A safe Bett for inspired learning

A major date on the trade show calendar for over 30 years, Bett promises to bring together the people, ideas and technologies that have the potential to transform education. Jo Ruddock finds out what the 2019 edition has to offer

Taking place at London’s ExCeL on 23–26 January, Bett continues to set the agenda for edtech conversations, bringing together almost 35,000 educators, learners and technologists from 131 countries.

As Rachel Brodie, Global Portfolio Director at Bett, explains: “This year’s event will be truly focused on what the education community needs. That means catering to those who are only just getting to grips with tech, right through to the tech experts who have already adopted all the newest gadgets. Driving forward the efficacy agenda will also be a key aspect of the event, ensuring institutions can embed tech into their operations in a more manageable way.”

Key technology trends expected to dominate on the showfloor include Big Data and the personalisation of learning, as universities look to boost student engagement, and digital innovation as institutions continue to move away from the one-to-many style of teaching towards a more adaptive and custom approach.

Collaboration spaces such as huddle and active learning rooms are increasingly common in many educational environments. There is also an increasing need for wireless connectivity to support modern BYOD devices. Extron will be making this easier with its ShareLink Pro 1000 Wireless and Wired Collaboration Gateway, which by adding TeamWork Show Me cables to the HDMI input also accommodates traditional AV sources. A TeamWork system can be customised to include a ShareLink Pro 1000 with a directly connected Show Me cable, or with Show Me cables connected through a secondary TeamWork switcher, enabling wireless and wired users to collaborate together in any size room.

According to EMEA general manager Holger Graeff, collaboration also lies at the heart of Vivitek’s offering. “With technology underpinning teaching and learning, Vivitek’s solutions satisfy the need of students and teachers to share content and ideas, along with education institutions’ goals to save money while making wise long-term investments,” he explains.

To that end, Vivitek’s NovoPro for Education, NovoCast and NovoTouch make it easy to share and display content wirelessly from the kinds of devices that are favoured by students today. Graeff adds: “Not only are they easy to use and maintain, but they bring peace of mind to IT managers, too, thanks to comprehensive security features designed to keep devices and networks safe at all times.”

Managing the sheer number of devices students and lecturers have with them on a daily basis is the central aim of iLockerz. Carrying phones, tablets and laptops can be a burden, especially when travelling across a large campus. iLockerz intelligent lockers not only provide somewhere to store items, they also offer charging facilities. An individual access code makes it easy to deposit belongings in any of the lockers across campus, so users know everything is securely stored and fully charged.

Security of a different kind is in focus on a busy Loxit stand, with the new Solstice Pod Clamp, a discreet, high-security mount designed specifically for the Solstice Pod multi-platform collaboration hub. The heavy-duty steel clamp ensures the Pod can be mounted safely and securely; it is fitted with an easy-to-use, high-quality brass padlock for added security and can be mounted on or under a desk, on counter tops or walls.

When it comes to mounting solutions, Thomas Regout will return to Bett with its height adjustable mounts for touchscreens and interactive whiteboards. BalanceBox is a manually operated system based on spring tension technology, while the e•Box range offers motorised height adjustments, with up to 870mm of vertical travel. The double column motorised design provides stability, while the anti-collision feature protects against accidental pinching.

Get hands-on

Personalised demonstrations of ClassLink will be taking place on stand B302. Designed to address the issue of students and instructors having to manage multiple devices each with their own sign-in system, ClassLink offers instant access to learning resources. ClassLink OneClick includes a library of over 6,000 single sign-on apps and instant links to file folders at university and on various cloud drives, while ClassLink Analytics gives decision-makers usage data such as which apps are most frequently used, and trends between patterns of usage and learning outcomes.

Demonstrations will also be taking place on the Claro Software stand. Centre stage will be ClaroRead, which helps students with disabilities such as dyslexia read, write, study and sit exams by reading any on-screen text aloud. New for 2019 are extra features in ClaroRead Chrome Extension and free apps with ClaroRead Pro.

Canvas is hosting a series of roundtables in the Peer to Peer Lounge each day between 11am and 1pm to discuss what universities need from their technology.

“At Canvas, we know that 2019 is going to be the year of digital transformation – with HE institutions employing ambitious digital strategies to add value and deliver a flexible, progressive and student-centred learning approach,” explains Bas Ten Holter, Director for Higher Education, Europe. The Canvas VLE is a simple and intuitive environment that aids this digital transformation, creating learning experiences that empower student success and drive campus-wide adoption.

Meanwhile, the NEO Team will be on hand to showcase the newest features of its learning management system, such as adaptive learning and micro learning. The NEO platform is designed to help manage learning activities, such as creating educational content, assessing students, tracking results and promoting communication between students and faculty.

Printers, projectors and comms

Epson, meanwhile, will be highlighting its WorkForce and EcoTank printing ranges. WorkForce printers are claimed to offer energy savings of up to 90% compared to laser models, while the new mono EcoTank printers – including the ET-M2140 – save users an average of 90% on ink costs.

Epson will also be showcasing its range of interactive projectors. According to Trevor Maloney, Product Manager, Visual Instruments, Epson UK: “A lot of teaching spaces are still using flat-panel displays, which are too small to give students optimum readability; research shows that 58% of students can’t read content on a 70″ flat panel.”

With that in mind, the EB-710Ui interactive projector, with its scalable screen up to 100″, will be on show at Bett.

Clevertouch will also be focusing on sharing information, with Clever Message. Designed in conjunction with SedaoLive, Clever Message is a digital signage system that maximises Clevertouch screens by displaying important alerts, announcements and communications, in a range of digital media templates. Alerts can be sent simultaneously or individually to every Clevertouch screen across a campus. The system can be accessed remotely, so institutions can communicate instant on-screen notifications, disseminating information quickly and efficiently across a facility.

On the agenda
When you’ve exhausted yourself on the showfloor, there’s a huge selection of seminars and learning opportunities to explore. Here are some of the highlights
●  The official show opening at 10.30am on 23 January, followed by Damian Hinds, Secretary of State for Education, addressing the Bett arena.
●  At 3.30pm on the same day, Shift Learning will introduce the Bett Innovation Index 2018 – offering an update on the latest industry trends.
●  If you have any new tech questions or concerns with your existing set-up, the Live EdTech Surgery and Q&A in the Bett Arena at 6.00pm on 24 January will be the place to find the answers and advice you need.
●  Online safety is a key topic for every university, so Inspection, Safety and Security Online is a must-attend event. It takes place at 3.00pm on day three of the show.
●  This is followed by ‘How to prepare young people with skills for the future’ in the Bett Arena at 5.15pm.
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