Education & Technology with a Global Reach

John Connell



o   Built an extensive network of high-level contacts in Education, Government and the high-tech Industries across Emerging Markets, Europe and the USA

o   Worked with customers at the highest levels to support them in developing medium-to-long-term strategies for deploying leading edge digital and networking technologies into Education, across all sectors.

o   Produced and delivered detailed proposals, strategy papers and blueprints for innovative ICT in Education projects globally, and I have worked closely with major donor agencies  in the provision of strategic finance for many of these projects.

o   Initiated and directed the worlds first truly national connected schools project – Glow – in Scotland from 2001 to 2007, delivering a national broadband network, content delivery network, & web-based learning and collaborative platform for schools.

core competencies


       Creating Strategies for Technology in Education

       Development of 21st Century Models of Education

       Business Development & Relationship Building

       Delivery of detailed proposals / strategy papers / blueprints

       Public Speaking / Keynotes on Education and Technology Futures



Independent Education & Technology Consultant and Business Adviser, I Am Learner Consultancy

10/2012 to Present

Education Expertise

       Researched Teacher Education across the Developing World, produced 30,000 word report

       Worked with a number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, on behalf of UNESCO, to enhance Teacher Education (Chinese Funds In Trust)

Technology Expertise

       Offered expert advice on Education ICT and E-Learning to international bid seeking to win National E-Learning Strategy in Southern Africa

       Wrote detailed technical report for European SchoolNet, proposing a platform to support a pan-European Teachers Network

Business Expertise

       In conjunction with partners in GTM-Gap and Blacklin Associates, acting as exclusive business advisers to a very promising Tech Startup base in Silicon Valley


  Delivered 30,000 word report to Scottish-based charitable trust on the state of Teacher Education across the developing world, to inform their future funding strategy in that area

  Delivered 30,000 word report recommending an innovative web-based collaborative platform for a European Teacher Network.

  Delivered successful workshop to 4 African countries on how to set up and maintain a distance learning platform for teacher professional development.

Education Business Development manager & SME, cisco systems

01/2007 to 10/2012 – Emerging Markets (until 2011), then EMEAR

Sales Business Development

       Managed/drove large-scale, complex business partnerships

       Built go-to-market strategies, generated revenue-creating opportunities  in, for example, Kuwait, South Africa, UAE, Egypt, Romania, Azerbaijan, Oman, Kenya, etc.

Subject Matter Expertise

       Built and sustained enduring trusted adviser relationships with customers through my own professional credibility as an educationist

       Leveraged my experience with the Glow Project to work with customers to build innovative solutions for connected schools and connected campus initiatives

       Persuaded customers to shift budgets or create new budgets to meet enhanced ambitions through showcasing global best practice in education


  Created credible and recognised Education Expert Practice across Emerging Markets within Ciscos public sector sales effort

  Helped to create and develop an Education replicable business model that brought ambitious solutions together with a customer-focused engagement process

  Delivered detailed design proposals and long-term strategies for many Education Ministries, Universities, partners and donor organisations.


director, glow program, scotland

03/2004 to 01/2007

Led the design, procurement and implementation of the worlds first successful national connected-schools program – 3,000 schools, 50,000 teachers and 700,000 students brought together within a massive virtual learning and collaboraion platform

       Successfully ran a large-scale procurement process, and led an 8-month negotiaton with the short-listed bidders to select the contractor

       Successfully completed Scotlands first large-scale national public sector broadband network and content delivery network, connecting 32 local authorities in Scotland

       Successfully procured and built a content delivery network to facilitate the delivery of rich media (video, audio, animation etc) into the schools

       Successfully procured and implemented a national web-based platform for all Scottish schools that delivered virtual learning, collaboration, desktop video, access to learning content and a safe/secure environment for all schools

       Led a multi-disciplinary team throughout the process, displaying management and leadership skills across people, resources, budgets and high expectations


  Brought this $120M program in on time, on budget, and to specification.

  Delivered the worlds first national connected schools learning platform

  Put Scottish educaion on the map!


Broadband POlicy leader, SCottish Government

08/2001 to 03/2004

Developed a national broadband policy for Scotlands schools system, and initiated the national consultation process that led to the highly successful Glow Program.

       Developed, in consultation with all appropriate stakeholders, a policy for the roll-out of broadband networks to Scottish schools, based on an analysis of education needs into the future

       Built a network of working groups across Scottish Education that participated in the design process for Glow – a mix of top-down and bottom-up methodologies

       Organised and ran a national conference that inspired Scottish Education to seek to connect all of its schools through a national schools intranet

       Designed and then began the procurement of the national broadband network for schools and the national content delivery network

       Successfully transitioned the Glow Program out of Scottish Government and into Learning and Teaching Scotland, the national education agency at that time.


  Established a national network of working groups to help develop the Glow specification – resulted in strong stakeholder ownership of the project

  Delivered the first major national public sector broadband network in Scotland


Professional services manager, west lothian council, scotland

10/1995 to 08/2001

Managed a varied department within this local government organisation, comprising a number of different units:

       I led a team that were responsible for Performance Management, Communications & PR, Best Value, Research, Strategic Planning and a number of ad hoc ICT projects.

       I was seconded initially into the newly formed local authority in 1995, and spent the first 18 months or so working with a small team to establish the new Education Services from scratch

headteacher / deputY headteacher / CLASSROOM TEACHER

10/1980 to 05/1995

Deputy headtacher and headteacher (school principal) in three different schools / classroom teacher in two different schools



university of edinburgh: management school

MBA, 2000

university of Aberdeen

Master of Education (with Distinction), 1990

university of edinburgh

MA (Hons) Politics, 1979

professional training


Craigie college of education, ayr, scotland

Post-Graduate Certificate in Education, 1980

Prince2: Project Management Methodology

Prince2 Practitioner, 2002



5+ years working in a dynamic sales environment across Emerging Markets and Europe, offering a deep subject matter expertise and a business development capability

Direct interaction with a wide variety of education customers, from schools to national Ministries, universities, other national entities, and global agencies

Direct experience of major strategic finance initiatives working closely with major donor organisations worldwide

Working with customers and partners to build ICT and networking strategies, vision papers, architectures, blueprints and successful GTM strategies

High level leadership role in Central Government and in Local Government, including project Management of a very-large-scale connected schools project

School Management & Teaching

Major public speaking events worldwide - workshops, keynotes, seminars, etc



Very strong communication skills – written and spoken; very strong ICT skills

Ability to build strong customer relationships based on real education credibility

Proven project and program management skills

Team leadership and people management skills

Writing high quality & complex proposals and strategy papers in Education/Technology

Building innovative solutions, GTM strategies and sustained customer engagements

Very strong presentation amd public speaking skills




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SELIM EDDE                   VP, GOVERNMENT RELATIONS, SAP         

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TIM ELLIS                        EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALTECH                 

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