“…The focus of a transformation plan is transformation, and the people who benefit from the transformation are the children, teachers, leaders.” – Tony Brandenburg, Australia
International Education Consultant
Last May, while most of the world was heading into summer vacation, a group of leaders and decision makers gathered at the Microsoft International Summer Institute in Finland to share and learn about education transformation.
Facilitated by Microsoft’s global digitalization teams and New Pedagogies for Deep Learning specialists, the Institute featured keynote speeches from world-renowned experts like Professor Michael Fullan and Microsoft Worldwide Education VP Anthony Salcito. Attendees also heard from successful education change makers, including Tony Brandenburg.
You can read more about our education framework here.
Brandenburg, an internationally recognized education consultant specializing in education technology, has worked tirelessly to transform learning for more than 30 years. His broad and deep experience includes teaching at a range of levels in schools and universities, and serving as principal of a primary school, an educational consultant, a manager in his state’s teacher regulation authority, a project manager, a program manager for an Australian government organization, a strategic planner and an e-learning adviser.
Today, Brandenburg works with education ministries and educationalists to help them plan and implement large projects, and he embraces his growing role of challenging education implementation thinking. Brandenburg believes that e-learning/ICT has been a term widely misused in education – believing instead that the most important aspect of ICT is integrating technology into existing educational practice.
He also argues that, as technology becomes more sophisticated and user-centered, school education, from a system perspective, is paying little attention to teacher pedagogy and teacher professional learning.
Brandenburg recently shared his thoughts on the Summer Institute, and gave us even more food for thought on education transformation, and what inspires him to continue to help others achieve results in education leadership.
Here’s today’s Daily Edventure with Tony Brandenburg. Enjoy!
During your presentation at the Summer Institute what was the key takeaway for the audience?
For me the key takeaway is always the power and resourcefulness of the global education network and how networking between educationalists — whether it be in discussions, presentations, panels, meetings or conversations — empowers people.
In your opinion, what are the key steps to a positive education transformation plan?
For sustainable, creative and robust transformation, whether it be in a classroom, a school, a district, a state, a group of states or a country, a well-developed, a clearly articulated project plan is essential. Ownership of the plan by the decision makers and those addressed by the plan is crucial.
I have heard too many times, over the years, that the children or the teachers or the leaders are the focus of a transformation plan, when in fact the focus of a transformation plan is transformation, and the people who benefit from the transformation are the children, teachers, leaders. It’s a subtle difference, one which is not always obvious, but a difference that can cause many a sleepless night if it is not understood.
What inspired you to work in the field of education?
There really wasn’t that “a-ha” moment or that “inspiring teacher.” For me, I have matured into the education field, and now after more than 35 years of this “maturing,” if I can wake up in the morning and think, “I can make a difference today,” then it’s good. I am fortunate I have a job where that motivation sometimes becomes a reality.
About Tony Brandenburg
- Blog URL: tonybrandenburg.com.au
- Birthplace: Ballarat, Australia
- Website I check every day: The Age Newspaper, Melbourne Australia
- Educational background: Master’s degree in education and a graduate diploma in technology in education.
- Favorite book: Anything from David Eddings
- What is the best advice you have ever received? One door closes, another opens.