What I did
Yesterday was the first day of Bett 2017, and while it was exhausting (as usual), it was great fun. I was invited by Groupcall to interview Sir Bob Geldoff, which I did as a recording. Someone said to me "You're going to have to edit out all the swearing afterwards." "But there won't be anything left!", I replied. But as it happens, Sir Bob was more than usually restrained, and only used the 'f' word twice -- each time entirely appropriately, so I will leave them in. Unfortunately, people at Bett have no respect and refused to maintain 15 minutes' silence, so I'm going to have to try and reduce all the background noise before publishing the interview, but do look out for that.
On the subject of Groupcall, they have some great products for enabling schools to make sense of, and use of, the data they collect through their information management systems. See, for example, my write-up of their Emerge application, Saving time and money with Emerge, so do visit them on Stand B188.
Now, you might say, "Well, you would say that, Terry, seeing as you write for them (see reference above, plus other articles such as Technology as a tool for teacher retention)", but I always have liked their products, as anyone who has attended my Assessing Computing courses will tell you.
Another highlight for me was being interviewed by the inimitable Russell Prue, who is once again interviewing and broadcasting from the show. In a future post I'll give you the url for the recordings.
Russell said some kind things about my book (as did someone else at the show: at this rate my head will become so big I won't be able to get through the doors).
The seminar I chaired, about Bridging the Digital Divide, seemed to go well. We had about 20 people in the audience, stalwarts who had stayed right to the bitter end, and around 60 watching the live streaming. Once I get the link for that I'll let you have it. The speakers, Simon Finch, Christina Preston and Steve Wheeler were absolutely brilliant, which goes without saying. The event was sponsored by Technology & Learning.
What did I see?
Not very much. I spent far too much time chatting to people and catching up with old friends. Well, you can't really spend too much time doing that sort of thing. But I did manage to see a few really good things. Here's a very quick summary, but I intend to write more once I've been given review log-ins and got my breath back from Bett.
The London Grid for Learning (Stand D260) has some really nice resources for covering British values, plus augmented reality stuff and now even virtual reality resources (I had a walk around ancient Egypt: very pleasant it was too).
In the Bett Futures area, Veo is a brilliant application for time-stamping and annotating video. So instead of trying to get to 4 minutes and 23 seconds into the video where the discussion starts, you just tap a button and it will take you straight there (if you've already time-stamped that bit of course). The annotation feature makes it a potentially excellent tool for giving feedback to teachers, so it would be good to use for trainee and new teachers I think.
Also in Bett Futures is Night Zookeeper, which encourages children to write. They now have a book published which contains a story started by Joshua, one of the Night Zookeeper team, and completed by children from all over the world. I'm looking forward to reading that.
What to attend if you're going today
Now look: you'd already know this if you subscribed to my newsletter. Sigh. OK, here's the info: my personal pick of what looks interesting on the seminar programme.
Inspecting Keeping Children Safe Online
Code, robotics and pioneering tech, Getting to know you: Showcase sessions from emerging edtech startups
How far can traditional methods of assessment suit modern pedagogy?
HE Leaders Summit
Two worlds collide: how to combine textbooks and technology in your classroom
Hands-on Learn Live
Smart apps on the rise: how children with special education needs set the tone for EdTech revolution
Measuring EdTech Success
School Leaders Summit - Stream 2
A Digital Making Curriculum: Bridging the STEM skills gap through creativity and project-based learning
From the Executive & Senior Editor of EdWeek Market Brief: How to Crack and Master the US Education Market
Department for International Trade Export Theatre
Computer Programming for the visual learners
Smart tech Debate