Please note that the URLs of individual blog posts (below) have changed since I wrote this article. As that is likely to happen again, rather than correct the links I am suggesting that you go to the main blog page and then search or scroll through in order to read particular ones.
Here’s a new blog to start looking at and to put into your RSS reader*: the BETT 2014 blog. So, the first thing I’ll do is declare an interest: I’ve been asked to contribute to it, which is quite flattering, but that’s not the reason I’m writing about it. I think the important thing about the blog is that it provides a variety of views and suggestions from different people – a bit like the Technology and Learning blog, in fact. (I contribute to that as well – this is becoming embarrassing!). I know these sorts of blogs, where there are several contributors and, therefore, several voices, are not everyone’s cup of tea, but I quite like them. I find they’re a good way of picking up a lot of useful stuff very quickly, and a good way of avoiding the dreaded “group think” phenomenon whereby you only read the writings of people who say the same things as you do.
Here is a quick run-down of the blogs posted there so far:
BETT is 30 years old in 2014, so the organisers are running a competition: get your kids to imagine what classrooms might look like in 30 years’ time. I once set a project in which students had to design a library of the future. That was around 15 years ago, and some of the things that they came up with are being implemented today! (Interestingly enough, an article by Rebecca Thomas, of Mango Marketing, talks about School Libraries of the Future, so you might wish to have a look at that.)
The article also calls for anyone who wishes to share memories of their first BETTs, and/or photos.
This is an article by, erm, me, and is about, er, 5 reasons to attend BETT. But do have a look at Shaun Eason: 5 Reasons to Attend Bett 2014 for a different set of five reasons – although, as you’d expect, they are not completely dissimilar.
Paul Clarkson gives a good synopsis of how the implementation of iPads has enhanced learning and achievement at Hove Park School, in his article Can Technology Accelerate Learning & Achievement? A Case Study: Hove Park School. The headteacher of the school will be talking about that at BETT.
Finally, Lights, Camera, Action! Bringing Broadcasting Technology Into Your School is a product-focused article which you may find useful as it tells you what sort of things are available, such as your very own YouTube-like video streaming service, which I suppose could be very useful if your school/college decides to really go for the flipped learning idea in a big way.
At the moment that is all there is there, but it seems to be being updated quite frequently, so is worth checking out I think – especially as there will be another article by me soon! (Ask me for details of a leather-bound, personally signed limited edition copy, at reasonable rates.)
* If you’re not sure what that is, here is an explanation: What's RSS and why is it useful?.