Thursday January 29, 2015
Last week EdComs Teachers joined the teaching and EdTech communities at Bett 2015 at ExCel London.
Billed as ‘the world’s leading education technology show’, Bett is a firm fixture in the educational calendar, attracting over 35,000 professionals and, this year, over 750 exhibitors. Whether you are a teacher, an educator, a supplier or a member of the education community, Bett offers some of the best technology to enhance learning – there really is something for everyone!
Attending the show can be daunting (it’s massive!) and the sheer scale does mean that you will be exhausted by the end of it. However, it's a fantastic opportunity to see what’s new and exciting in the world of educational technology and with over 350 seminars, workshops and live demonstrations taking place it is also a great place to share ideas, network and learn.
During the day I made my way around the exhibition, checking out the various stands. Whilst a lot of the products certainly looked very interesting, my impressions was that there didn’t seem to be any one new ‘thing’ for 2015 – lots more tablets and touchscreens, but even more to do with online assessment and data systems. My overall feeling is that it was less about the kit and hardware itself, but more about what you can do with it.
I also used the time to attend a few of the seminars. First up was ‘How to Teach Primary Computing’ with Miles Berry, followed by ‘Introducing Tablets into a 21st Century School’ led by Jon Coles and Louise Salmond Smith from Tormead School in the Schools Learn Live: Primary and Secondary Theatre. My final session of the day was in the Bett Futures theatre where we debated whether social media can be used as an effective educational tool.
This wasn’t the first time I’d attended Bett (and I’m sure it won’t be the last) but this year was different in that I stayed ‘after hours’ in order to attend #TMBETT15, my very first TeachMeet (the largest of its kind) and an event EdComs Teachers were very proud to be sponsoring.
For anyone not familiar with TeachMeets, they are informal gatherings where teachers and educators come together to share ideas - anyone curious about teaching and learning can attend and, if they like, put themselves forward to talk about their own practice and/or ideas which they have trialled in their classrooms. The main point of a TeachMeet is hearing real stories about learning, from real teachers and being inspired and engaged by fellow education professionals.
Presentations can either be ‘micro’ (seven minutes long) or ‘nano’ (two minutes long). Often more presentations are put forward than there is space to fit them in, meaning that not everyone who wants to present is actually able to do so. However, the random nature in which they are selected means that there is a great mix.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first TeachMeet experience – not only did I learn a lot, but I am also completely in awe of those who can stand up in front of a packed arena and share their experiences. I also really enjoyed being able to finally put faces to all those Twitter handles I recognise from the @edcomsteachers Twitter feed!