Well, here we are again. It will soon be Christmas, and just as we're all hoping to have started to recover from over-eating and over-imbibing (not me though: I'm being sensible!), it's the BETT show. Said to be the largest educational technology show in the world, it's gruelling but also exciting. IF you can get to it, do so -- and if you can't think of why you'd want to, you're in luck, because that's what this article is all about.
There are at least 9 good reasons to attend BETT, these being to:
- See what’s new or coming soon.
- See products demonstrated.
- Attend training sessions, eg on how use a particular aspect of a program.
- Attend a seminar, eg on personalised learning, given by experts in their fields.
- Arrange one-on-one meetings with (potential) suppliers.
- Have opportunities for networking.
- Pick up the latest Government or other official publications.
- Pick up new ideas.
- Become (re-)energised and stimulated from the “buzz”.
All of the reasons to attend given in so far are valid, but they are personal, in a sense. That is to say, it is not obvious from looking at the list how your school will benefit from your attendance at BETT. So here are 4 suggested arguments in your favour:
- Best value. If you are considering major new purchases, such as Learning Platforms or interactive whiteboards, you really ought to look at all the options available.
- Show prices. Exhibitors at BETT often have special show prices, which are lower than their usual rates. It may be worth attending the show to take advantage of such discounts.
- Professional development. By attending seminars and talking to people on the stands, you will find out ways of improving what you do, which can only benefit the workplace.
- News update. If you decide to attend on the first day, you will be first in line to hear whatever new initiative or (with luck) new funding the Education Secretary has up his sleeve (whic I don't believe will happen, to be perfectly frank), which will put you in a prime position to advise the school in a hot-off-the-press way. I hope to be publishing an article about his talk in the Leadership strand of the BETT show.
- The BETT Blog (you have to register to read the articles)
- The January edition of Computers in Classrooms will feature loads of tips on how to get the best out of BETT. I’m hoping to publish that on 5th January.
- If all goes according to plan, I will be chatting to Russell Prue on Anderton Tiger Radio on January 4th. Russell is “Mr BETT Radio” this year – official! He is also our Master of Ceremonies at the Collaborate for Change event at BETT, which I have written about, and will be writing about, separately.