To build on this, our Principal created a school network to engage educators with using technology in the classroom. Polls can be created, best practices can be shared and community can be strengthened. Every educator wants the best for their children, but responding to the demands of the 21st century and capturing that within a curriculum will ensure our children are ready for their future.

In terms of education innovation, what are you most excited about for the future?

As technology advances, so do we as educators. I look back at my time during school and think about how many learning opportunities could have been enhanced with the power of technology. We have the chance to sculpt such a bright future for the next generation. Sharing that common goal of success will distill curiosity and motivate students by empowering them to become life-long learners.

My journey with Microsoft so far has been phenomenal. I have seized every moment and this derives from my passion and enthusiasm for the MIEE program. The encouragement to personalized CPD, connect with educators and have fun makes working with Microsoft a pleasure.

There have been great opportunities at every corner on the journey so far, so it would be impossible to say what I will be doing this year, next year or in five years. What I do know is that hard work pays off when you have the enthusiasm and determination to make a difference and have an impact.

About Jose Kingsley
MIEE Lead at Ark Swift, Ark Bentworth and Ark Conway Primary Schools
Ark Swift Primary Academy

London, UK

  • Birthplace: United Kingdom
  • Educational background: Kingston University, London
  • Website I check every day: Microsoft Educator Community, Twitter, Pinterest
  • Favorite childhood memory: Visiting London and visiting all the cool museums and sights!
  • Favorite book: The Hobbit. No question about it!
  • Favorite Microsoft product, tool, technology: My Motto is to #SwayEveryday – My class love how it brings traditional learning, through an interactive prospective.
  • What is the best advice you have ever received? There is no competition in destiny. Run your own race and wish others well.
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