HundrED Ambassador-in-Focus: Nam Ngo Thành
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a primary school teacher in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. I have authored multiple articles, and I have been nationally and internationally recognized for the implementation of creativity and the integration of technology into my teaching. I am the founder of the global project Five Safe Fingers. I am also the winner of Educator of the Year Asia 2017 and Top 50 Global Teacher Prize Finalist 2018.
Why did you want to become a HundrED Ambassador?
I develop creative approaches to deliver quality education to my students. I find ways to inspire them to learn, equip them with knowledge and develop their life skills such as critical thinking, information technology and group work. My particular interest is in applying technology to teaching and I believe that high tech helps stimulate students’ creativity and enthusiasm for learning. I also use technology to bridge the gap between the classroom and real life. Learning is extended to the outside world, and my students are exposed to different cultures as they use games and applications such as Skype and Minecraft to connect with their peers throughout the world.
When I came to HundrED, I learned that this place brings together many creative teachers around the globe. I am also a person who loves creativity. So, I wanted to become a HundrED Ambassador to learn from these wonderful people. I also want to share the experiences of the teacher, the creativity in teaching that I have with all educators. I think that sharing does not weaken us, but only strengthens us.
Why should we change our schools?
The world is changing every second. That requires all citizens to change themselves so as to not fall behind. Education is no exception. Therefore, the school must constantly change to create people capable of change. School is the place to train people of a country. Therefore, if the country is to keep up with the general trend of the world, it is up to the minds of the citizens of the country to make that happen.
Why is innovation in education crucial today?
I think that creativity in any field is important, not just for education. Creativity helps people find new things. Creativity is the root of development. As a result, teachers, as well as schools, are constantly creating inspirational learning experiences for students, evoking the hidden talents within them.
Three HundrED innovations you love.
I totally agree with Erik Harrell, CEO of Kahoot: "Our mission is to get every single child engaged and excited about learning the material, so that they feel learning is awesome and fun." In fact, I use Kahoot in my own teaching. Kahoot has made my students really excited with each of my lessons. Using Kahoot is a way to bring games into the classroom easily and efficiently. I would recommend other educators to try this new way of teaching - it's fun, engaging and motivating for students.
This innovation has responded to the social development trend of teaching and learning. We live in a flat world. Therefore, students need to be connected for global collaboration and co-creation if we want to prepare them for the future. We also live in a global, collaborative world. Companies create across time zones, communicate instantly with global connections and trade across nations.
If we can help students learn to communicate globally, we are preparing them to be successful as adults. Global Learning has broken the four walls of the classroom to bring students to the world.
I believe teaching empathy is as important as intellect, physiology and development. When they know how to empathize with others, a child will know how to love the people around him or her. That is how to make this society better. In my classroom, being sympathetic to others is always the first lesson I teach my students. Thanks to Mary Gordon, Founder of Roots of Empathy for doing such meaningful work.