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Brett Cruse

Whitsunday Anglican School (QLD)

In Empowering Educators, inspiring Aussie teachers share how they build and nurture entrepreneurial mindsets in their classrooms. Here we ask Brett Cruse, Head of IT, Design, and eLearning at Whitsunday Anglican School about his inspiration and how he creates creating authentic and connected learning experiences.

Q1. Can you give us three words that describe your life as an educator? 

Fun. Creative. Passionate.

Q2: What’s one of the best learning experiences you’ve ever delivered?

In 2018, Whitsunday Anglican School delivered the Future of Energy & The Mobile School Makeathon program in partnership with Tespack International. The program concluded with the school initiating its very own version of Shark Tank in Schools. Students and parents were thrilled with the program. Following this, Whitsunday Anglican School approached Future Anything as they had already paved the way for a much broader entrepreneurial and design thinking challenge with other schools with the Activate Program. The school determined that Activate would provide the student outcomes we are looking for at this stage of our entrepreneurial mission. To date, we have been very happy with the program delivered in 2020.

Q3: What’s one book, website or podcast you’d recommend to educators keen to build the entrepreneurial mindsets of their students?

Just one??! I’d read all of these: Shoe Dog by Phil Knight, The Culture Code by Daniel Coyle, Bad Blood by John Carreyrou, Disciplined Entrepreneurship by Bill Aulet, Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki4-hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss, The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson and Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance.

The Barefoot Investor has some really valid advice that encourages people to make and enact some short and long-term financial goals. If we teach our young people how to make money, but not how to manage it, then we’re only doing half the job!

Meet this week’s Empowering Educator, Brett Cruse 

Brett Cruse was raised on the east coast of Tasmania and spent most of his early years outdoors in the ocean or playing sports. He has always enjoyed teaching/ coaching people in both a professional and a sporting capacity- his first student was his brother who was born with a disability. Brett’s first degree was a Bachelor of Applied Science (Physics and Technology) and his first career was in Information Technology where he worked on all things techy: building servers; making websites; database and app development.

Brett completed his Education Degree to do something of personal value and interest (and to avoid spending 8 hours a day in front of a computer screen).  He told us “I love to teach students about the wonder of technology using Websites, 3D Printing, Drones, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Robotics, Programming, and Kahoot.  I try to teach through as many emergent technology contexts as I can as a vehicle to present the possibilities of the future and ignite the joy of learning something new with my students. I also have an interest in business and entrepreneurialism. I am currently a candidate for the QUT MBA program and try to bring design, system thinking, and entrepreneurialism into my classroom.”
“My current role is Head of IT, Design, and eLearning. I’m employed by Whitsunday Anglican School which is a great school with a tradition of high academic achievement, cultural diversity, and an integrated community spirit.” 

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