The BETT Show has become my go-to exhibition. It’s a week I look forward to, as I get to catch up with collaborators, vendors, customers and friends. I truly enjoy this event, and to see so many thousands of people turn up to see the impact EdTech can have on their students still blows me away.
Since my first BETT Show back in 2006, I’ve seen it transition from being a show just for IT professionals to being a place of innovation and learning, from cybersecurity to engaging students through VR and robotics.
On Wednesday afternoon, I took some time to walk around the show to take in new stands and growing areas.
As we look to help teachers with productivity, it’s important we look at tools that help teachers. One thing I noticed was Learning Platforms/VLEs that include content. The more pre-created content we can provide, the better, as it saves teachers time in creating it.
I recently visited an Academy Trust that creates all their resources for teachers across their 10 schools centrally. It is published, and then it can be used by any of the schools for delivery in the classroom. When asking more about this, they said that teachers did not have to create any of their resources, saving them so much time and allowing them to focus on other matters for the students.
Why can’t a VLE do this from a central bank of resources that are created by the supplier and then can just be assigned to the schools’ classes and students? I saw a lot more learning environments that included content as part of their platform to help with all these points.
Some called themselves Super Virtual Learning Environments, while others were just VLEs with Content.
I see MATs and individual schools taking up these new VLEs to help them with teacher workloads, and the content being very engaging for students.
Engaging Student Tech
With a 6-year-old little girl, I’m finding that she is becoming more fascinated in technology, with robotics being one of them. I noticed from BETT that we have moved away from the standard “here is our robot” to “here is our engaging content for STEM using robotics.” I know that if I brought my daughter to BETT, I wouldn’t have got her away from the robots area.
What I felt as I walked around these areas is that the content is so much more engaging from a student point of view. A lot more student-friendly and frankly, something I wanted to take home myself. We will see more robotics and tech like this for students.
On the rise for the second year running at BETT, the most student-engaging subject for both male and female students in secondary education is E-Sports!
When I’ve spoken at events about E-Sports and its benefits, I’ve included research around this area that includes the fact that 97% of male students play games and 83% of girls do. It can also increase communication skills, collaboration and group work, troubleshooting, and success and failure. We have to look at how E-Sports can increase attainment and student outcomes.
Whilst walking around the E-Sports areas, it was clear that these elements are starting to come true in the UK, and there are a lot more providers now in this space to support schools.
I very much welcome this addition to the education space, and I know that I would have been a lot more engaged at school if this teaching tool was available to me.
Conversations I had on the Microsoft stand with customers included AI, using Microsoft Teams as a Platform to deliver a better student experience, and how to implement student 1:1 device schemes better.
Tech is a great place to be at the moment with a change landscape of cyber, devices for students and AI