Bett 2017 hosted some of the most effective and innovative new technologies in education, as well as talks by motivational speakers and education practitioners
With a history spanning over three decades, Bett is known for bringing together everyone with a passion for improving the future through education, and showcasing the very best the global education marketplace has to offer.
Bett 2017 took place 25-28 January and once again offered invaluable insight to everyone in the education sector – from teachers and school leaders to policy makers, suppliers and industry experts. Expert speakers covered a range of topics, such as governance, educational technology, and special educational needs (SEN), to name a few.
IMPROVING THE EDUCATION SECTOR
More than ever teachers are looking for ways to efficiently and effectively improve what they do, so it was no surprise that the free CPD seminars were very well attended.
The Bett practitioner-led Learn Live CPD seminars and workshops addressed key issues in contemporary education and provided useful insight into the latest research,
practices and policies affecting education worldwide.
Sessions ranged from the practical ‘hands on’ ideas to enhance your teaching sessions, to major electrifying speakers such as Sir Ken Robinson, Heston Blumenthal and Ed Stafford.
Unsurprisingly, Ed Stafford’s session saw people squeezing in around the edge of the arena to catch sight of the renowned adventurer, explorer and broadcaster. Ed shared his views on why the spirit of exploration is so important in today’s world, and underlined the importance of technology in encouraging children’s natural desire to learn. He also gave all attending visitors ideas on how to ignite this inquisitiveness in their students.
WONDERMENT IN THE CLASSROOM
Along similar lines, Eric Sheninger, senior fellow at International Centre for Leadership in Education, revealed his innovative research-based practices, giving teachers ideas of how to implement these to bring back a sense of awe to learning.
Throughout the session he stressed the importance of instilling this wonderment in the classroom.
Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal may not be an obvious speaker at Bett, but his session probably attracted three times more people than there were seats.
He spoke passionately about creativity in education and the opportunity it brings to explore and discover. He encouraged teachers to welcome questions and failure in the classroom, believing this is the basis for constructive learning.
Looking at the ‘teacher‑led’ sessions, Maarit Rossi and Kazaya Takahashi hosted a panel discussion made up of Global Teacher Prize winners and finalists, discussing what makes a world‑class teacher. This was a lively
event with the audience getting involved in a debate, offering suggestions, comments and ideas.
Meanwhile, the School Leaders Summit, explored the most significant challenges
facing senior leadership teams (SLTs) and addressed how these can be tackled. This summit provided an opportunity for school business managers and senior leaders to network and collaborate to come up with forward-thinking solutions to improve school leadership.
David Langrish, marketing director at event organisers Ascential Events, said: “Bett is a community that has grown over its 33 years to encompass educators from across the world, and it’s their expertise and passion that underpins the event each year.
I applaud the event’s 800 plus exhibitors, speakers and visitors for continuing to drive the development of education in the UK and around the world. I remain in awe of the passion and commitment of educators everywhere.”
TECH FOR THE CLASSROOM
Bett 2017 played host to some of the most effective, innovative new technologies in education, including those based on virtual and augmented reality. More than 700 companies showcased their innovative products and services.
Bett 2017 showcased Groupcall’s technology, such as Messenger, its all-encompassing admin portal integrating award-winning parental engagement tools. Emerge is the app offering schools access to data and processes on mobile devices, and has been extended to include Emerge Desktop, a teacher dashboard giving staff access to data and tools to streamline their administrative processes.
Avocor was on hand showcasing its interactive displays and audio visual technology. The newly launched X Series is a 75‑inch screen powered by a Windows 10 operating system. It has InGlass touch technology and white board software which allows users to write on the screen. Lessons can be made more interactive and collaborative by wirelessly connecting personal devices and sharing content from group sessions instantly.
LocknCharge launched its new Joey 30 and 40 storage carts. With budgets being a genuine concern for many schools who do not want to compromise on choosing the right mobile device charging station,
LocknCharge has developed a new range of cost-effective products.
For under £900, the Joey Carts allow schools to charge, store and transport between 30 devices at an entry level price. LocknCharge recognises that not all schools are the same, and the Joey Carts have been designed so schools only need to pay for features they need, with a clever ‘bolt on’ system.
HUE products on show included the HUE HD Pro document camera, which helps teachers to engage students in STEAM topics and MAKER SPACE activities, vlogging, video chats, collaboration, sharing and interactive work. HUE Animation Studio was also on display, which is a starter kit for movie making for children aged 7-13.
With the click of a button, students can animate their favourite toys, LEGO figures and clay creations to a 2D drawing; they can also edit images, add sound, text, and special effects.
Trackit Lights showcased the first interactive whiteboard adaptation of the commonly used traffic lights behaviour wall chart – and it is completely free to download on the website. Designed by a teacher and behaviour specialist in Leeds,
Trackit Lights offers a child-friendly digital interface that’s always on the board. It requires no instructions or training and takes just three clicks to give class points or log a behaviour event during a class.
It builds up a profile of every pupil and class producing graphs trends and statistics, designed to improve behaviour, reduce teacher workload and help schools monitor and evidence behaviour more holistically.
Bett Futures is a platform designed to nurture emerging edtech start-up companies. This year it hosted more than 100 innovative start-ups, all looking to share their ideas, insights and solutions with educators from across the world.
The aim of this year’s Bett Futures was to showcase budding businesses that promise to be game changers in education. The initiative was run in association with the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) and the Times Educational Supplement (TES), along with other partners.
Celebrating brave thinking, innovative pedagogy, new products and education game changers, Bett Futures 2017 presented a one‑of-a-kind opportunity for emerging learning solutions to hit the ground running by inspiring attendees with practical ideas on how to improve their own educational practice.
One such company was Studytracks, a company that created a music app which merges music with study materials, using lyrics relating to a specific exam theme or topic.
Other Bett Future’s exhibitors who attracted large numbers of visitors included MeeTwo.
This is a digital solution that provides teenagers with a supportive, 100 per cent moderated, community where they can ask awkward questions anonymously, and safely share their concerns.
Educational resources embedded within the platform allow young people to go deeper into specific topics. They are also invited to submit creative content for inclusion in the app.
Curious Chip meanwhile was showing Ada, a computer designed for kids to enable them to get started with programming, electronics and other forms of digital creation, such as art and music. Ada combines hardware, software and learning materials in a simple and easy to use package.