'Be Very Afraid'

On 6th March  2014, Professor Stephen Heppell brought his infamous 'Be Very Afraid', event to Jersey, providing students on the island of opportunities to learn and showcase their ingenuity with technology. 

What is 'Be Very Afraid'? 

The event will provide students of Jersey the opportunity to amplify their learning and showcase their ingenuity with technology.

We are seeking expressions of interest from schools and colleges now, from primary through to post school age, to be one of the (approximately) ten projects highlighted in Jersey's first BVA event. This web page is your briefing note to explain more (see below if you want to be involved):

Some years ago now I was asked by the UK's Whitehall government, to show them just what young learners were doing with the technology that was increasingly surrounding them in schools. The event I hosted, with children exhibiting and discussing their ambitious projects with policymakers and key influencers, scared those policymakers a bit (in a nice way) and thus we repeated it annually, calling it (slightly tongue in cheek) Be Very Afraid.

BVAs have now run in other countries too, and we are all excited that Digital Jersey will be hosting one in Jersey next year (2014).We need help from colleagues in Jersey to put forward school and college based projects, to form the heart of the Jersey BVA event. From that lot of submissions we will select around ten, primary through to post school age.

On the day, there is no judging, or "best". We would want it to be a celebration of what students - of all ages - can do. Every group will be doing something exceptional.  A small panel will select those exceptional submissions for this year's event - we hope more will follow - and they will have an eye to a broad mix of age, a diversity of project and will in particular look out for submissions that are fresh and maybe indicative of what others on the island might be doing further down the track, in future years.

As always, key influencers will be invited as guests. During the day the students explain just what it is that they are doing. All this is captured for as video for the website and will be available as a podcast. Feel free to view all the whole BVA site at your leisure, but I have picked out some useful and indicative contributions from the previous years.

BVA2 saw Capel Le Ferne School's girls worrying about boys' grammar and building a noun rap to help them "pretty successfully". An early example of learners' mutuality and helping each other in this project based task.

BVA2 also saw the Primary Studunts from Matching Green School in a project that combined mobile phones, story telling, live links to an author, OM2, Alpha9, a space adventure, and more.

BVA3 saw a Group From Essex showing that same wish to help others, this time through a podcast on healthy eating - an interesting contrast with the demonisation of children as indiscriminate eaters.

BVA3 also saw two girls from Grey Court School talking articulately about their classroom of the future - and the significant impact it had had on their relationships with everything from teachers to the curriculum.

BVA3 also saw the youngsters from Home Farm Primary School explaining how they were using little hand held PDA to explore their own versions of Keith Haring's New York subway art

BVA4 showcased Lampton School in London with its multicultural project, using mobile phones to video and capture a day in the learning lives of students worldwide

BVA4 also saw Luke, of the young people on the Notschool project with its unique success at re-engaging the disengaged. Luke was demonstrating the high level skills and capabilities he had developed with Cinema 4D.

By BVA5 the students were often just getting on with the task in hand, as their teachers stood back to hear their ideas for applying new technologies, as we heard from the teacher at Kings Road Primary school.

BVA usually has a higher education group presenting, sometimes two. Back in BVA2 this was a remarkable Kinetic Sculpture representing a "Private Garden of relationships through social technology - pretty daunting stuff, and by BVA6 we had he students (in that year, from Bournemouth University) thinking about others - in particular younger learners and we were shown A RESEARCH PROJECT TO CREATE AN INTERACTIVE NARRATIVE GENERATOR.

BVA7, in Melbourne by the way, saw some remarkable cultural exchanges as students in Tasmania connected with indigenous students in the Northern Territories. A great insight into The Power Of Technology to build cultaral intergration. 

And finally at our BVA Xtra event in St Clair County Michigan we enjoyed a Rapid- Build Robotics Project, that was big in size and in Amition. 

This all represents quite a journey - and I reflect on that after each year. For example, My Reflections after BVA5 look back on the progress we had made.

Hopefully, this all gives you some sense of the event - although this Music Montage might be a quicker way to get a feel for it all.



We are seeking expressions of interest from schools now, from teachers, to be one of the (approximately) ten projects highlighted in that event. If you think that might be you, with your students' project, please drop an email to Rebecca Elliott with some very brief details. We need to have projects ideas this term, to finalise the ten from around Jersey to take forward and build for the showcase which will be on 6th March 2014.

And thanks for being interested!
Professor Stephen Heppell