January wouldn’t be the same without Bett, the mega education technology show/exhibition/conference. Come to that Bett wouldn’t be the same without January – freezing mornings, long queues to get on the Dockland Light Rail – but let’s not dwell on that!
The Bett website is becoming more and more populated with “stuff”, and you may be interested to learn that Bett-related tweets and other social media mentions are being collated on one website.
The website is Bett Live at Technology & Learning. The site is run by the people at Technology and Learning magazine, and picks up data from hashtags like #Bett_show, #Bett2015, Instagram, RSS feeds and other sources. Disclosure: I’m chairing a panel discussion sponsored by Technology and Learning (see below), and am one of the editors of the site I just mentioned. (Tweets etc go into a draft folder first, and then are published once they have been moderated.) But even if I were not involved in the ways I have just described, I would still recommend this site as a kind of one-stop shop for picking up news and comments regarding Bett. Do bookmark it or subscribe to it.
OK, here are my other involvements at Bett this year, in case you are interested.
A panel discussion
First, I'll be chairing a seminar/panel discussion in collaboration with Technology and Learning magazine about how schools are coping with the new Computing curriculum: what are the challenges, and how have they been, or could they be overcome? Has the abandonment of the old "Levels" of assessment helped or hindered? And how are teachers managing the demands of teaching programming?
Each panel member will talk for a few minutes about the experience from their perspective, and then it will be thrown open to the audience. It will take place on the Wednesday (21st) from 4 pm to 4:45 pm in the Primary Theatre. The link on the Bett website is here: One term in: reviewing the new Computing curriculum, but it doesn’t yet have all the information, which is a list of the panellists. They are, in alphabetical order:
Tim has been an ICT teacher, Director of Technology and is now the strategic leader for the use of technology for the Leigh Academies Trust, who are fully committed to a mobile learning strategy for all its academies. Tim is passionate about using technology to bring transformation in teaching and learning and exploring how to change learning environments to meet the needs of 21st century learners. He leads on large scale iPad rollouts and training teachers in using Google and Apple tools for learning. Tim tweets as @Mrcrossy and may be found on Google Plus at google.com/+TimCrosstech
Terry Freedman (Chair)
Terry Freedman has worked in education since 1975 in schools, the Qualifications & Curriculum Authority, local authorities and as an Ofsted inspector. Now an independent educational ICT consultant, Terry publishes the ICT in Education (http://www.ictineducation.org) website, and the newsletter “Digital Education”.
Terry has contributed articles to a wide range of British and overseas journals, both print and online. He is a member of the British Computer Society, and a Fellow of MirandaNet, Naace – of which he was Chair – and the Royal Society of Arts.
Terry also gives presentations on educational ICT and Computing in the UK and elsewhere. He tweets at @terryfreedman.
Rachel Jones is a Google Certified secondary school Teacher interested and the author of "Don't Change the Lightbulbs" which covers a wide variety of key educational issues. Her blog, Create, Innovate, Explore (http://createinnovateexplore.com/), was a finalist in the 2013 EduBlog awards and was recommended by The Guardian as a must-read for 2014. She is often to be found on Twitter, where she tweets as @rlj1981.
Ian has over thirty years’ experience in education as a teacher of English and IT, an IT Coordinator and as an ICT (now Computing) Advisory Teacher and Consultant for a local authority, university education department and, now, independently as a partner at onefourseven.
He has extensive experience of helping teachers to deepen their knowledge of ICT / Computing as a subject and of supporting them to make effective use of IT in teaching and learning. He works with schools and local authorities in all areas of subject development including strategic development, curriculum planning and assessment.
Dr Younie has been involved in international and national teaching and research on educational technologies for twenty five years. She has been involved in the use of digital technologies in educational settings for UNESCO, EU and UK government agencies, BBC, HEA and JISC. She has worked as a teacher and researcher in secondary schools, universities and as the UK Chair of the National Subject Association of IT in Teacher Education (ITTE) and she has conducted national research, including evidence for the Parliamentary Select Committee Inquiry into Education. She tweets as @sarahyounie
As you can see, they each bring a completely different perspective, so I think this will be a great discussion.
Second, I'll be giving some talks on the ICT-Direct stand. My talk is entitled "15 big ideas in 15 minutes: how to raise your ed tech leadership game".
There will be tips on the best use of resources, and also on how refurbished equipment really can help schools to achieve their ICT objectives without spending a fortune. Other topics covered will include how to create a buzz, how to make your mark quickly if you've just started a job as ed tech leader in a school, and what we can learn from farmers!
In my talk, I will be drawing on my experience of leading ICT and advising ICT and Computing leaders.
The talk is being sponsored by ICT-Direct, and their stand will also feature:
• A full height rack cabinet with an integrated LCD monitor.
• A selection of PCs and laptops.
• A video showing the full process of business machines delivered into ICT Direct, being thoroughly cleaned, checked and rigorously tested before being going out to schools.
OK, here are the details you've been waiting for:
Wednesday 21st January:
Thursday 22nd January
Friday 23rd January
More on Bett soon!
Some of the information in this article first appeared in Digital Education, the free newsletter for those with a professional interest in educational ICT and Computing. One of the benefits of subscribing – apart from access to unique content – is articles in a timely manner. For example, this article was published in the December 2014 edition.To sign up, please complete the short form on our newsletter page. We use a double opt-in system, and you won’t get spammed.