I am sat quietly in a dark corner after my first day at BETT today. I have caught up with lots of friends, played #betttig and had a look around the stalls. As everÂ I have found that despite my great excitement at attending BETT the reality is often a disappointment.Â Many people are here offering the same as ever or a slightly reworked version but there are a few standouts.Â I will blog about those upon my return when I have time to fully get round the stands I want to see or have had recommended to me by other people.
One thing which does stick out is the number of stands who have leapt upon tag lines including gaming, games based learning or learning games – I am not fully convinced that what is on offer at some of theses stands actually fulfils my view of what this area of ed tech. I expect this to contain an element of bringing home literacies or gaming into the classroom whilst some of these are simply educational games. Whilst I stand in judgement I am also aware of many references to safeguarding with a clever marketing eye on the panic in schools caused by the stories surrounding the new OFSTED proof. I am not convinced that there are a huge amount of new materials or applications but the marketing is stronger and aimed at the worried Head teacher.
The highlight of the day has been the new phenomenon of Teachmeet Takeover which has been made possible by the kind donation of time on stands by a range of companies and the volunteering of practitioners who are keen to share what they are using in their classroom. I saw two full sessions including the first ever takeover led by @digitalmaverick who shared a range of freely available Web 2.0 tools on the Brainpop stand. It was great session which included links to look out for, tips and demonstrations. It was a great launch to the genre of CPD and wasÂ watched by an audience well into the doubleÂ figures.Â For me this was followed by watching @ianaddison on the Scholastic stand talking about his experiences working with Primary schools in Hampshire introducing their VLE using Studywiz. Ian admitted to being nervous before the session but none of this showed in another excellent presentation which was well attended and well received.
Due to my timetable for the day I missed other sessions but understand that they went down very well, certainly when handing out the leaflets the idea was very received by those attending apart from one gentleman who informed me that he wasn’t interested in the teaching (I looked down at his badge to read the legend Network Manager!!!!)
Talking to others who had attended Takeovers all of us strongly felt that it had been a very positive first day and it had been a stroke of genius from the originators. I did wonder whether in the future 15 minutes would be a better time mainly down to the concentration span ofÂ the average BETT delegate who has so much to do and see and so little time. This is emphatically a criticism of anything I saw as personally I felt more of buzz in the two sessions than at any other stage in the day and like other TM events felt that it was another piece of quality personal CPD. I think thatÂ a slightly shorter session would be fine.Â Â So well done to those who came up with the idea and drove it forward, well done to those who gave up time on their stands but especially well done to the brave souls who gave up time to present in the takeovers. As others have commented the Teachmeet Takeover is the best thing at BETT this year by a country mile and
I am looking forward to tomorrow’s sessions already.