Like many others, I attended my first BETT exhibition this year. It was fascinating to see how big the exhibition was, in terms of both the venue and the vast number of firms and people who participated and got involved. It was astounding to see how big of a role technology plays in education.
Each brand had a different purpose, ranging from online security to fun educational learning to systems management and many more. BETT had brought together people, ideas, practices and different form of technologies collectively to share one common goal – which is to transform the education system by fulfilling the potential of educators, learners and beyond.
The BETT arena exceeded its full capacity on Friday afternoon when the award winning celebrity chef, Heston Blumenthal, delivered his keynote speech. Heston’s speech was very interesting and inspiring to hear. He filled the arena with overflowing ideas and immense passion for what he does and what he believes in. He spoke keenly about how food incorporates other subjects such as physics, maths, biology, art and chemistry, and how these are combined with food.
Heston’s belief that the subject should be made compulsory in school was reflected in his commitment to support a new GCSE in Food Preparation and Nutrition. His experimental approach to cooking is a natural fit with the new GCSE which is believed to be more scientific. Heston and his team at the Fat Duck have been providing amazing support to help inspire teachers of this new qualification.
Heston also discussed creativity and its importance in education. He said - “we do not need to learn to be creative, but instead we need to learn to remove the straitjacket of fear for creativity to happen”. He also added that working in a team aids confidence, referring to the lessons he observed at the Chelsea Academy in Chelsea, where students were involved in investigating fermentation of yeasts and also in an activity looking at the different raising agents used to make scones.
As a kid, Heston learned to question things which led him to believe that by asking questions, this often leads to new discoveries and better learning. He went on and said “it is very important to challenge ideas that we take for granted and to ask questions to better improve learning.”
Administrative Assistant, Cambridge Assessment