A surprise in the world of educational computing that was rather pleasant (for a change)

Terry Freedman Teach Secondary Award Bett 2015Over the years I’ve become almost inured to the inanities of the online world, and especially their manifestations in the world of education. So when I received an email declaring “Congratulations, you have won an award!” my first thought was “Oh yeah? I suppose all I have to do is submit my bank details and complete a 38 page questionnaire over a premium telephone line.”
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How are schools coping with the new Computing curriculum?

Now that a term has elapsed since the new Computing curriculum was introduced into schools in England, how are things going? I’ve been collating the responses to a call I made a few months ago to readers of my newsletter, to find out how people were preparing for the new curriculum. The results are very interesting, and I intend to share them very soon – I just have to tidy it up and make sure people are happy with any changes I’ve made to their submissions.
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To BETT or not to BETT? That is the question!

Karen PernyesAs Sherston Software makes its online digital world Planet Sherston, free for all primary schools, the company has decided not to take a stand at BETT for the first time in thirty years. Event Manager, Karen Pernyes breathes a sigh of relief on the one hand, whilst admitting she will miss the show. Here, she looks at what is so great about BETT, but takes you for a peek behind the scenes so you can see why Sherston is stepping away.
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Bett, again!

Bett: 30 years forwardJanuary 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.

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Bett 2014 Review

Bett 2014 CollageIs it really a week since I came trudging home from Bett 2014? I'm still in catch-up mode, which is why I haven't yet published my thoughts about the experience yet. But, I'd love to hear yours.

Please take just a few minutes to complete the Google Form below. My intention is to collate and share the findings.

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Being strategic after the Bett show

Bett: 30 years forwardIf you look at the list of suggestions in my “Getting the Best out of Bett” guide, some of which I reproduced in 5 Things to do after attending Bett, nothing leaps out as being “strategic”. But there are a couple of things, as I’ll explain in a moment. And that is tremendously important.

It would be very easy indeed to spend a day or two after an event, especially a long one like Bett, just dealing with the backlog of emails and work, but not actually doing anything that will help future growth. I suppose it’s a bit like clearing a financial debt: very important to do, but it’s putting some money into an interest-bearing account that will reap benefits in the longer term.

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5 Things to do after attending Bett

Bett with kidsThere is always a danger that no matter how good an event is, it will turn out to have very little impact in the longer term, as you forget what you saw and more pressing concerns vie for your attention. Here are 5 suggestions for preventing that from happening. There are more suggestions in the free guide, Getting the Best out of Bett.
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5 Things to consider regarding seminars at Bett

With the vast amount of choice at the forthcoming Bett show (15 different events, hundreds of seminars, loads of exhibitors, plus networking), we need some criteria by which to judge whether or not something is worth going to or not – or worth staying for if you already have gone. Here are my suggestions. And remember: your time is precious, so if it becomes apparent that a seminar you thought would be relevant to your needs turns out not to be so, then get up and leave.
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Getting the best out of Bett now available

Bett Guide cover 2Over 170 hints and tips from a Bett veteran! Yes, this is my UNOFFICIAL guide. Feel free to download it or share it, via an embed code.

Now includes a floor plan!

If you have already downloaded it, you may wish to download it again, as this is a revised edition containing extra information.

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8 sample questions to ask educational technology suppliers

If you’re in the market to buy a product or service to enhance the educational technology in your school, what are the questions you should be asking potential suppliers? Definitely not “What is your response time?”. Here are 8 suggestions for questions you should ask instead, and why the response time one is not very useful.
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Assessing “soft” skills

Do you have anything you’d like to add to the discussion, Terry?

The scene was a meeting at the Edusummit conference at UNESCO in Paris in 2011. The question came from the Chair.

Thank you, but no: everything I was going to say has already been said.

That was my response, because I didn’t see any purpose in repeating points that had not only been made, but also generally agreed upon. In fact, my contributions to many meetings are based on Salvator Rosa’s, dictum:

Be silent, unless what you have to say is better than silence.

The question is: does that make me a good collaborator, or not so good? How do we measure such things? And does any of it matter anyway?

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