Tom Barrett

2011 Distinguished Contributions to Public Service in a

Pre-College Environment Award Recipient
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“For inspired leadership and dedication in promoting the use of modern technology in education both locally and internationally”


Tom Barrett is a teacher, speaker and curator of ideas who utilises the very best educational technology to inspire and engage children in their learning.

He has a particular passion for helping teachers connect and learn together through the use of online tools. He has been instrumental in supporting and encouraging thousands of teachers, the world over, to connect and to build networks that help support their professional development.

For the past 10 years he has been teaching in primary schools including: teaching at three different Nottinghamshire schools; as a specialist ICT teacher; floating staff member and as a full time classroom teacher with experience across the primary age range from Nursery to Year 6. In addition, he has played a major role in successful OFSTED inspections, one of which was judged to be "Outstanding". His most recent experiences include working in the senior leadership of a school as a Deputy Headteacher.

He was the first teacher in the world to work with a multi-touch surface device designed by Philips and to develop learning applications. He currently sits on the steering group for Durham University's SynergyNet project that is researching the future path of multi-touch pedagogy.

Tom represented primary teachers from the UK at the inaugural World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE 2009) in Doha, Qatar. It gathered one thousand leading education stakeholders, opinion leaders and decision-makers from 120 countries.

He has worked with Google to bring their teacher academy event to London in 2010. The first time Google held the teacher training event outside of the US. Tom held a key role in planning, organising and delivering the programme at Google headquarters in London.

In early 2010 Tom inspired teachers, publishers and companies to work together at  the BETT show. During TeachMeet Takeover teachers spoke about free tools and ideas for the classroom, on the stands of those companies represented at the world’s largest educational technology trade show. This helped to usher in a more cohesive working relationship between the commercial sector and educators. Tom has played a central role in developing the idea of TeachMeet including organising local and national events.

He has acted as curator for numerous training resources including the Interesting Ways series and Maths Maps. Through the use of crowd sourcing Tom has redefined the way educational resources are created and raised the bar in terms of high quality, practical resources made by teachers for teachers.

He is considered one of the world’s leading voices on the application of new technologies in the classroom and continues to share what he can on his edte.ch blog and through 140 characters on Twitter (@tombarrett).