To prepare today’s minds for tomorrow’s world through thought-provoking, interactive, hands-on, motivating and practical professional development.
Respect – our team shows respect for all participants in its professional development. All views and ideas are welcome and can be presented for the benefit of all.
Integrity – our team understands that our reputation is built on participants feedback. We always work to be as professional as possible and strive to provide high quality and valuable growth opportunities.
Innovation – our team is always looking to improve and evolve so that our participants can benefit from the most current trends.
Honesty – our team understands the importance of presenting truthful information based on facts and evidence to allow our participants to make informed decisions
People in the current age have more opportunities than ever before, with access to an incredible amount of information, connectivity to a global society, freedom of movement and technological systems and products. Most people have an incredible amount of choice with what direction they take in their journey through life and careers. Practical PD understands this, and we believe that we need to focus on making education RELEVANT to its audience to motivate, inspire and commit to learning that will best prepare them for yet unknown opportunities.
With the exponential growth of Artificial Intelligence, Practical PD believes that education also needs to have a strong focus on CREATIVITY. Creativity is a key differential that currently separates people from intelligent computer systems, systems that have begun to replace professional occupations and practices in the same way that robotic systems and mechanisation have replaced process and manufacturing jobs.
The skill and art of COLLABORATION is also crucial for effective education. As the saying goes, “Two minds are better than one”. Practical PD believes both educators and students need to be given as much opportunity as possible to work collaboratively to ensure the exploration and exchange of ideas and thought processes.
The final key area of effective learning is through having students gain an understanding of their PASSIONS. Research does show that the happiest and most successful people are those who follow their passions. In a world of such incredible choice for most, particularly in Australia, educators need to have the opportunity to allow students to explore, understand and develop their passions and in doing so guide them onto a fulfilling career which will make for better mental health outcomes and a more productive and successful society.
Paul Smargiassi – Director
Paul is fully committed to helping the education industry explore all pathways to ensure the students of today can develop the skills and knowledge to innovate and create their way to a successful future. Paul graduated as a civil engineer from UWA and worked in the construction industry as site engineer for some years both here in Australia and overseas. He particularly enjoyed the programming and coding subjects during his studies and this leads him to join forces with his father, a geography teacher, to create new digital education resources centred around GIS technology. The business expanded to incorporate other KLA's and IT technologies. By building a successful business in the education sector he has gained invaluable knowledge of the tools and understandings educators possess and require to become effective implementers of programs for their students. Paul has developed Practical PD to further assist educators in their journey and to develop an education community so educators can have a support network that focuses on the STEM / STEAM curriculum and the practical tools and skills for the development of the area.
Brad Howard – Manager
Being passionate about education and a strong will to help create a great future for the kids of today is what Brad is all about. Brad started as a primary school teacher and moving into a position of Assistant Principal for three years before leaving education and moving into the business sector. From Recruitment to state manager of Computelec which implemented the lone to one laptop program through many schools in Australia was where Brad spent his next 5 years. Moving on to the National Sales Manager role with Westnet Internet where he grew a team of sales staff to 200, Brad then purchased a residential property management business which has overseen for the past nine years before selling. Brad has also developed a real estate service company that works with over 90 agencies across WA with 40 staff working from home using high-level technology to create efficiencies and quality reporting to the industry. Now is the time for Brad to pass on his learning from education, business and technology to educators to assist them in guiding the students of today into an exciting tomorrow.
Katie Koch – Education Advocate & Mentor
Katie has a genuine passion for providing educational opportunities that prepare young people today for fulfilling lives in their wider community. Katie started her career in education as a Sessional Tutor and Lab demonstrator at ECU and went on to graduate as a Secondary Science and Mathematics Teacher. While teaching she also helped families in the rural areas with computer-assisted educational software to increase engagement and development in both numeracy and literacy of students from Kindergarten to Year 12. Katie’s pedagogy reflects her strong values towards fostering autonomy and inquiring minds. She is very enthused by the opportunity to use her creativity, highly accomplished knowledge in student learning and experience in the classroom to support teachers in being confident to meet student needs and engage them in a rapidly changing world. For the last four years, since becoming a mother, Katie has embraced the flexible work arrangements of being able to mentor Pre-Service Teachers studying at UWA, provide private tuition and relief teaching in her local area. Katie’s dedication and passion for education is paramount to her choice to join Practical PD. She is a model lifelong learner committed to personal growth and supporting others in the education sector.
The logo is an amalgam of a number of ideas and concepts which go to the core of our philosophy and principles.
It begins with the red circle which represents the genesis of a thought or an idea. This concept is born from the story of how Newton came to think of the theory of gravity as he sat under an apple tree and an apple fell on his head. The apple is also a symbol closely related to teaching as it's the fruit grown on the "Tree of Knowledge", the apple tree.
The increasing size of the circles that make the canopy of the tree depicts the growth of ideas, supported by the solid trunk a representation of how knowledge and learning support the growth of ideas and innovation.