In a season of new beginnings, discover how to embrace change and how new challenges create new opportunities with Al Kingsley.

Let’s start with a cheer: the long, dark winter is over and spring is here!

This is the time of year when, as the weather warms up and the evenings get lighter, we all sense the potential for a new start in all the areas of our lives. Our thoughts turn to making plans and our outlook becomes revitalised – all matching the pace of the natural environment as it awakens.

With that in mind, we’re starting our spring with a bang. Here are four things we’re thinking about right now…

1. New R.I.S.E.

Talking of new beginnings, you’ll have no doubt noticed a rather large one with this issue of R.I.S.E. in its new dedicated online format. Editor Kat and the team are excited about the potential to extend the magazine to a new audience of educators, as well as making it easier to share all its carefully crafted content across the world! What I’m particularly enjoying so far is that it offers a clear, easy reading experience on my smartphone – something I’m sure readers will appreciate, too.

2. A new era of artificial intelligence in education

Artificial intelligence use in education is gaining momentum and it feels like we’re at the dawn of monumental change. Some say that it will potentially revolutionise teaching and learning in the classroom with the ability to provide ever more personal learning, make education more accessible and tailored to individual needs – alongside saving time for teachers and administrators.

As brilliant as a potential educational AI ‘revolution’ sounds, we shouldn’t forget the ethical considerations needed around it. Governments and global organisations are currently scrambling to define regulations for its use while taking privacy, equity and inclusion considerations into account.

It’s a monumental challenge and one we should all be mindful of in the education and edtech sectors as we set out to incorporate its tools into our daily work.

And there’s no avoiding the issue: whatever your view on artificial intelligence, it’s virtually guaranteed that it will enter your role at some point in the not too distant future, such is the scale of interest in its capabilities.

3. Embracing change

Even though the world is changing around us, seemingly faster and in more areas than ever before, despite the darker moments, it’s a time that offers great possibilities and opportunities for personal development and learning.

For our students, so much of the future in terms of higher education and careers is unknown. However, with the advent of AI, we could say the same for staff. Will teachers be delivering learning in the same way in 10 years as they do today? It’s unlikely. CPD is more necessary than ever before: smoothing path to professional and personal growth, ensuring we remain at the forefront of technology developments within our profession and/or specialism and helping us to embrace the broader changes with an open mind.

4. New challenges, new opportunities

Innovation moves the world forward and the essentials of being an innovator are creativity and resilience. Just as we encourage these qualities in our students, we should also remember them ourselves. If we genuinely want to effect change in our work and how we do things, we need to “be the change we want to see” and try something different to define and validate our new direction. Anyone can do this for themselves – and, taking a broader view, being a change-maker need not be left to the usual suspects in your orbit. You might be surprised where sharing an idea with another person can take you…

It’s great advice for whatever part of life you choose to apply it to!

Take control

Just as spring promises better days ahead, we can all make a positive decision to chart a new course in whatever we’re doing to move things forward – whether that’s improving student engagement and outcomes, enhancing their understanding (or ours) or developing our own practice. After all, we can’t hope to achieve anything different if we keep doing the same things we’ve always done.

So, change things up, don’t give up, refine, revise and enjoy your new beginnings this spring!


  • Al Kingsley

    Al is CEO of NetSupport, chair of a multiacademy trust, chair of his local governors’ leadership group, Regional SEND Board chair and member of the Regional Schools Director's Board. Well-known in EdTech, Al speaks regularly at international education events and has authored three books.
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