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A sneak peek at Bett 2018

For most of our questions, education is the answer

Posted by Julian Owen | December 06, 2017 | Events

The world is changing. Jobs are changing; many of the ones that exist now didn’t a few years ago, and the pace of change is expected to get faster still. The way we obtain and share information has totally transformed from what it was 20 years ago, with a whole generation of kids accustomed to having amazing computing power at their fingertips. Those changes look set to continue and it’s the children in school today that will be working in the jobs that don’t exist yet, coming up with the inventions that we need, and the solutions to the challenges that will face us. So how do we get them ready?

Bett 2018 is a celebration of education and the role it plays in helping students prepare for the future. It aims to give teachers the inspiration and the practical skills to help them address the challenges of preparing students for an unpredictable future, because that’s a job far too important to be done without support! 

Inspiring stories from teachers are at the heart of Bett 2018 for a good reason. The community that has built around Bett over the years helps to bring technology and its role in the classroom to life, and Bett 2018’s aim is to share these stories so that teachers have practical tools and insight to help transform education. Key topics such as creative teaching, the primary computing curriculum, e-safety, data-driven tech, assessment and budgets are covered in streamlined content developed to help visitors make the most of their time at the show. Meanwhile, to address the issue of demand, Bett Arena content will be screened around the show so that visitors can access headline content no matter where they are. 

Content lowdown

Bett’s content aims to demystify, inspire and give practical tools and approaches that can be taken back to the classroom right away. Peer-led, each seminar takes a current issue and a current solution or approach at work within a school that other schools can learn from – taking the computing curriculum and the issue of how to make it inspiring when teachers may not have the right level of computing knowledge. Tony Gilbert, computing lecturer and ICT Leader (and Intel Visionary) at New College is working with the Digital Schoolhouse Programme to help with this and he shares the approaches of the not-for-profit initiative that trains schools. Funded by companies so that schools don’t pay, the programme aims to inspire teachers and young pupils to tackle common misconceptions within the UK computing curriculum. The programme leverages innovation and expertise from academia and industry, bringing teacher-training courses and companies like Playstation together to help schools. Tony teaches computing through dance and networking, jigsaw puzzles, word games and role play as part of his schools’ play-based learning approach.

Also on the topic of professional development is the seminar from Claire Jones, Assistant Headteacher at Layton Primary School. In 2012, Layton Primary was ranked in the bottom 42% of schools in the country, and professional development did not correlate with the school’s vision to develop independent teachers and learners. To address this challenge, Layton rolled out a professional development programme that resulted in teachers taking control of their professional development and creating personalised learning experiences for their students. Five years on, the school has been graded as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. Find out how in her session. 

The role of technology in the classroom will continue to be debated for a long time, but the experience of Ollie Bray, Headteacher at Kingussie High School and Fellow at the Scottish College for Educational Leadership, lays out the benefits that he’s found so that others can take what they need from his school’s experience. Ollie has been instrumental in leading digital learning across Scotland and around the world. In 2013 when he became headteacher, he set out on a journey to transform his school, improving the lives of children and young people in the Scottish Highlands. The appropriate use of both technology and outdoor learning were at the heart of his transformation agenda. This included the development of 1:1 computing across the school, radical changes to the curriculum, and the development of a digital learning and teaching toolkit. In this Bett session, Ollie will share the story of whole-school improvement, including sharing of pedagogical tips at both classroom and whole-school level. He is leading a 1:1 Chromebook roll-out across the region and can share goals for student learning by bringing access to Scotland’s students and transforming professional learning to empower educators with leadership skills to transform how teachers teach and how students learn.

Emerging tech can be one of the strongest themes at Bett and much has been said about what augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) can do for education. Ian Phillips from Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School will talk about how they are using VR to help them become immersive storytellers, creating 360-degree virtual tours, and finding new ways to solve glitches using project-based learning. The students will present their work at the Independent School Council’s Digital Strategy Conference in November. The students will author their projects in Unity, a VR content development platform, and are collaborating with CoSpaces, Skype sessions with industry experts, and following the work of tech entrepreneurs. With these new ways of approaching learning, having students own their own learning, and bridge the classroom with the technology industry, students are reaching a new level of deeper learning and developing skills for the workforce.

Bett 2018 will run over four days, from 24 to 27 January 2018 at ExCeL, London. For more information, to find out more about the programme of content, and to register for your free pass, visit: www.bettshow.com  

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