A review of My Secret #EdTech Diary

In this article, Mark provides a review of Al Kingsley’s book: My Secret #EdTech Diary

A review of My Secret #EdTech Diary

Education is too important to leave to chance and, in his book, My Secret #Edtech Diary, Kingsley helps bring brand-new perspectives to the conversation about whether technology has a place in education. With many moral imperatives in education to do right by the children, families and communities we serve, Al’s experience from both sides of the fence as the Chair of large multi-academy trusts, a trusted voice in education and an edtech vendor with more than 30 years of successful deployment and development, shine through as the North Star many need in our schools.

So, whether you’re looking for advice on purchasing, how to avoid the edtech deployment mistakes of the past or simply for guidance on how best to make IT work in your school, this book is for you. Moreover, the salient, timely, balanced and considered advice and wisdom he shares has never been needed more or had more relevance for schools and school leaders. Miss out at your peril!

As educators and leaders in education, we have many moral imperatives when it comes to thinking about the young people and communities we serve. As someone who literally is the ICT Evangelist, you might think, “Well of course he’s going to say that”, but what Kingsley does in his ‘Secret #Edtech Diary’ is give you a plethora of perspectives that are rarely found in education.

Certainly, education is one of those areas in life on which everyone has an opinion. It sometimes seems that just because we all attended school, it makes us an expert. For sure, it gives you a perspective but certainly not an expert one.

Striking the balance of taking on board the opinions of others, particularly stakeholders, is an important part of the role of teachers and those in school leadership. That’s why this timely book from Al Kingsley strikes the right balance of expert opinion on edtech.

Having lived and breathed education for most of his adult life, Kingsley has run a successful edtech business for more than 30 years and has worked in and with numerous schools – supporting leadership teams, participating on governing bodies, chairing large multi-academy trusts and more. It is with this balanced experience that he is superbly placed to share his sage advice and wisdom to help both sides of the table when it comes to successfully embedding and deploying technology in education.

With sections on digital strategy, ideas for the use of edtech in the classroom, tools and practices which can help save schools money, how to lead on technology and ways to avoid some of the mistakes of the past (yes, Interactive White Boards are discussed!), there is plenty in the ‘Secret #Edtech Diary’ to resonate with and be useful to school leaders and educators alike.

Equally and interestingly, there is also much in the book to help those who work in the edtech space too. So, whether you’re a giant like Microsoft or a fledgling start-up as an edupreneur; there is lots in here that will be of interest for these stakeholders as well.

Linked to this idea, one of the sections I found most interesting was the part that focused upon how schools engage with vendors and exploring vendors’ approaches to engaging with schools. Advocating for co-creation, Kingsley also takes time to reflect upon and share the importance of evidence-informed approaches to not just the use of technology in the classroom, but how it is developed too. Pulling no punches, he doesn’t hold back when discussing the methods of some organisations and their involvement in the conversation around evidence-informed approaches to developing technology either, but, as with all the advice shared, it is tempered by learning from the lessons of history; something we could all be mindful of and pay heed to.

Add to the mix that there are many thoughts, ideas, top tips and ‘from the chalk-face’ pieces of advice shared by countless school leaders, educators, network managers and others in education in a section at the back of the book titled ‘Voices Aligned’, it all shapes up to be a very useful book indeed, and one that I know those who purchase it will return to again and again.

It gets a huge thumbs up from me.

You can purchase the book here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1913622630

New to EdTech?  Read our guide: https://www.global-edtech.com/edtech-definitions-products-and-trends/

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