Areas of educational interest: Interested in all aspects of the conjunction of education with digital and networking technologies, along with a strong interest in the nature of educational transformation. I have an abiding concern for the shortcomings of formal education systems to meet the learning needs of people in the 21st century.
Why I’m involved in EFF: I enjoy discussing and debating the full range of key issues in education today with experienced and intelligent free thinkers, and I want to see that discussion making a difference across the world, in terms of both changing practice and changing thinking.
John Connell is an Independent Education & Technology Consultant working to bring education and technology together for the positive transformation of teaching and learning. He works across the public, private and third sectors, seeking to bring innovative and pragmatic thinking, based on a lifetime of varied experience, to his clients. He is also associated with two major international consultancies: Blacklin Associates, based in Washington DC, and GoToMarket Group and Partners, based in Germany. Both have a global reach.
John’s work has covered all sectors, and includes: development of pedagogies, educational research, teacher education, education in the developing world, national and regional education strategies, national ICT strategies in education, social media in the classroom, teacher and administrator workshops, and learning/collaborative platform development (approaches, strategies, architectures, implementation, project management).
Recent clients include UNESCO, European SchoolNet, Skills Development Scotland, Pearson, Council of American Universities, Promethean, RM Education, Social Scallop and the Maitri Trust. John is a skilled public speaker and has delivered many keynotes, presentations and workshops all over the world, on education, digital and networking technologies, ODL, social media and the knowledge economy.
John started his career as a primary teacher, and quickly moved into school management as primary school headteacher (principal). He has worked in local government and in central government, always within the sphere of education.
In 2001, John initiated and then led for 6 years the design, procurement and initial implementation of the Scottish Schools Digital Network project, now known as Glow. This is Scotland’s national connected schools programme, digitally linking all of Scotland’s schools across a national broadband network and national web-based learning and collaborative platform.
For 6 years, he was an education business strategist for Cisco, working at the highest levels across Emerging Markets, including Africa, Latin America, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Russia. He advised governments, universities, NGOs and other bodies on the potential of networked learning in education.