BETT this year was held at the EXCEL centre, a truly ginormous exhibition hall in docklands, London. It was a much better venue than Olympia, with much more space to go and get a coffee and sit down, as well as space in one big hall for all the exhibitors. The transport links are also great – it was just a short DLR ride from my school.
It was also a much better event. There seemed to be a lot more on offer, rather than just loads of options for interactive whiteboards. The mobile revolution was also being consciously acknowledged, with most people offering some sort of iPad solution to their product.
One particular find of the day was bit of school furniture which could charge 16 or 32 iPads. It is only a slightly more engineered version of what I’ve been doing with IKEA cabinets and 8-way power adapters, but it does have a more robust locking mechanism and also prevents people walking off with USB charging cables (which seems to be happening quite a bit at the mo!). It’s from a company called ISIS and you can have a look at it here. And they quoted me a bargain price of £450!
It was also fun to watch some Apple Distinguished Educators talk through some different ways of using iPads. It was good to hear them talk about the innovative apps but also the more mundane ‘write up your science experiment in Pages’. You’ve got to start somewhere!
This year at BETT there was also a big arena where you could go and listen to different speakers presenting in the middle. We went to see a presentation on the ‘Flipped Classroom‘. It’s an interesting idea really, where instruction is given by video to the students at a different time (maybe at home) and then the lesson is used to support students in the learning they have already been doing. Something to look into more.
All in all, I left BETT feeling like it had been a very useful day, which was a nice change from last year!