UK Teacher Tom Barrett Wins Pre-College Award

LOS ALAMITOS, Calif., 4 April, 2011 – British primary school teacher Tom Barrett is the 2011 recipient of the IEEE Computer Society Distinguished Contributions to Public Service in a Pre-College Environment Award.

Barrett, a speaker and “curator of ideas,” in addition to being a teacher, said he uses “the very best educational technology to inspire and engage children in their learning.” He said he has a particular interest in helping teachers connect and learn together using online tools.

Barrett was selected as the recipient of the Computer Society’s 2011 Distinguished Contributions to Public Service in a Pre-College Environment Award “for inspired leadership and dedication in promoting the use of modern technology in education both locally and internationally.”

The award consists of a plaque, and is presented to individuals who have furthered the professional and technical goals of the IEEE Computer Society in a pre-college environment.

During his decade as a primary-school teacher, Barrett has taught at three different Nottinghamshire schools; as a specialist ICT teacher; floating staff member, full-time K-6 classroom teacher, and deputy headteacher.

Barrett pioneered the use of a Phillips multi-touch surface device for developing learning applications. He sits on the steering group for Durham University’s SynergyNet project that is researching the future path of multi-touch pedagogy.

In addition, he represented primary teachers from the UK at the inaugural World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE 2009) in Doha, Qatar. It gathered 1,000 leading education stakeholders, opinion leaders, and decision-makers from 120 countries.

He worked to bring Google’s teacher academy event to London last year, marking the first time Google held the teacher training event outside of the US. Barrett held a key role in planning, organizing and delivering the program at Google headquarters in London.

In early 2010, Barrett 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, in the booths 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.

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

Nominations for the pre-college award are accepted throughout the year. The award nomination requires a minimum of 1 endorsement. For more information about the award, visit http://www.computer.org/portal/web/awards/precollege.

Past recipients include Jennifer Fernquist (2006), Angelina Lim (2005), Robert Reilly (2003), Martha Davies (1999), and Sally Goldberg (1998).

About the IEEE Computer Society

With nearly 85,000 members, the IEEE Computer Society is the world’s leading organization of computing professionals. Founded in 1946, and the largest of IEEE’s 38 societies, the Computer Society is dedicated to advancing the theory and application of computer and information-processing technology. The Society serves the information and career-development needs of today’s computing researchers and practitioners with technical journals, magazines, conferences, books, conference publications, certifications, and online courses. For more information, visit http://www.computer.org.

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