Be Very Afraid

This has been a pivotal year. Quality again increased dramatically. At BVA1 our learners demonstrated remarkable work and our distinguished guests said "Wow!". This year the work exhibits such complex mash-ups of ingredients that learners needed time to articulate precisely the complexity of what they have done. This year distinguished guests said "How?". BVA 5 raised two big concerns: Firstly we should all worry about the gap that has opened up between the institutions, teachers and learners who have embraced - and are busy astonishing us with - this complex mix of technologies and services, and those institutions that mindlessly ban phones, YouTube, international links, social networking, joy, challenge. The gap is rapidly becoming a chasm. Secondly, we know unequivocally, from a compelling body of evidence and exemplification, that children love to learn together, relish tough challenges, embrace and subvert technology for their learning, engage in it 24/7 and are capable of escaping from so many of the boxes that constrained their predecessors. The concern is that too much of the education system ignores these self evident certainties - witness the laughably blunt metrics of success. The last time the world ignored what we all knew to be true the banking system collapsed with a domino effect of unexpected catastrophies.

Be Very, Very Afraid.

Professor Stephen Heppell