BETT Show 2018
This year was my first experience of the leading education technology show that aims to transform education, the Bett Show! The event spans four days, seeing tens of thousands of educators come to check out the latest edtech startups and leading companies in educational technology at the Excel, London. It is somewhat of a celebration of technology in schools, the future of education and the latest innovative ideas that engage, inspire and drive forwards learning and school systems.
Across the day I had the chance to see some amazing companies, and people, which I would like to write and reflect on. The event is huge and attending for a single day it is almost impossible to take it all in and see everything on offer. I arrived at 9:30 am to try to catch up with a few fellow educators from Twitter while also taking the time to have a coffee and relax for half an hour before the event started. By midday I had already achieved my daily step goal without even making it as far as the Bett Futures area!
Unio by Harness
It is always a pleasure to hear Mark Anderson keynote, his passion for education is contagious! His message echoed that of Michael Fullan where “pedagogy is the driver and technology is the accelerator.” He drew on current research such as the TPACK model by Mishra and Kohler (2006) and explained how digital tools and strategies can enhance our teaching and learning in the classroom, with technology being the bridge that enables us to improve outcomes for all pupils.
Unio is a slide sharing platform that can be used on any device in a classroom setting. Their platform allows you to combine existing resources with their software to create an interactive learning experience for your students. It’s really simple to use and within minutes you can create interactive lessons which are personalized to the learner, drives collaboration, improves engagement and enables the teacher to provide real-time feedback through its various tools.
I’ve been using the Unio tool in my classroom for a few months now and off the back of that work I was asked to come to BETT to share my findings at their Teaching Technology Summit. I ran through a series of examples of how I have used their platform to assess and then feedback to students with their real-time marking, quizzing and polling features. It enables you to close the feedback loop and improve efficiency thanks to the dashboard feature and the ability to give each student a personalized learning experience as they move through your lesson content at their own pace. I will write a more detailed blog soon about my experiences using their platform, however, they are certainly one to watch and try out!
Liketobe.org is a brilliant initiative that links a large network of organizations and professionals to students for advice on careers. Their platform enables teachers and students to speak to professionals that can give real advice from an authentic place. They also have an e-pals facility so that students can get an even greater insight into life in the workplace and potential career pathways. While still in its infancy, this is a great idea which bridges the gap between students thinking of a career route and seeking out genuine advice from someone who has walked the walk so they can make informed decisions rather than thumbing through a brochure. Check it out!
I met the fine people of Noble Doughnut in the #BETTFutures area. They have created something which I think anyone that is a tutor will love and as they say “aims to promote the substantial over the superficial.” Their digital magazine is updated weekly and shares ideas found on the internet, aimed at young people, via three videos which aim to promote tutor time discussions, promote the development of youngsters and save teachers time. For a small fee, they also have a teacher pack which only needs to be bought once for the entire school to use, containing ready to use resources that promote mental health, wellbeing, promotes PSHE and aids understanding of SMSC along with additional content for schools that worship collectively.
Lifeliqe uses AR, VR and Mixed Reality to engage students with 3D interactive models. They are creating a digital #STEM curriculum based on their 3D models which looks incredible and will surely transform how we can learn and interpret phenomenon. I didn’t ask about price as I was far too caught up in watching a tsunami, then a model of a dinosaur and then I quickly chose to look at a solar eclipse. All the models really popped and came to life which certainly added to the experience. Watch their promotional video here to get an idea of how it works. It was brilliant and I would recommend you have a go on a HoloLens if you ever get the chance!
Having blogged about Vocal Recall back in December I was really pleased to meet the team at Bett! They are rising through the ranks in the educational apps chart and for good reason. The app allows you to provide high-quality feedback in a short period of time, previously something of a dream for teachers. Therefore it probably comes as no surprise that the team behind the app are both teachers! See my previous blog here for more information about their awesome product such as how it works, where to find it and how you could use it in your classroom. My one piece of advice is to download the app and give it a go; you’ll love it and wish you started sooner!
Judging on this year, I can’t wait to return to Bett again in the future.
Favourite selfie of the day!
Awesome to see @podcastedtech, @olewis_coaching and @vocalrecallapp #BETT2018 – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA