Thirty years of Bett

In its 30th year, the 2014 Bett show attracted the highest number of visitors in its history. 35,942 visitors attended the four-day show from 22-25 January to gather inspiration and guidance for a classroom‑to‑boardroom approach to learning.
The attendance figures reveal that Bett 2014 attracted three per cent more visitors than in 2013, and the show’s overall footfall was up six per cent, with a total of 46,508 visits throughout the show. The event’s increasing global appeal was also reflected in the fact that nine per cent more international visitors attended than in 2013.

The opening address
Secretary of state for education Michael Gove opened Bett 2014 and delivered the opening address, where he also went on to speak about the new computing curriculum and the future of education.
Gove said: “From five, children will learn to code and program, with algorithms, sequencing, selection and repetition; from 11, how to use at least two programing languages to solve computational problems; to design, use and evaluate computational abstractions that model the state and behaviour of real-world problems and physical systems; and how instructions are stored and executed within a computer system.”
He added: “These are precisely the sort of skills which the jobs of the future – and, for that matter, the jobs of the present – demand. From now on, our reforms will ensure that every child gets a solid grounding in these essential skills – giving them the best possible start to their future.”

Innovative learning
Following his official appearance at Bett on the opening day, Gove returned on Saturday as a visitor, with his two children. The secretary of state visited a number of companies exhibiting at the show, where he and his children were able to try out some of the innovative learning technology that was on offer.

“Bett is one of the few events that provides content free of charge, and we still believe that this is the key to the show’s success,” says Debbie French, education portfolio director at i2i Events Group. “As in previous years at Bett, we worked with partners, including Naace, nasen and BESA, and also with teachers, leading enterprise professionals and education thought-leaders to create CPD that would resonate with all of our visitors.

It is the enthusiasm and dedication of the people it represents that have made Bett such a unique show. Our visitors’ commitment to advising and inspiring their peers, along with our exhibitors’ dedication to providing the best possible solutions to support learning and development, is what makes the show a success, year after year. The figures confirmed 2014 as the show’s most successful year to date, reflecting its continued importance within the education sector,” French continued.    

Inclusive ampitheatre
Bett 2014 offered more free training than ever before, with three bespoke CPD-accredited summits for school leaders, HE professionals and learning and development professionals; practitioner-led sessions in six ‘Learn Live’ theatres, and additional networking and fringe events around the show.
The Bett Arena also returned for its second year, providing an inclusive amphitheatre space where thousands of people were able to collaborate to learn together and share ideas. Keynote speakers addressing the crowds included Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Sir Bob Geldof and Lord David Puttnam.

New products for education
Bett provided a hands-on ‘try and test’ experience for visitors, with interactive demonstrations, free guidance and advice on all the latest and most innovative products, and CPD certified seminar content, delivered by world-renowned speakers.
The event saw a number of new, innovative and exciting launches.
Accessibility software firm Recite Me unveiled its product Include Me, which enables greater inclusion for learners with special educational needs or language and communication needs. This product has been developed to support learners in Primary, Secondary and Higher Education. Providing a range of features that support learners with dyslexia, visual impairments and other communications needs.
Also launched was Levett Consultancy with its new range of products aimed at simplifying the network and cloud technologies for schools: School-ina-Box – full network solutions with classroom management tools; School-ina-Cloud – fully hosted Google Apps and curriculum tools solution; and Wireless-ina-School – enabling 35 devices per classroom to connect wirelessly. All of these products were all well received by schools attending the Bett Show.

Cambridge University press launches Shakespeare resource
To support the new editions of the School Shakespeare series, Cambridge University Press has developed a suite of online teaching and learning tools through its partnership with the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Fitzwilliam Museum. These were launched at the show. Students can design costumes, sequence plots and even explore phrases and insults, whilst teachers can access webinars from expert lecturers and download lesson plans.

Cambridge University Press’s ‘Shakespeare’s World’ gallery offers 360 degree views of artefacts from the world of his plays, whilst a collection of Elizabethan portraits exemplifies characters and costumes of the period – all with related learning resources.
As part of the greater focus on Shakespeare in the National Curriculum, these enhanced digital assets will address the 11 major plays used in schools beginning with KS3, including Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet and Hamlet.
Bett is an annual event held in January at ExCeL London. Bett 2015 is scheduled to take place between 22-25 January.

Creative IT Tools
This year at Bett, education software company Kudlian unveiled its AppFurnace, which is software that enables pupils to design and create their own smartphone and tablet apps. As well as giving pupils a more hands on experience with the technical aspect of the new Computing Curriculum, AppFurnace is designed to be a cross curricular tool, bringing subjects to life. Pupils can create a revision app to help them learn timetables, design an app pin pointing areas of interest near where they live, or create education game apps.
Firefly launched its Teacher Planner app, the first homework setting tool that is compatible with every school Management Information System (MIS). The Teacher Planner allows teachers to draw on a variety of information related to their timetable, homework submitted, class seating plan, as well as pupils’ profile. All of the information is accessible in real time for busy teachers on the move. The app is an effective communication tool between teachers and pupils; allowing teachers to set differentiated homework tasks according to pupil ability, provide feedback on homework submitted online, as well as recommend links and resources for further home study.
Firefly was founded by old school friends Joe Mathewson and Simon Hay. While still studying for their GCSEs, they redeveloped their school’s intranet site, which resulted in other schools requesting their services. This was the origin of their company.

Bett Awards 2014
Comedian Jo Brand hosted the 16th prestigious Bett Awards on 22 January 2014, where 580 guests gathered at The Brewery in London to recognise the most innovative ICT products and companies in the education sector.
The annual Bett Awards represent a partnership between BESA (British Educational Suppliers Association), Bett pioneers and the trade association representing the educational supply industry, and i2i Events Group, the organisers of Bett, the world’s largest learning technology event.
The awards encourage and recognise outstanding education sector resources, learning solutions and companies. The judges, who are all educational professionals, focus on what works in the classroom or the school setting in terms of design, cost-effectiveness, support of higher order thinking skills and effective learning and teaching styles.

