Cutting-edge tech at Bett

Bett 2023 was a hub for innovation, showcasing the latest education technology and hosting packed conference theatres led by inspiring figures and leading education professionals

Bett brought together over 30,000 educators, policy makers, EdTechs and industry changemakers from 123 countries to view the latest education technology and hear from inspirational speakers.
Connect @ Bett – the event’s meetings programme – also launched at incredible scale, hosting 7,000 meetings for 2,500 individuals from 1,500 organisations.
The Education Secretary Gillian Keegan used the event to launch a new set of technology standards for schools and colleges, to ensure schools have a safe, secure and reliable foundation in place before they use more powerful technology.
The standards cover cloud technology, servers, storage, filtering and monitoring.
The education secretary also used Bett to launch the Department for Education’s official statement on the opportunities and risks that come with AI in education, and spoke of how artificial intelligence has the power to transform teachers’ day-to-day lives.
Gillian Keegan said: “AI will have the power to transform a teacher’s day-to-day work. We’ve seen people using it to write lesson plans, and some interesting experiments around marking too.
“Can it do those things now, to the standard we need? No. Should the time it saves ever come at the cost of the quality produced by a skilled teacher? Absolutely not.
“But could we get to a point where the tasks that really drain teachers’ time are significantly reduced? I think we will.
Getting to that point is a journey we in this room  are going to have to go on together – and just as we’ve responded to other innovations like the calculator, we’ll use it to deliver better outcomes for students.
The education secretary also spoke of how the DfE will launch a new digital service to help senior leaders with their technology planning. The tool will benchmark their technology against digital standards, suggest areas of improvement and provide actionable steps and resources to implement these recommendations. The service will be piloted with schools in Blackpool and Portsmouth in September 2023 before being rolled out across the country.

Inspiration speakers
There were a number of inspiration speakers at this year’s Bett show.

Dragon’s Den star Steven Bartlett was interviewed by BBC presenter Amol Rajan about his journey from education to becoming an accomplished entrepreneur, as well as his work inspiring a new generation of entrepreneurs and creators from a BAME background, often from disadvantaged schools and communities.
Ex-prima ballerina and former Strictly Come Dancing Judge Dame Darcey Bussell DBE discussed how the arts can be used to improve student and teacher wellbeing.
Bestselling author and co-host to the High Performance Podcast, Professor Damien Hughes, shared his insights on the most innovative and exciting approach to leadership. Professor Damian Hughes was appointed as a Professor of Organisational Psychology and Change for Manchester Metropolitan University in 2010 and is the co-host of The High Performance Podcast, an acclaimed series of interviews with elite performers from business, sport and the arts, exploring the psychology behind sustained high performance.
Computer scientist and CEO of Stemettes Anne-Marie Imafidon, MBE, also captivated audiences on her speech on getting women to study and pursue STEM careers. Since becoming one of Oxford University’s youngest graduates, Anne-Marie has worked across a range of industries and founded Stemettes, a social enterprise dedicated to bringing girls and young women to STEM subjects. She now hosts the Evening Standard’s Women Tech Charge podcast, and comments on technology, the changing nature of work, and the challenges both present to business and society. Anne-Marie has served on the board of DCMS’s Digital Skills Partnership and is a trustee for the Institute of the Future of Work.
Other inspiring speakers included Michael Rosen, who is one of Britain’s best loved writers and poets for children and adults. He spoke about how writing has helped him cope with difficult aspects of his life and the importance of getting children to write and love literature. He also presented the Kids Judge Bett event (see box out).

Sustainability is a key priority for education institutions, and the publication of the government’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy for the education sector has cemented the crucial role that schools play in meeting net zero objectives.
The Bett session ‘Leading a climate change and sustainability strategy’ featured panellists making the case for climate change and sustainability education.
Forum for the Future’s CEO, Dr Sally Uren explored the massive transformation that education institutions need in order to hit the Department for Education goal of all schools, colleges and universities being carbon neutral by 2030. Dr Sally Uren is passionate about driving deep transformation in global systems and has spent more than 25 years working in partnership with business, governments, and civil society to accelerate the shift toward a just and regenerative future. In 2017, Sally was awarded an OBE for services to sustainability at the Queens New Year Honours.

