"No day is the same, every day brings something new to the table and you’re able to learn and reflect from your experiences. When the student has that moment when they understand something they’ve struggled with, that’s a precious moment."
Raymond Chambers entered teaching by accident as the result of a last-minute Computer Science degree placement, but found that he loved it. At this time, ICT learning was fairly traditional and undeveloped, so Raymond started developing new software for learning, using Microsoft Kinect. This made ICT lessons less dry and more varied, allowing him to incorporate quizzes and make lessons more fun and engaging for his pupils.
Inspired by a leap in both engagement and academic achievement from his computing students, Raymond decided to share this work and best practice with other teachers via a WordPress blog, uploading his resources and through tweeting to other ICT teachers. Interest in his methods and development tools and enthusiasm for his teaching innovation on these different platforms began to spread though the academic community.
He was invited to present his project at the Microsoft European Innovative Teachers Conference in 2012 and suddenly discovered he had an eager global audience. Shortly after the UK government changed the ICT curriculum to computer science and he was asked to contribute to the secondary computing quick start guide, to help teachers who were fearful of the changes being brought in.
He then created a YouTube channel to help teachers prepare for computer science teaching, which has had over 250,000 hits. All the time he has been conscious of the need to balance his growing global profile with giving his own classes a good education, and thanks to his mentoring, dedication and encouragement his class pupils have gone on to achieve 2nd place at a European coding competition.
Both his success and that of his students prompted him to keep pushing the boundaries with technology and try new methods, leading the BBC to ask him to contribute to the BBC Microbit resources issued to teachers nationally. Recognition for his work has included winning the 2013/14 Microsoft Innovative Expert Educator award and in 2015 the UK national teaching award for innovative use of technology.