Outstanding entries
Caroline Wright, director at BESA, commented: “The quality of entries for this year’s awards has been outstanding. It is hugely exciting to see such an excellent range of products and services on offer to schools, especially with the introduction of the new National Curriculum in September this year. The winners’ products and services ensure the UK ICT industry continues to be recognised as the best in the world. The quality of these learning resources is a testament to businesses operating within the UK education sector.”
Debbie French, education portfolio director at i2i Events Group, added: “The Bett Awards are recognised as a mark of excellence and each year some of the UK’s finest companies are recognised for their innovation and commitment to excellence in educational resources and services. The strict judging process carried out by educators and sector stakeholders ensures the awards identify the very best products, resources and organisations within the education sector.”

Outstanding Achievement
Lewis Bronze, co-founder & director of content at Espresso Education, won this year’s prestigious BETT award for outstanding achievement in ICT education.
Espresso Education, recently acquired by Discovery Communications, also won the award for ‘ICT Company of the Year – over £10m turnover’ and was a finalist in Primary Digital Content for E  Espresso Coding and Espresso Primary: Grammar & Punctuation categories.
These awards come just a few months after Lewis was honoured with an MBE for Services to Education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for 2013. A former editor of Blue Peter, for which he won a BAFTA award, Lewis co-founded the innovative Espresso Primary service in 1997.

In the 16 years since then, Espresso Education has become a leader in e-learning, transforming the way students learn through a blend of visual media and interactive resources throughout the UK market. The company’s education services are now available in almost 11,500 schools, with brands including Espresso Primary, Clipbank and Channel 4 Learning.
Lewis was presented with the award by Dominic Savage, BETT founder and Director General of the British Educational Suppliers. Hosted by comedienne Jo Brand, around 600 guests gathered to recognise the most innovative ICT products and companies in the education sector. The outstanding achievement award is chosen by a team of key figures in the ICT education world for outstanding service to ICT education and a contribution over time which has impacted upon the development of ICT in UK schools.  
“Nothing could bring me greater pleasure than to give Lewis this well deserved award,” said Dominic.
“Lewis has been involved in children’s education throughout his career. After starting off at the BBC as the Producer of Newsround and the Editor of Blue Peter he turned his attention to pioneering the use of digital video and e-learning in schools. The innovative Espresso Primary service has consistently set the standard for the use of digital materials in the classroom and is used every day in schools across the UK.”

Commenting on his award Lewis said; “This is a proud moment for me, and for Espresso Education. I must thank the whole team at Espresso whose efforts have built our business– they share this award with me.”
“To be recognised by his peers is the ultimate honour and this prestigious award validates Lewis’ significant contribution to the UK digital Education sector,” said James Rosenstock, President of Discovery Education International.

Inclusive Technology
Oldham-based Inclusive Technology, provider of learning technologies supporting children with special educational needs, won the ICT Special Educational Needs award. It was recognised for its ‘HelpKidzLearn’ resource ChooseIt! Maker 3, which allows teachers to make personalised learning apps for children with special needs and download them to an iPad or Android tablet.
The BETT award was made in recognition of the product’s distinct contribution to supporting learners with special educational needs.

Digital devices
Fourier Education’s einsteinTM Tablet+ not only acts as a familiar platform for teachers and students but it also includes everything teachers need to get their students actively engaged with real-world, hands-on science learning. The tablet is pre-loaded with multimedia experiments for biology, chemistry, environmental science, human physiology, and physics. Teachers and students can also easily create their own experiments on the tablet with the einsteinTMActivity Maker.
Bett judges commented on Fourier Education’s win saying, “einsteinTM Science Learning Platform is a very good product which is ideally suited to supporting the new national curriculum. We like the design, branding and functionality and think the product is durable and robust. We particularly like the way it encourages students to interact and work collaboratively.”

Digital collections & Resource banks
Since launching the History of Computing resource in October 2013, London teachers have quickly made the resource one of the most popular resources within the LGfL Learning resource portfolio. LGfL, working in partnership with E2bN and The National Museum of Computing, fought off competition from a range of other high quality  productions. The BETT Judges recognised that producing a resource such as History of Computing is beyond the means  of individual teachers. The judges said: “Meets a real need in bringing together a wide range of resources which teachers would have difficulty in finding for themselves. Extremely child centred.”
Access to the collection of iconic Computers at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park has offered a unique backdrop in which to appreciate Britain’s digital heritage and helps the current school age population to better understand their digital past and futures. The embedded teaching resource within the resource bank has proved popular with many primary schools using the Brave New World series of lessons built into the History of Computing as their start point. The Naked Computers and Computing Concepts lesson resources have provided a reassuring support for Secondary ICT teachers, many of whom are not specialist computing teachers and hence have to secure appropriate CPD in order to deliver the revised curriculum for September 2014.

Primary digital content
Only four months after launching, Tigtag beat strong competition to win in the Primary Digital Content category. This is the third year in a row that Twig World products have won at BETT with Twig World being named the 2013 winner in the Digital Collections and Resource Banks category and the 2012 winner in the Secondary Digital Resource category.
Switched on ICT in the Early Years is a scheme won the Early Years Digital Content award that helps all practitioners, regardless of experience, to embed ICT into the curriculum in exciting and meaningful ways. It brings together technologies that are freely available in the EYFS to engage young minds. It is ideal for confident practitioners, and also for those with limited experience of ICT, as step‑by‑step support is provided for every activity.

Further information

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