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Mark Sparvell, Innovation Hunter: Update #3 from Kadina Memorial School

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Hello leaders and learners,

Continuing my journey across Australia and capturing the voices, images and insights from some of our amazing Microsoft Innovative Expert Educations and the leaders in the inspiring Showcase Schools. If you haven’t been following my journey on twitter, might like to add @sparvell to your follows.

Country Roads take me to INNOVATION

Date: November 2014

Location: Kadina Memorial Schools, Adelaide, South Australia

Distance from home:  Adelaide to Seattle is 8338.9 miles

A School that honors its past and positions its future.

Well, Kadina Memorial School certainly was a memorable visit for the Innovation Hunter and well worth the few hundred kilometer drive through the agricultural grain belt with only myself and the occasional kangaroo on the road.

Every school has a story and is situated in a particular time in its history and place, both geographically but also socially within its community. Regional and rural schools are critical in all countries as they are often located where that countries natural resources are grown, harvested, extracted, processed or transported. These schools signal vibrancy to the entire community and are places  where the social structures are both produced and reproduced. Kadina Memorial school is an interesting story of change as it is in its second year ‘life’ as a result of the amalgamation of the co-located high school and primary school, both of which had been individual entities for around 150 years.

My experience globally is that schools in these regional contexts are often ‘hot-beds’ of best practice and next practice and Kadina Memorial Schools didn’t let me down. From the warm welcome from the canteen ladies, to the buzz in the staffroom and the polite, friendly and engaged young people, I knew this was the right place to hunt innovation!


Microsoft Expert Educator, David Easter continually explores technology to  profoundly personalize and extend learning and he makes conscious decisions as the ‘expert in learning design’ where leveraging digital is the most appropriate tool and where it is not. His students benefit from David’s enthusiasm to test, trial and evaluate technology to support them to become creative, confident choosers and users. As an MIE Expert, David is enjoying the digital inking experiences in OneNote and looking forward to using Office Mix.

David took me to visit another amazing teacher called Luke. Luke’s class were working in teams within a shared Minecraft Environment to demonstrate their knowledge and skills around square numbers. Luke was an active participant in this world, had oversight of the ‘world’ and engaged in the kind of positive interruptions a good teacher does in the classroom to ensure learning is deep.  As I left the student virtual teams were visiting each others representations to hear and grade their presentations and demonstrations of learning. I have connected this young teacher with another MIE in Dubai and I hope to hear about shared learning across these settings.


Principal Dean showed me the fabulous robotics labs, the 3D printers area and the schools automative workshop. The wonderful Director of First Impressions, Jan Adams, plied me with coffee and toasted sandwiches before I had to head back onto the road.

Many thanks to Principal, Dean Angus and Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator David Easter for their time and inspiration.

WP_20141121_003Next stop is calling and I can smell Innovation in the air!!!





(Photos Courtesy YP Times)

1 Comment

  1. Jan Adams says

    You are a delight. Love the words, the observations and the special mention. Thankyou.

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