Innovative technology
There was a number of exciting and cutting edge technology products on show at Bett 2023.  
DFRobot showcased its Lark Weather Station, which is a compact and portable device that provides real-time weather data wherever you are. It’s a great tool for students to learn about atmospheric conditions, including wind speed and direction, temperature, humidity, and pressure. At the Bett show, the Lark Weather Station was connected to a Unihiker, a user-friendly development computer that supports data charts on its LCD colour touchscreen. This setup allowed for easy tracking and storage of weather data over the long term.
DFRobot also presented its Plant Monitor equipped with a SCI DAQ module, which is capable of monitoring the optimal growing conditions for plants, providing real-time data on the module display.
Lenovo introduced its newest solution bundle for education, the Lenovo Chromebook Education Package for students and teachers. Now education institutions can obtain Google’s Chrome Education Upgrade, granting users access to the Google Admin Console for tech support and device management, alongside a choice of Lenovo solutions, including Lenovo NetFilter, LanSchool, Zero Touch Enrollment, CO2 Offset Services, and Lenovo Support Services. With this bundle, school IT teams can unlock the capabilities of ChromeOS to more easily manage and protect device fleets. Students and visitors were also able to experience Lenovo’s Virtual Reality (VR) Classroom.
Samsung unveiled its new Samsung Interactive Display, named WAC, which expands the offerings beyond the Flip and Flip Pro models operating on Tizen OS by leveraging the Android OS to provide intuitive usability. The easy-to-use display helps teachers customise their home screen user interface, activate multiple screens, share up to nine displays at once regardless of OS or device, and utilise intelligent education apps to enrich student learning.
ASUS showcased its products which are designed to address the challenges that comes with hybrid learning. The ASUS lightweight, military-grade devices feature up-to-the-minute technology that supports the latest software and integrates with a range of digital tools, apps, and systems. Asus has designed its Windows laptops and Chromebooks to be suitable for cloud-based learning and its laptops are cloud-compatible for the classroom as well. They’re designed to work seamlessly with third party apps and cloud services such as Google Workspace for Education and Microsoft Teams. This gives students and teachers easy access to resources such as apps, activities, lesson plans, games – and even virtual field trips.
Philips showcased its displays and monitors which allow for interactive teaching and better collaboration between students and teachers. Its Gaming monitors have an array of peak-performance features that deliver precise graphics and ultra-fast, low-latency game play that meet the needs of all gamers. Where education providers are now offering esports as part of the curriculum, specialised monitors are a key investment component. Philips also presented a range of displays for distance learning that come with 5mp webcam and USBC Docking for one cable connectivity.
Promethean meanwhile introduced the all-new ActivPanel with ActivSync technology which eliminates digital barriers between devices and enables increased connectivity, customisable settings, and enhanced mobility so that teachers can move around the classroom freely.
For device management in school, Powergistics Towers presented its Core Series which empowers students to manage their own devices while giving classroom space and time back to teachers.

Esports is more than just kids playing video games – learning through play has always been a tried-and-tested method in education. Specialist programmes engage with students and their hobbies and interests, as well as expanding the possibilities in SEN classrooms. It is capable of meeting students and their needs where the traditional learning system hasn’t been suitable.
Schools already utilising esports in the classroom have seen an increase in student morale, as well as the sharpening of essential soft skills not touched on by traditional education methods. The introduction of new ways to learn has also exposed students to new opportunities, some of whom may never have considered higher education until they explored the qualifications relevant to esports.
Esports @ Bett 2023 allowed audiences to view innovative content sessions from schools already on their esports journey, experience esports technology, and watch esports tournaments with students from across the UK.
British Esports ran an esports tournaments that saw seven Rocket League teams compete in a single-elimination live competition.
There were also panel discussion by esports professionals which focused on how esports is making its impact in education. Speakers included Kylie Kendrick from Durham University, Callum Abbott from Endpoint Esports, and Sara Cornish from Minecraft Education.

Bett Awards
The Bett Awards 2023, held in association with BESA, took place at The Brewery, London on 29 March 2023, rewarding 25 inspiring companies and recognising an additional highly commendable product.
Among this year’s finalists were a range of innovative solution providers transforming experiences for students worldwide. From flexible learning platforms to interactive resources, these awards are the most effective way to recognise excellence in EdTech.
Knowledge AI – KAIT, was awarded in the Class Aid or Educator Support category for their innovative AI-driven platform that helps educators to understand exam data better. And, Lyfta, a platform that transports students and teachers to immersive 360° spaces across the globe, won the Transformational Impact award.
Having amassed over 20 years of experience in education, this year’s Company of the Year (less than £3m) award went to CreativeHUT, which develops programs & activities by educators that focus on building confidence in STEAM and developing 21st-century skills.
Other winners were focused on accessibility and assistive technology tools to identify language difficulties or stimulate student’s senses for a better learning experience. OxEd and Assessment – LanguageScreen won the Early Years Digital Product or Service award and Inclusive Technology – Inclusive Stories won the SEND Resources, Products & Services award.
Louisa Hunter, Bett dåirector, said: “As technology continues to change the way we learn and teach, it is inspiring to see these trailblazers pave the way with EdTech solutions that are making a difference in schools and universities. The Bett Awards 2023 go beyond acknowledging the excellence of these technological advancements and also highlight their crucial role in upskilling educators and learners. The Bett Awards recognises the way that these innovative solutions and platforms are opening up a world of opportunity for the next generation – for them to become problem solvers, critical thinkers, and lifelong learners.”

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