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Education Secretarys speech to NSPCC conference.

Education Secretarys speech to NSPCC conference.

Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. Have you ever been in a restaurant where you’ve seen somebody meeting up with old friends and taking a photo of the food in front of them? And it almost seems like the photo of the food is more important than the food itself. Or have you heard a conversation where somebody says, that was a really good walk. It’s just a shame I wasn’t wearing my Fitbit.

Or have you ever seen that thing, or even possibly done that thing yourself, standing on the pavement, looking at your weather app, and it says the weather’s fine. And you feel a raindrop on your head, and just for one split second you think, I wonder which one’s right?

Well, ladies and gentlemen, if we struggle sometimes with the blurring of reality that we get with technology, imagine how much harder it is for our children. And for kids growing up now, we have come a long way since Photoshop. Now it seems, sometimes that every photo might have some sort of filtering applied to it. The certainties of the world can’t be banked on anymore, and in the most acute cases have caused children falling victim to people who are pretending to be something and someone that they are not.

Now, at this point, before going too much further, it’s obligatory for the person standing on the stage to explain that he or she is not, in fact, a Luddite. And I do appreciate the huge potential that there is for technology both in education and further beyond. And actually, to be fair to me – and I’m keen on being fair to me – I think my CV actually bears out that I am not a Luddite and I have a lot of belief in the power of technology.

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