HundrED Ambassador-in-Focus: Perica Sardzoski
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am the co-founder and Director of Studies at Pegasus English Language School. I also teach EFL, develop content for courses as well as translating and interpreting. I am a keen author and slam poet having authored both a poetry book and a novel written in the Macedonian language. I love to travel and explore nature. As a filmmaker, I always document my travels and share my experiences with others to teach them about cultural diversity and cosmopolitism.
Why did you want to become a HundrED Ambassador?
As an educator, I believe that informal education, particularly when given the proper expertise and desired focus on outcomes, offers the best opportunities for implementing innovation in the teaching process. Our school pioneers the use of digital technology in TEFL within our region. We have succeeded in developing, implementing and promoting our innovative program 'Digital Literacy for EFL Students'. Our design for this program is based upon the identified need for blending digital skills with language skills. By introducing blogging, web design, video editing, presentation skills and social media into the curriculum we have enabled students to explore the possibilities of using digital tools to improve their English language skills and bring their ideas into the global community. We then realised that innovations like this can enhance students' motivation and provide the necessary vision that current formal education in our country cannot provide, given the way it is currently structured. We further promoted this program by applying to the ELTons 2017 Innovation Awards, organised by the British Council. We were successfully selected as one of the top five finalists in the category of Local Innovation.
I found out about HundrED in February 2017 at the New Technologies in Education regional conference that took place in Belgrade. I was instantly inspired by its mission. Initially, my goal was to promote our school’s innovation to the world via HundrED’s network. However, once I realised the scope of this project I wanted to help promote other innovations in education in my country or even inspire other educators to delve into this exciting realm of creativity and innovation.
I wanted to become a HundrED Ambassador because I believe that education should be free or at least affordable (we are a private language school and we have no funding for our projects except the fees we charge, which are set at an affordable level). I also believe that it is only a solid education which will bring a solid future for us all. We as educators are shaping the minds of young people and making great contributions to their futures. The Finnish education system recognises this and I am immensely grateful that we have a leader in the innovation process. I believe that as a HundrED Ambassador I can contribute towards inspiring other educators to create educational innovations based on the identified needs and requirements within their communities. I can also help expand this global network of innovators by promoting other innovative programs that I discover in my region.
Why should we change our schools?
The traditional methods of teaching that we currently find all around the world are based on the philosophy of the Industrial Revolution and the skills required by industrial societies in the 19th and 20th centuries. Today we live in a digital age in which information shapes the development of our societies. I believe young learners should not be left alone in exploring technology but should be provided proper guidance by educators who are willing to transfer not just data but also values onto future generations. The way we evaluate knowledge also needs to change. We should focus on developing student’s individual skills and enhancing their abilities based on their personal preferences, rather than providing schematic mass oriented curricula that do not allow creativity and innovation to thrive. The future depends on having this major shift now, which is why I am happy to join this amazing project that promotes innovation in education!
Why is innovation in education crucial today?
Innovation is vital to modern living as we live in a world of constant technological advancements, with new ideas emerging every day. If we allow young people to explore and find new ways of dealing with the world around them, then they will be prepared to make the great leaps that mankind needs. Education must be a pioneer in this process as it is the fundamental hub from which all innovation should derive. By building ethical values in the minds of young people and providing them with the necessary tools to share and promote their ideas, we can help create a more connected world for the future.
Three HundrED innovations you love.
I love this innovation as it allows students to connect across the globe, expanding their skills of problem solving, creativity, critical thinking and collaboration, sharing amazing ideas and making the world a cosier place for everyone.
Think Global School offers an amazing opportunity to re-introduce stoic values in education in a contemporary setting. It could have a transformative impact on students' acquisition of not just facts but also the values of the cultures and communities with which they interact. It is a travelling school (a dream-of-mine-to-hopefully-come-true) which enables students to experience real world issues and engage within the communities that they live in.
I have been using this app extensively in class with my students, and it is such a great asset to the teaching process. Games are easy to make and there are increasingly more resources available. Students develop independent learning styles through fun, competitive games, making the learning process enjoyable and magical. Thumbs up!