The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has thrown up some problems and issues with our education system that we might have been happy to set aside up until this point.
A key part of the issue was that many pupils had to work from home. Moving forward, many schools are open, but the uncertainty means that schools need to put a plan in place for homeworking.
One individual who is trying to make a serious difference tothe education market at this time is Al Kingsley. He has been pushing for greater business and technology market support for the education sector for years, and today, his work is more important than ever before.
Who is Behind This Initiative?
At the heart of this topic is Al Kingsley. Though this is a name that some may not be familiar with, he is striving to make a difference in the world of the UK education system. He has been involved in technology for nearly 30 years in various capacities. For the last 20 years, he has been involved withinthe education sector, served in various trust leadership and governance roles, as Chair of MATs, on the RSC Head Teachers board and coordinating local governance.
This knowledge gives him a unique perspective on the EdTech sector in the UK and well beyond. It also gives him the background and knowledge to be able to successfully deal with government departments and schools alike concerningeducation. Communication in these areas is vital, as it can really help to further a cause and help develop relations between two groups who do not usually communicate as much.
A Tech Background
Looking into the wider work history of Al Kingsley helps to give a fair estimation as to what can be expected of him as an expert figure in this area. In addition to his work in education, he has also worked in the tech industry for over 30 years. He is a member of the Forbes Technology Council and has worked for several big-name corporations, including Barclays Bank and Unilever, and has also helped to lead NetSupport as their group MD. This software company focuses on creating innovative solutions for both schools and companies around the world and has served over 18 million customers so far.
This helps to give him the unique position of understanding the needs of both the tech industry and the education sector at once. There are many opportunities to bring the two together in a way that benefits both, and Kingsley is one of those guiding forces thanks to his dual knowledge of both education and technology.
A Trusted Voice
Kingsley has also worked hard to establish himself as a credible figure at both local, national, and international levels. His position in various boards and organisations further helps to credit the work he can do through the charities and foundations he has partnered with over the years. Many of these are related to the lives of bettering children and students in Peterborough. In addition to chairing the board of trustees for several MATs in this area, he has roles supporting Apprenticeships and chairing the LA Employment and Skills and SEND boards
The former has seen him become an East of England Apprenticeship Ambassador. In addition to helping his own apprentices thrive, he has been able to work with other young people to help them craft an alternative path into a career.
Of the latter, he has been an independent co-opted member of the Children and Education Scrutiny Committee for the City Council for the last decade. This has allowed him to advise on changes that need to be made for children’s services, in addition to helping bring new improvements and protectionsinto action.
Leading the Way
There have been many conversations in past months about the direction that education providers need to take with technology to deliver the best results for their students. However, these conversations can end up being a bit cyclical in nature, with limited progress actively being made.
Kingsley has helped to deliver some key strategies that will help schools work out what is needed in this time. For example, there has been a big cry for the development of EdTech that can be used to support schools with online learning – something that has proved to be of vital importance during the pandemic. Not only has Kingsley been able to deliver guides to strategies to help schools shape their digital strategies, but he has also contributed across the education media sharing advice and best practice.
The pandemic served to show just how weak in places the UK education system can be around technology. Despite strong online support in other areas, our education system was not prepared or funded to move online. The expertise of Kingsley and others has helped to show where changes need to be made to ensure that these pitfalls won’t happen again.
As we move into an age that is dominated more and more by technology, and the potential for remote learning grows, it is essential that we find voices like his to help us. We need to find more people with an understanding of technology and its applications, as well as the education market. With the help of Al and others, we will be able to deliver excellent results to those students who need it the most, no matter where they are or what should happen in the future.
Whitear Sam. (30 November 2020). Business. Obtained from Lancashire: https://businesslancashire.co.uk/2020/11/30/how-one-man-is-trying-to-change-education-technology-for-the-better-during-a-pandemic/
Magisnet Effects of the coronavirus crisis on education . (2020, 19 Marzo). [Illustration]. https://www.magisnet.com/2020/03/efectos-de-la-crisis-del-coronavirus-sobre-la-educacion/. https://www.magisnet.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/efectos-del-coronavirus-sobre-la-educacio%CC%81n.jpg