The BETT Show is, I’m reliably informed, the biggest education technology show in the world. It takes place in London, England, every January. This year it was slightly later, but I’ll come to that in a moment. The first thing I’ll say is that even if you didn’t attend you may find this article interesting, as I suspect that several comments will apply to any education technology conference.
Eleven years ago I wrote an 8-point guide to BETT, in my newsletter, and have reproduced it below. I think the points still stack up, especially the one about having a good breakfast! I hope you enjoy reading this blast from the past (9th January 2001 to be exact). And when you have done so, why not download the up-to-date bumper edition – 125 stupendous tips, and completely free? The URL is at the end of the article.
At the time this was written, the web was still relatively new to a lot of teachers, and Google had been on the scene for about three years. At that time it was still only a search engine. The newsletter was sent in text format from my own email address using my personal email client, which at that time was Eudora. Ah, such days of innocence!
In a couple of hours’ time I will be distributing the latest version of Getting the Best out if BETT, which includes the views of over 30 people who attended last year’s BETT. Here’s a Wordle of what products they thought worth pursuing, the trends they spotted, and the advice they offer to schools in these straitened times.
What do you think of when you see the words “reading” and “technology” in the same sentence? I tend to think of e-book readers and how easy it is to transfer stuff to, and then read, on my phone. But there is more to it than that. According to Dyslexia Action, around one in ten students struggle to read standard print.
There is something romantic about an old manual typewriter. The clattering of the keys sounds somewhat industrial, which connotes “industrious”. Bashing away at a typewriter is what real writers do. No spellchecker, no thesaurus, no internet, and no forgiveness if you make a mistake. So typing something that looked reasonable, and which didn’t involve too much correction fluid, gave one a sense of achievement.
How many times have you found yourself stuck behind a couple of people walking at such a snail-like pace that one suspects they started out the day before? That’s just one of the problems experienced at BETT at Olympia: so much squeezed into a space which has long been too small, resulting in aisles that are far too narrow for the volume of traffic and a stand numbering systems which seems to owe more to random number generation than logic. Well, hopefully this is all now a thing of the past, a soon-to-be distant memory of a venue we can reminisce about but not miss.