Professor Preston interviews Bob Geldof

Exploring Education Futures

Christina Preston with Bob Geldof
Professor Preston posing questions from the MirandaNet Fellowship members
Dr Christina Preston, Professor of Educational Innovation at the University of Bedfordshire, interviewed Sir Bob Geldof in a session named after his song, ‘The World is Calling’. This interview was at the opening the four-day international MirandaNet Fellowship event, Exploring Education Futures, in London’s Docklands at the end of January. An amusing and eloquent speaker, Bob regretted that he had gained very little from school. Poetry excited him in English lessons and he can still recite passages he learnt now. But otherwise he found that he had little interest in other subjects and failed to pass any examinations. He admitted he was not easy to manage in school, but also felt that teachers should try to accommodate pupils with his special gifts rather more sympathetically than they treated him.

In terms of technologies, his own children and his wife are more up to date than he is. However, he sees digital innovation as a major force for good as long as new technologies do not wipe out traditional modes of learning. Because of his commitment to alleviating world poverty he invests in GroupCall, a system that gives schools the ability to send text messages (SMS), emails and automated voice calls to the mobile phones and landlines of parents, staff and key contacts as well as text and email messages in any one of 64 languages. In his view, this method of providing information through mobile devices is particularly important as this is the only way that people in some countries can have access to the modern communications which are so important to learning and autonomy.

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