Bett 2016. See, touch and test the best of edtech

The world’s leading event for learning technology returns to ExCel London on 20-23 January 2016

Year-on-year, Bett provides an environment for educators to keep up to date with the latest learning innovations.

Now in its 32nd year, the four-day event is once again set to provide education professionals with an opportunity to see, touch and test the latest and most groundbreaking technologies, providing them with a taste of how these can be used to revolutionise learning.

Last year’s event attracted more than 36,000 visitors 

For all of your CPD needs, there will be a jam-packed programme of inspirational speakers offering best practice advice across a number of theatres; including the School Leaders’ Summit, the Technology in Higher Education Summit, a series of primary and secondary Learn Live theatres, and of course, the spectacular Bett Arena.

Even better Bett Arena

A visit to the show would not be complete without exploring all the Bett Arena has to offer; this is the only place to hear first-hand from the biggest names in education for free. A full speaker programme is available from www.bettshow.com, but here is a taste of what you can expect from the Bett Arena this year…

On Wednesday, 20 January at 11:30, the keynote presentation will be given by Professor of Educational Technology, and director of the interdisciplinary research centre, SOLE Central, Sugata Mitra. This is sure to be inspiring for all visitors to Bett; Mitra is a TED speaker and is best known for his ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiment, and widely cited in works on literacy and education.

On Thursday, 21 at 12:15, award-winning computer scientist and one of the Top 50 Women in Tech in Europe 2015, Dr Sue Black, will deliver her session, Rewriting the Script for Women in STEM – Closing the Gender Gap. Allan Kjaer Andersen, headteacher at Oerestad Gymnasium in Copengagen, will deliver his session, Schools of the Future – Breaking with traditional teaching on Friday, 22 at 14:45; with the review of the high-performing jurisdictions of Singapore, Shanghai and Finland a point of regular discussion, this is certainly a very current issue to hear more about. Dr Ellen Stoffan, Chief Scientist Planetary geologist, STEM advocate and Chief Scientist of NASA, will continue with the theme of enhancing learning and teaching during her Space Camp with NASA session at 12:00. 

Fascinating Futures

Following a hugely successful launch at Bett 2015, the platform designed to nurture innovative education technology start-up companies, Futures, will return to Bett for a second year.

This highly popular area often provides visitors with the unique quirky resources which are ideal for a specific requirement. This event will run in association with leading education think-tank the Education Foundation. Designed as a unique, three-year progression programme, Futures offers developing start-up companies an opportunity to benefit from all that Bett has to offer, but with heavily subsidised exhibition rates.

Among those joining the project for the first time is TeachPitch, a cloud-based learning platform that helps teachers and schools identify the best online resources available, and Diagnostic Questions, a formative assessment platform designed to help teachers enhance the quality and relevance of their teaching, while simultaneously reducing their workload.

Bett covers FIVE education sectors: higher education, primary and early years, secondary and FE, SEN and, finally, workplace learning and development 

Returning for a second year to the Futures zone is now>press>play, the educational resource company that uses sound, story and movement to engage all children. Also returning is Technology Will Save Us, one of the UK’s most exciting design-led, technology start-ups focused on providing families, educators and young people – of all ages, backgrounds and interests – new opportunities to learn and create using technology.

After a successful Bett 2015, Educater (stand) will be returning as a ‘THRIVE’ start-up, a Futures ‘graduate’ now exhibiting near the Futures zone on the main Bett show floor. 

Innovative and trusted suppliers

In addition to a great line-up of speakers, over 600 exhibitors will be showcasing the latest and greatest technologies that are helping transform schools inside and outside of the classroom.

Innovator in interactive touch technologies, SMART Technologies Inc. will be introducing the latest additions to its award-winning interactive flat panel (IFP) portfolio including new sizes in both its 6000 and 4000 series. It will be highlighting new features and enhancements to its market-leading software suite featuring SMART Notebook, and SMART amp. Lesson Activity Builder and an all-new assessment module is coming soon. The team will be sharing new ways for teachers and students to seamlessly incorporate SMART’s latest collaborative tool, SMART kapp, into their daily learning, so pop by Stand D80 to find out more.

