Hi, I am Jill Gosnay. I started teaching Computing when I received a letter (not an email) outlining my new teaching post in 1979, with the message ‘by the way, you are teaching Computer Studies in September’, which was the first time the subject had been offered.
I have seen the subject develop into IT, then ICT and now back to Computing again. I have been a Head of Department for ICT and Business Studies at schools in Staffordshire and became an advisor when there was funding to roll out one computer in every classroom, returning to the classroom as Head of ICT, before becoming an advisor in Stoke on Trent, then Staffordshire again to lead on the NOF initiative to embed ICT across the curriculum, and a consultant for the ICT National Strategy.
I have always been committed to supporting schools to use ICT as another teaching strategy. The use of the iPad in schools gives another boost for changing teaching approaches and in my role, I have supported schools to identify these opportunities. As an Apple Teacher, I have gone through the process to support teachers in gaining this qualification. As the use of online content has become another resource in schools, and how children are using social media, the importance of online safety has been an evolving role for the team. I have gained several accreditations from a number of national renowned organisations for online safety, including Online Safety Mark Assessor, EPICT Facilitator and Parentzone Facilitator.
I also participated in the British-American Fulbright Teacher Exchange Programme and spent a year teaching in a school in Southern California and now spend time travelling with friends whom I met during that time.
Hi, I’m Vikki Bardon: mum, teacher and school governor.
I qualified as a teacher for ICT in 2000 and worked in a middle school in Staffordshire for seven years. During my time at the school, I became head of ICT which involved leading the subject and a team of colleagues across KS2 and KS3.
In 2005, I was seconded to Staffordshire Local Authority as a Hands on Support Mentor for ICT; I supported many individuals in schools to embed the use of ICT throughout the curriculum. In 2007, I joined the LA full time as a teacher consultant for ICT. This role diversified over time and I have gained a number of online safety awards such as EPICT assessor and 360 degree safe e-safety mark assessor status; these support and supplement the online safety work I now deliver in educational establishments as a Teacher Consultant for Link2ICT/Entrust Learning Technologies.
I am also an Apple Education Trainer and have delivered and supported many schools in establishing a vision for the use of the iPad and the upskilling of staff through training and coaching and mentoring models of support.
Hi, I’m Andy Pyper and I have been involved in education in Birmingham for around 18 years.
First as a primary practitioner, then with the Local Authority as an Educational Consultant and my current role is a Schools Professional Services Manager.
Link2ICT continues to provide best practice advice, guidance, training and consultancy across all areas of ICT and education. This could be anything from supporting Senior Leaders with strategic planning, embedding the use of your virtual learning environment in classroom practice, identifying software or technology that could enhance learning to supporting schools dealing with Facebook issues.
One of my main areas of expertise is Safeguarding, including eSafety and information security. I hope that, over the years, I have been proactive in supporting the appropriate use of technology across Birmingham. This continues to be a focus as technology and online content continually evolves presenting more opportunities, but also risks that need to be addressed through appropriate education and support.
Hi, I’m Bren Taylor and I worked as a Teacher and Senior Leader in schools, before undertaking a range of roles within Birmingham City Council and Link2ICT.
From leading on BGfL and learning strategy, to acting as a Senior Advisor on the BSF programme for BCC, and more recently restructured City Learning Centres as their head of service to a single entity.
Amongst my roles now, I provide leadership coaching and support for schools, developing whole school strategic ICT plans, working on long term projects with schools and undertaking half-termly visits to support their strategic development. I also act as the lead online learning specialist for the Professional Alliance Birmingham and I’m the chair of WMnet. I’m also a trustee and director of the Birmingham eLearning Foundation.
You can keep up to date with Bren's reflections on the world of education in Bren's Blog.
Hello I am Sharon Cufflin: mum, Teacher, School Governor, keen baker and passionate about the use of technology to support learning.
I qualified as a primary school teacher in 1997, after which I started teaching in a large inner city primary school in Birmingham. During my time there I joined the senior leadership team and was responsible for many areas including leading ICT. I also taught the PGCE ICT programme at Birmingham City University, working with trainee teachers to demonstrate best practice in using ICT for teaching.
My areas of expertise are the computing curriculum, leadership of ICT, the iPad, eSafety, Moodle and a wide range of curriculum software. I have also recently trained as a Computing Master Teacher.
Hi I’m Steve Rowley, I joined Link2ICT as an Education Consultant in 2014.
Previously I have worked as a Middle School and then primary school Teacher for 24 years, with a variety of roles - subject leader for PE, Maths, ICT, and Head of years 4, 5 and 7.
More recently I have been working for Birmingham City Learning Centre Service at Frankley CLC, supporting schools with our loan kit using netbooks in Literacy and D&T. Most of my work for the past three years has been supporting schools with iPad deployment and the CPD/team teaching to ensure schools get best value out of their investment.
I’m also a NAACE ICT Mark Assessor and so I’ve been supporting some Birmingham primary schools with their SRF (Self Review Framework) journey. eSafety has become a more prominent feature within the SRF and with the new Computing Curriculum, so I’ll be helping Andy and Sharon deliver eSafety sessions for staff, parents and pupils.