ISS screenshot BBC

Year 7 student Megan McTaggart dons her VR headset and enlists an expert at BETT 2017 

Virtual reality. What’s not to like about being able to feel as if you are actually in space? That is what having a VR headset strapped to your head and given two hand controls and left to navigate around a space station feels like. It felt real and, also a little bit scary.

For a short time on the Dell stand at the BETT 2017 show, I felt cool. This is very different to the laptops we sometimes get to use in our secondary school in north London.


VR is still disruptive for schools, but visitors to the BETT 2017 technology show will find an answer

Virtual reality technology is being targeted at classrooms as a way to enrich learning experience with walk-throughs of all kinds of scenarios. Even Google is flexing its marketing muscle with a free app and low-cost cardboard goggles (that require individual mobile phones) for its VR Google Expeditions.

But who in a school is going to manage it? Busy teachers? School edtech supplier Avantis is launching networked class sets of ClassVR headsets at the BETT 2017 educational technology to take the hassle out of this emerging technology

Noel-Baker School

How can one school be the tech hub for 64 others? talked to its IT director Lee Jepson, aged 28

When the incoming Coalition Government scrapped the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme back in 2010 the decision was accompanied by a tide of media slurs to justify it.

However, in time it has become clear that they are not borne out by evidence: there have been some remarkable successes. Noel-Baker School, a 1,600-pupil former BSF school in Derby hasn't just transformed its own use of technology for learning, it also manages (in partnership with Dell) the technology needs of 64 other local schools — seven secondaries along with primaries and special schools.


Why tie learning to outmoded industrial models when current trends demand mash-ups?

Subject areas created for the needs of industry generations ago have become silos, we're told. So isn't it time to see learning as a 'mashup', where students use the subjects they need together for their required purpose - just like industry does for the 'fourth industrial revolution'?

Tune in to Education Fast Forward 18 (EFF18) live at 9am GMT on Monday (January 23) to join the OECD's PISA expert Andreas Schleicher and his panel guests debate this topic, "Preparing kids to succeed in the fourth industrial revolution", in front of world education leaders at the Education World Forum (EWF) in London.

SWAT team

Sal McKeown welcomes new research into crisis decision-making

Imagine you're an armed police officer facing a life-or-death decision. A split second could change someone's life forever. New research shows that a single heartbeat can dictate the outcome – especially when the crisis involves a black person.

That's the finding of new research which has implications for the training of police and security forces. It is published today (January 17) in the online academic journal, Nature Communications.