Time spent at events like Bett 2016 can all too often yield no longer term benefits once you've returned to work and become overtaken by the everyday stuff that takes place in school. Here are 12 things to do that may help to prolong the "Bett effect".
Have a good rest!
Maybe I'm getting old, but I find Bett pretty exhausting. I tend to arrive early and leave late, and the whole time is spent indoors, walking around on a concrete floor (under an incredibly thin carpet!). Mind you, this time around I wasn't as tired as usual, which I put down to the fact that instead of wearing shoes I wore walking boots! They're really comfortable, gave me lots of support, and didn't leave me with aching feet!
Anyway, I think recharging the batteries is the first thing you should do -- so if you didn't do that, have an early night tonight!
Look through the materials you've picked up
I've accumulated a large-ish pile of catalogues and press releases that I will spend a couple of hours going through. Sometimes in the past I haven't prioritised this, and ended up throwing the stuff away unread. Not this year.
Meet up with your team
If you have one, of course. If you do, and you are the only one who went to Bett, a team meeting is a good time to tell colleagues what you saw. If several of you went, sharing while things are fresh in people's minds is a good plan.
If you think "plan ahead" is tautological, so do I, but I prefer to regard the term as more forceful than "plan". Anyway, the point is that, in the light of what you saw and heard at Bett, think about how you are going to put the experience/information to practical use. Even sending off for an evaluation copy of a textbook is something.
Meet the senior leadership team
From their point of view, your being out of school has cost them money: your salary for not teaching, and supply cover for your classes. It's a good idea to brief them on what you've found out at Bett and why they should care.
Give feedback to the rest of the staff
In my experience, teachers regard being out at Bett, especially for several days, as some sort of junket. That's because they're not the ones suffering from aching feet and a sore back. If there's an opportunity to address a staff meeting or one of the dreaded full staff INSET days, it might not be a bad idea to grab it.
Allow at least a week after the show to hear from any suppliers to whom you gave your contact details, as they tend to be inundated with follow-up with work afterwards.
Be on the grapevine
To find out what other people saw at Bett2016, look in Twitter for the hashtag #bett2016. Also, have a look at Nic Hughes' blog:
(Nic tweets as @duck_star)
Also, Education Technology magazine's website:
Find out what I’ve seen and thought
I'm working on a post-Bett edition of the Digital Education newsletter, which will feature quite extensive coverage of Bett 2016. Subscribe now to make sure you receive it in time, in your inbox:
Do something strategic
For example, revise your ICT/ed tech/Computing strategy or your assessment policy in the light of things you heard during the show.
No, not in the creepy stalker sense, but on Twitter, Google+, Facebook or Linked-in -- or all of them! It would be a shame to not be able to carry on the conversations.
Share what you’ve seen and thought
Start a blog, tweet about it or, if you like, consider writing something for Digital Education: