The impact of technology in the education sector continues to grow into a powerful force, as advanced technologies offer both increased access and improved learning experiences for students across the world.
That’s why every year, thousands of inspirational education professionals come together to share ideas and offer advice at Bett, the world’s leading event for learning technology, which takes place at the ExCeL London on 21 to 24 January 2015. After 30 years of success, Bett will be returning to celebrate another year of technology innovation and this year, the focus of the show is more specifically on enhancing access to education, through technology.
There will be a number of speakers taking to the stage to share their expert advice on how to innovate in the world of education. In the popular Bett Arena, the sessions will be led by Rt Hon Nicky Morgan, education secretary, and Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia. Nicky Morgan will be kicking off the speaker sessions with a ministerial keynote and welcome, whilst Jimmy’s session will be focused on “The new paradigm of open access to information”. This will be followed by inspirational thoughts and ideas, shared by a breadth of experienced teaching professionals and educators.
In the Schools Learn Live Arena, at 10am on the first day of the event there will be a session taking place which looks at the free professional development programmes available in ICT for teachers and school leaders, led by Christina Preston from non-profit membership organisation, MirandaNet Fellowship.
At 11.30am on the same day, a seminar titled “The transformative classroom: guiding the mobile learning evolution” will give visitors the chance to join AirWatch by VMware’s Preston Winn, director of education business development, and a panel of distinguished educators to discuss strategies and best practices on how to empower instructors with simple management of classroom devices, apps and content to ensure a personalised, collaborative and engaging learning experience.
Another seminar worth dropping in on is the “Technology in Early Years” session by Emily Thompson, new technologies co-ordinator at Fairlands Primary School who will be tackling the need to appropriate the introduction and embedding of technology in early years teaching.
Who can you meet at the show?
Bett always draws the biggest and best names in the education technology sector, and this year is no exception. Here are some of the names worth making note of…
On stand number SN63 is the award-winning Junior Learning, who are first-time exhibitors at Bett. Junior Learning will be showcasing its new product, Touchtronic Letters for iPad, which uses a colour-coded keyboard and an associated app to encourage a multi-sensory and tactile learning environment.
China-based interactive whiteboard specialists, Xiamen Interactive Technology, can be found on stand C535 and is inviting visitors to drop by and hear all about its innovative touchscreen whiteboard product, INTECH, which allows up to 10 people to interact with the technology at any one time.
If you’re still trying to come up with a strategy for how to make the most of tablet technology, AirWatch by VMware will be exhibiting on stand C370A to speak to visitors and offer their advice. AirWatch Teacher Tools gives teachers the management controls to keep students focused and troubleshoot, without the need for IT support.
Inner Geek Education will be exhibiting on stand C547, showcasing its StudySmart product, which offers on-demand access to web-based, interactive GCSE classroom resources. The resources include self-marked lesson starters, homework activities, video lessons with full teachers’ notes and interactive whiteboard revision videos.
Head over to stand E334 for a free demonstration of what Teachers2Parents’ behavioural management system, SchoolPod, can do for schools, and how it can help support students with severe learning difficulties.
Alternatively, you could visit Ireland’s fastest growing education-technology start-up, VS School MIS on stand E320. Also known as School Thing, the company will be demonstrating its innovative school management information system, developed specifically for the “desktop-less” IT environment.
New for 2015
Ahead of the show this year, Bett has announced the launch of a new project, Futures, a platform to nurture innovative education technology start-ups.
The project is being run in association with leading education think-tank, the Education Foundation, and involves a panel of educators selecting the 30 new businesses with solutions that will have the most impact on education.
The selected businesses will then be offered a choice of two bespoke packages based on their market status, involvement in a range of Bett fringe events, specialist business support and extensive marketing resources.
The two available packages are: The ‘Seed’ level package, which is aimed at emerging start-ups and the ‘Grow’ package, which is designed for businesses that are already gaining exposure and developing their networks.
Here’s a short snapshot of some of the start-ups and speakers you can expect to see in the Futures area at Bett:
On stand BFS2 and a winner in the emerging start-up category is Loopy Computy, a business set up to help primary schools teach Computing. The founder, Dan Warner, an experienced primary teacher, ICT Subject Leader and Local Authority ICT Advisor is committed to nurturing “joyful lifelong learners, inventors and creators” through innovative programming and blogging courses.
Another emerging start-up exhibiting on stand BFS9 is now>press>play, an educational resource that uses sound, story and technology to engage all children. A now>press>play experience involves putting on wireless headphones and being immersed in sound. The children become a character in a story, meeting people, discovering places and solving problems, giving them a real sense of educational adventure.
Growing start-up 4D Creative is on stand BFG8, an award-winning company with 25 years’ experience in the education sector, specialising in the creation of immersive experiences using space, projection, light and sound.
Bett 2015 is free to attend and takes place from Wednesday 21 to Saturday 24 January 2015 at ExCeL London. For more information or to register, please visit www.bettshow.com. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter @Bett_Show.