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This year, education communication and data solution specialist Groupcall is focused on helping schools cope with current changes in the schools’ landscape, including school funding and Ofsted’s changing approach. Pop by stand B188, and find out how Groupcall’s products can help your school to increase parental engagement and deliver stronger two-way home/school communications, while increasing IT consolidation, improving efficiency and cutting costs. It will also be unveiling its brand new app for parents, Xpressions, a personalised student timeline, where parents can view their child’s progress including achievement, attendance, assessment, timetables and the school calendar, facilitating lesson preparation and homework. With its innovative design the app can also push notifications from the school’s partners, for example, catering, library and payments, to parents’ mobile devices (Apple iOS and Android).

Hear keynote speeches and take part in lively debates in the FIVE seminar theatres, TWO summits and the Bett Arena

On stand B140, Sonocent will demonstrate how primary, secondary and tertiary teachers can use Audio Notetaker software to raise and evidence attainment in literacy and support learning across the curriculum.

Last year’s ICT company of the year, Frog Education, will unveil cutting-edge technology to support teachers to navigate the removal of national curriculum levels and to put assessment back at the heart of teaching and learning. Combining the latest technology with education expertise, to tailor its service to each individual school, its new product, FrogProgress, means that assessment has just gotten smarter; pop by stand D140 to find out more.

Revolutionary literacy resource, Fiction Express, can be found on stand C543. Offering a range of e-books aimed at reading age 6–10+, the unique resource makes reading an enjoyable, sociable and interactive experience.

The education sector’s trade association and the co-founders of Bett, the British Educational Suppliers’ Association (BESA), will once again run the main Information Point, and the team will be on-hand to help visitors plan their visit and get the most from the day.

The SEN Information Point is again hosted by nasen, providing visitors with a valuable insight into policy changes and the statutory requirements of the new SEND Code of Practice. 

What will be the key trends at Bett 2016?

The digital gap is one key topic. Are we throwing the baby out with the bathwater by getting rid of ICT as a core subject? Coding is not for everyone. Last year we also saw an influx of exhibitors from China and Korea. I think we may see more input from abroad again this year in terms of educational ideas and pedagogy.’ Shaun Eason, Assistant Head Teacher, Head of Computing, All Saints School.

‘Cloud hosted applications and services is likely to be a good one, particularly in relation to how they can help bridge inequalities both geographically and economically. As we’ve recently seen an ISP’s data accessed and taken by a teenage cyber hacker I think the subject of whether we are doing enough to teach young people about responsible internet use is likely to be a hot topic! Also – is there a future for the virtual teacher, where robots could be used to replace human teaching and support staff in the classroom?’ David Tindall, Managing Director, Schools Broadband.

‘Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a set of principles embraced in the United States for curriculum development that give all individuals equal opportunities to learn. Irrespective of ability, background or learning style preference, this framework aims to minimise barriers to learning and maximise learning opportunities for all students. Education technology is a cornerstone for delivering UDL. Should we be championing UDL principles in UK education? This should be a topic for debate at BETT.’ Reeza Awoodun, Consultant, Sonocent.

‘Virtual worlds, cloud collaboration, MOOCs, robotics to engage classes all over the world with robots connected via software to carry out commands from various locations. Badging. Re-designing curriculum to blend the online delivery – not one platform specific.’ Surjit Uppal, Learning Technologies Manager, Activate Learning.

Bett 2016 is free to attend and will take place from Wednesday 20 to Saturday 23 January 2016 at ExCeL London. For more information or to register, please visit www.bettshow.com. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter @Bett_Show, and join #BettChat fortnightly on Tuesdays at 4:30pm, to discuss topics at the heart of the industry.

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