professor stephen heppell

me smiling

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born: in the Chalfonts, Buckinghamshire, England
Professor The Felipe Segovia Chair of Learning Innovation at Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid.
Professor. Chair in New Media Environments, Centre for Excellence in Media Practice, Bournemouth University,
Emeritus Professor Chair in New Learning Environments, Anglia Ruskin University

Executive chairman Learning Possibilities+

Stephen's "eyes on the horizon, feet on the ground" approach, coupled with a vast portfolio of effective large scale projects over three decades, have established him internationally as a widely and fondly recognized leader in the fields of learning, new media and technology.

formerly a school teacher, Stephen has worked, and is working, with governments around the world, with international agencies, Fortune 500 companies, with schools and communities, with his PhD students and with many influential trusts and organizations.

Press and media comments, sampled from over the years:

"Europe's leading expert on online education and learning spaces" EduTech Future Schools, Australia, 2014

"Europe's leading online education expert" Microsoft 2006

"Stephen has a vast portfolio of successful, large scale, learning projects behind him". JISC 2006

"one the world's foremost experts on contemporary learning", Queensland Courier 2011

"In a career that spans academic research, teaching, policy development, public and private sector collaboration, development of educational applications, politics, radical thinking and leftfield innovation, it is hardly surprising that the recipient of this evening's award is often referred to as the "funkiest on-line guru on the scene". Royal Television Society 2006

"the most influential academic of recent years in the field of technology and education" Department for Education and Skills (DfES), UK, 2006

"Money alone won't make the Internet fly. Ultimately, it's success lies with kids and other folk who don't follow dot-com stocks. That's where Stephen Heppell comes in. He's a digital do-gooder, helping to bring ordinary people into the Internet age.... looking about as threatening as Santa Claus with his twinkling blue eyes and bushy beard" Wall Street Journal 2000

"He could clearly be a very wealthy man because of his unique foresight, but he's decided that he wants to help children and parents get the most out of IT and Education" European Wall Street Journal 2000

and a couple of nice things said about my old lab - I left it in 2004, having founded it:

"Ultralab is Europe's leading leading research institute pioneering leading edge applications in support of proven educational precepts." Oracle Corporation 1999

"one of the most respected research centres in e-learning in the world" Financial Times 2001

Stephen's ICT career (he is credited with being the person who put the C into ICT), began with the UK government's Microelectronics Education Programme (MEP) in the early 80s, after he had been teaching in secondary schools for some years - which he enjoyed enormously.

Stephen founded and ran Ultralab for almost a quarter of a century, building it into one of the most respected research centres in e-learning in the world - at one time Ultralab was the largest producer of educational CD-ROMs in Europe - before leaving it in 2004 to found his own global and flourishing policy and learning consultancy which now has an enviable portfolio of international projects all round the world.

An early pioneer of multimedia - heading Apple Computer's Renaissance Project (pioneering the development and use of CD ROM in education), Stephen went on to pioneer, and be the guiding "father" of, early social networking in Learning with seminal projects including:

Stephen's long track record of supporting children in making, creating and programming with their computers, rather than just using them (from Logo and Prolog through HyperCard to Scratch today), has led to a string of constructivist projects including the EU funded éTui robotic project for 4 year olds.

In recognition of all this work, along with just 51 others including Damien Hirst, Jarvis Cocker, Harrison Ford, Lauren Bacall, Muhammad Ali, Stephen became an Apple Master in the 1990s.

Stephen was a founder board member for Teachers.TV - a UK public service TV and broadband channel for professional development of teachers;

Until recently, Stephen sat on the board of the UK's Skillset - guiding professional development and training in the Creative Industries, and now sits on the exciting new board of Digital Jersey;

he sits on BAFTA's Board of Trustees and Council having formerly chaired it's Technical Innovation Jury, and sat on its Film Committee;

Indeed Stephen sits on quite a number of steering and advisory boards - like the UK Science Museum's "Making Modern Communications" Advisory Panel with its exciting new £10m gallery opening in 2014. He is a member of the Adobe Education Leader Program. He also sits on the UK's Youth Gambling Commission.

Stephen sits on the Advisory Board of Educurious Partners Inc. in the US, set up the Inclusion Trust charity, and is Technology Advisor to the GEMS Education in Dubai.

Stephen holds the chair on New Media Environments at the Centre for Excellence for Media Practice at Bournemouth University, where all his PhD students are currently based - Stephen's eclectic activities there range from support for new pedagogic approaches for air traffic control education through to helping develop a manifesto for media education. He also holds the newly (2014) created Felipe Segovia Chair of Learning Innovation at Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid.

Currently Stephen has been asked by UK government ministers Michael Gove (Secretary of State for Education), David Willetts (Minister of State for Universities and Science) and Matthew Hanccock (Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise) to chair their Education Technology Action Group formulating policies for the next decade. This is substantial work, which is being watched by a number of other countries too.

Much of Stephen's work is on-the-ground, practical project based. Around the world a string of innovative schools are proud to trace their remarkable progress back to his direct involvement. Complementing the work designing on-line communities, Stephen is at the heart of a global revolution in physical learning space design, with a string of major new projects worldwide including 0-21+ academies in the UK and Australia, and a complete makeover of a national education system in the Caribbean. His research project in 2003 exploring for CABE and RIBA in the UK on the impact of new pedagogies on the design of learning spaces began a new rhetoric of third millennium school design in the UK and beyond. Stephen is designing, with his daughters Juliette and Melissa, a signature suite of affordable third millennium school furniture.

Stephen is proud to be Thinker in Residence of Mark Oliphant College in South Australia, and Patron of, formerly lead sponsor for, IPACA in Portland, Dorset, England, both all-through schools.

Stephen is, and has been, a regular face on TV all around the world - in the Uk this ranges from Newsnight to the BBC Breakfast sofa and Sky News, to Channel 4's Things to Come - and on radio too: from BBC Radio 4's You and Yours to the Steve Wright Show - or even right back to Phil Miles on Australia's Island Sound radio in 1992! In Australia it ranges from national ABC to statewide Mix Radio in WA.

Awards this century include:

In June 2006 Stephen was awarded the Royal Television Society's Judges Award for Lifelong Services to Educational Broadcasting.

In 2008 he received the prestigious BETT Award for Outstanding Achievement in ICT Education

In 2014 he was honoured to receive the UK's NAACE Award for Lifetime Achievement in educational technology.

Stephen's work is worldwide.

People who really know Stephen will also know of his passion for sailboat racing - which extends to work on learning approaches for Olympic level elite coaches, having himself been an international level coach. Current raceboat is an unlikely but delightful 1907 Oyster Smack listed in the UK's Historic Ships Register.

Who's Who suggests that he is also rather fond of fish and chips.

learning • ingenuity • research • creativity • policy • design • technology • delight • (+ sailing!)
last revised: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 5:21 PM