Curriculum Vitae 2017-02-07T23:14:30+00:00

Joel Birch

Educator, Learning Technology Facilitator, Armchair Futurist.

Currently working as a Learning Technology Facilitator across a portfolio of 8 schools spanning K-12 across school sectors, my work is incredibly diverse. While some of my schools are simply seeking help to train their staff to implement their digital investments, others seek guidance in developing and maintaining their vision for technology as a natural part of a deliberately-designed learning environment alongside a broad and cohesive professional development program. The challenge lies in making the right call to adventure to turn the former into the latter, and to help the latter transform themselves.

I am driven by the constant twists and changes in society and culture, and the need for our schools to reflect that so that as our young people step into the world independently, they are already fluent in learning with it.

I aim to engage with learners individually as people, collectively as groups, as organisations, as communities, and as societies.
Currently, I’m an Educator and Professional Learning Coordinator with experience across myriad school contexts.
My focus is on whole-school cultivation of contemporary practices based on the world as it is today to facilitate sustainable in-house growth & development.

+61 431 660 470

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Education & Professional Recognition

Bachelor of Psychology

The University of Western Australia, 2003

Cognitive & Developmental Specialisation

I undertook a double major in Psychology in a Bachelor of Arts, broadened by courses in Asian Studies, Classical Mythology, and French, to complete my basic degree in 2000. After graduating from my Graduate Diploma of Education, I returned to further deepen my knowledge of psychology.

Graduate Diploma of Education

Edith Cowan University, 2002

Primary Years Specialisation

The “endurance test” of education qualifications – the program was heavy on school-based practical placements alongside coursework.

The embodiment of the “no place like the deep end” philosophy of experiential learning.

Apple Distinguished Educator

AU/NZ Cohort - Class of 2009

ADE '09

I was recognised as an ADE for my work empowering students as media producers in the middle primary years in a linguistically diverse cluster of schools.

Employment History

Professional Development Coordinator

Winthrop Australia

November 2011 – Present

Winthrop Australia is an education-focussed technology company, servicing public and independent schools in Western Australia and Victoria.

As the founding member of the professional development arm of the education team,

Develop successful ongoing PD model

Develop futurist & strategic planning programs for schools


Educator & Learning Technology Consultant


Paris – November 2010 – October 2011

While on a stint of expat travel, I took the opportunity to work in international schools that represent the American & British curricula.
Making my initial contact through good old relief teaching, I engaged with schools in discussions surrounding their planning for future developments to their learning technology environments, including 1:1 implementation strategies.

Learning Technology Leader & Classroom Teacher

Ashdale Secondary College (Foundation Staff)

June 2008 – July 2010

I joined Ashdale Secondary College as the first member of teaching staff a semester ahead of the school’s opening to lay the foundation for the school’s Learning Technology environment, and to coordinate transition from primary school for our very first cohort of students.

During that first semester I worked on the following foundation developments:

  • Trial and selection of learning management systems.
  • Creation of a cross-campus online professional learning resource bank for our three partner primary schools and our foundation teaching staff.
  • Investigation of initial learning technology resourcing for our temporary & permanent campuses.
  • Establishment of the school website.

After the school opened, I had a combined teaching and Learning Technology leadership role. My teaching was in the humanities learning areas, developing a program with my partner teacher to approach the traditionally rigid secondary curriculum with a much stronger focus on pedagogy & student empowerment through collaborative and inquiry learning approaches.

My leadership achievements included:

  • Construction, management and content production/curation of a staff online network for communication & professional learning.
  • Production of a range of Learning Technology professional learning resources.
  • A series of professional learning workshops for staff.
  • Learning Technology coaching partnerships with colleagues.
  • Working with the technology committees from the College and our partner primary schools to oversee development of the K-12 cluster’s Vision for Learning Technology.

In my final semester at the college, I was responsible for teaching the pilot 1:1 laptop class. Much of that experience was bundled into future laptop rollout plans, and the version of the Vision for Learning Technology document that I left in their hands upon my departure.

Classroom Teacher & Learning Technology Team Leader

Ashdale Primary School (Foundation Staff)

January 2005 – June 2008

My predominant role at Ashdale Primary School was that of classroom teacher, spanning the junior and middle primary years. During that time my main professional interest for my own development expanded upon my early passion for boys’ education, to delve into the role of contemporary technology in the lives of today’s learner. I began to notice that the profile of the “21st Century Learner” (these days I keep a swear jar for abuse of that term) or the “Digital Native” (also, swear jar.) aligned very closely with how the literature described the archetypal “lost boy” being forgotten by the traditional classroom.

I took advantage of the brand new school’s brand new and contemporary resources, and was that of adding value to classroom learning through the innovative use of technology.

Through skills developed in my own classroom practice and via attendance at a number of professional learning events I was invited to join the Learning Technology implementation & leadership team, a team in which I subsequently held an acting leadership position while the tenured leader took a year of leave. This team was responsible for developing implementation strategy, resourcing decisions, and the implementation of those resources across the school environment.

In addition to these responsibilities, I became involved in planning and delivery of professional learning workshops, both within the school on staff development days, and externally at local and national conferences.

Classroom Teacher

Our Lady of Grace School

April 2004 – July 2004

Given that I was quite fresh to teaching when I commenced at OLG, this was largely where I cut my teeth for the years of professional growth that were to follow. I had a particularly lively Year 5 class in a modestly resourced school. My professional interests turned initially out of necessity, before evolving into passion towards the needs of boys in primary education, and how to best provide a pedagogically egalitarian classroom.