Koen Timmers is kind of a superhero in the teaching world. He’s a Computer Science teacher from Belgium, one of the Global Teacher Prize top 50 finalists for 2017, and a Microsoft Innovative Educator Fellow. But he lets his actions and projects speak for himself more than awards or titles. Recently he received a huge media attention, that, according to his own words, surprised him a lot.
During Bett London Koen met Lifeliqe community shaman Martin and talked with him about his teaching projects, the awards he’s receiving and the importance of relevant technologies for teaching.
Koen teaches and trains other teachers and comes up with projects that innovate the education, help to instruct children in places where education is almost inaccessible and students from different continents all at once. He’s the creator of Project Kakuma, a global initiative of teachers who give lectures to African refugees via Skype. Also, he’s the man behind the project called Wai Water that helps students understand water and water-related issues, such as its sustainability, contamination or lack.
The Wai Water project connected six continents. In its firsts phase, 9 teachers from 9 different schools collaborated together and Koen introduced Lifeliqe to all of them. What was the aim of the project?
“Students were learning about certain topics from people living in the place that suffers that problem,” Koen explains. This way, children worldwide were learning about the lack of water from students located in India or California or about water contamination from students in Nigeria.
“Students from places where there is enough water started coming up with ideas how to help places with water problems,” says Koen referring to students from the New Zealand.As mentioned, students and teachers used Lifeliqe for the project outcomes. We’ll introduce you other teachers who took part in the project. So far you can read Koen’s article about the Wai Water and check what students who took part in the project created:
“Lifeliqe was very relevant and the water cycle model was perfect to be used in the water project. It is interesting that teachers involved haven’t use Lifeliqe before and still the outcomes from the students were amazing. It is very interesting for collaborative learning from all around the world,” thinks Koen.
Koen loves to experiment with new technologies and new approaches to teaching. On Bett London he was among the first educators to try Lifeliqe on HoloLens. And he loved it.
“It was an amazing experience. I think HoloLens was developed for Lifeliqe,” laughs Koen adding that the device completes a natural evolvement of technology:
“It’s a completely new device, once there were a computer and a smartphone, now there is HoloLens and the mixed and augmented reality. It feels that thanks to using Lifeliqe on this device it all comes together. First, you needed to learn to use the mouse, then the swipe and now the HoloLens gestures. Together with Cortana, it’s a very interesting experience.”
We’re looking forward to seeing what teachers like Koen will come up with when using HoloLens, Lifeliqed HoloLens. If you want to take part in our HoloLens Lifeliqe Pilot, let our community shaman Martin know.
P. S. If you are searching for inspiration and useful tips on how to integrate OneNote into the classroom, check Koen’s book.