Monday, 27 October 2008

Be Very Afraid 5 - the learners are proving their skills...again

Attending 'Be Very Afraid 5' today at Bafta, it was really great to see students from schools, not necessarily known for being ICT leaders, displaying how they used technology in their school work.
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Organised by Professor Heppell, it is a real celebration of students using technology in a wide variety of ways as part of their school life. The range of projects was as diverse as you would expect, and their confidence as they talked non stop all day to a wide range of adult visitors was amazing. Equally with numerous film crews interviewing them all day, they showed few nerves and really wanted to explain what they were doing, how they were doing it and why they used the technology they did.
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Seeing learners so confident, motivated and excited about their learning is as good evidence that one could need about the value of project based learning and the value of personalised learning supported by the appropriate technology. Learners were articulate and informed , even if the night before BVA5 many were scared and worried about the event and wondered if they would know what to say. They were not 'geeks'. just individual learners who were just fab at talking about their work.
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Stories from attending staff were repeated about having to put 'time out' on course work late at night each day to stop students, really excited about their learning, from working. The same applied to weekends and holidays.
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What was also great was seeing primary age learners and discussing their projects with students from the University of Bournemouth... ages were unimportant, it was the work that was important.
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Be Very Afraid is a fascinating event and one that is about to go international with BVA Korea and Los Angeles next year..... with other countries joining.
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Students know how to do this stuff... the teachers attending supported the learners and allowed them to stretch themselves and chase their imagination. It is just so important that we encourage more to operate this way - if we did the results would be just astounding.
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