This year's Bett show was very interesting indeed. There was much to see. So much, in fact, that it may well have been overwhelming were it not for the free interactive CD that was made available a few weeks beforehand. I can't report on all of it, but here are a few highlights.
As astonishing and exciting as this may sound, not only are many schools in the UK now connected to the internet, but some have even been able to connect their whole school network to the internet permanently, via an ISDN line. This is much faster and more reliable than dialing up with a modem.
Of course, this makes pornography much faster to access, and therefore more attractive, so I'd highly recommend that schools look into using an internet service provider that filters access to the worldwide web or, as it is starting to be known, the information super highway.
Failing this, they should at least require both pupils and their parents to sign an Acceptable Use Policy.
New Informatics Course launched
The National Association of Co-ordinators and Teachers of IT (known as ACITT for some reason) announced its new IT course for secondary students. Called 'Informatics', it focuses on problem-solving using programming and information and communications technology. In essence it teaches a rudimentary form of systems analysis.
Times Education Supplement goes online
An exciting development is that the TES now has a website. This is clearly a growing trend among large organisations. Indeed, the Bett Show itself also now has a website.
Research Machines Window Box
Version 6 of the Window Box was unveiled at the show, and I think this looks very promising. It's a closed solution, meaning that unless you're an administrator you cannot get to the Operating System. This should be welcome news for teachers who, until now, have had to try and prevent kids from deleting essential files.
The Window Box also comes with Word and Excel, but with a difference. Instead of presenting pupils with all the bells and whistles of the new Office 97 suite, you can choose to give them access to less-featured 'levels'. There are 4 levels in total, with the top one being the full blown version of Word or Excel.
All in all, a very worthwhile experience, and one that will, I'm sure, prove a hard act to follow at Olympia next year.
Due to a technical glitch with our time machine, instead of going forward to Bett 2017 in order to bring you a review of the show before it had even happened, we accidentally went back to 1997.
In fact, there is even an account of our visit in the archives of the now-defunct Micro Computer Mart magazine, as shown below.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the error.
Latest book: Education Conferences: Teachers’ Guide to Getting the Most out of Education Conferences. Click the link for more info. Special Bett 2017 price: $0.99 or £0.99!