An international Roundtable using Cisco TelePresence

The group came together to discuss the barriers facing education innovators, ideas to help accelerate learning and practice as well as new approaches to learning for students in K–12 and higher education.

Ideas to help accelerate learning and practice
Professional development for teachers and educators

Brett Wigdortz from Teach First outlined how the charity has placed more than 2,500 teachers in disadvantaged schools to work with students and raise their achievement levels.


Each graduate teacher receives an intensive six-week training course with ongoing support from a network of tutors, mentors and development officers. Wigdortz emphasised that the success of Teach First lay in the extent and quality of its partnerships with a wide range of organisations including schools, teachers’ unions, universities, businesses and other charities.

Graham Keys, Director of Technology and eLearning from Brisbane Boys’ College, noted that a structured approach to professional development like the Teach First model would work well in Australia, where most independent schools tend to build their own professional development programs internally, but lack coherent guidelines and external support. He was particularly interested in Teach First’s affiliate international network Teach For All, which operates in Australia as Teach For Australia.

Miguel Alves Martins based at the Social Entrepreneurship Institute, INSEAD, echoed Key’s views and stated that the main issue facing the Portuguese education system was a lack of insight into innovative pedagogy from around the world. He stated that Portugal’s education system was highly centralised, inwardly focused, and could benefit from global benchmarks for innovative education processes and development.

The senior group of education specialists also debated areas such as ways to help teachers think differently and the role of partnerships in education. To continue reading their multiple perspectives, download the report below ...

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Cisco Education – Talk to us!


Chair, Martin Stewart-Weeks, Director, Internet Business Solutions Group, Cisco (Brisbane)

Brett Wigdortz, CEO and Founder, Teach First (London)

Chris Sigaloff, Vice-Chair, Kennisland (Amsterdam)

Simon Tucker, Chair, Studio Schools Trust (London)

David Jackson, Partner, Innovation Unit (London)

Graham Keys, Director of Technology and eLearning, Brisbane Boys’ College (Brisbane)

Miguel Alves Martins, Social Entrepreneurship Institute/INSEAD (Lisbon)

Nathan Pilgrim, Director, Information and Communication Technologies, Brisbane Girls Grammar School (Brisbane)

Ada Wong, Supervisor of HKICC

Lee Shau Kee School of Creativity (Hong Kong)