I am on the train home from BETT2010 having had to leave Teach Meet early in order to remind my family that I do exist after three days away and the apparent inability to use a mobile phone before children’s bed time!
It has been a fascinating three days starting with CPD delivered to colleagues on applications to supporting Speaking and Listening before two days of exceeding important CPD.
The BETT show was again a fairly damp squib after the excitement I felt on my way down with minimal things to excite me. My highlights were some of the small gadgets for speaking and listening on the TTS stand, literacy resources on the DB Education Services stand, the new resource from the Houses of Parliament education service Be an MP for the week,hearing about the work of the LYJA (Lincolnshire Young Journalist Academy) who I am really hoping I will be working alongside at a conference in March and finally seeing the latest great resource from 2Simple – 2Create a Superstory (2CASS). I know that the 2simple guys rarely put a foot wrong but this looks absolutely brilliant and so accessible. I will blog on it as soon as I can get into a class to trial it. (It is worth noting that their stand was swamped for the two days I attended.
The disappointments for me were the further evidence that there is a disconnect between the corporate sector and the educationalists they are trying to sell to. No-one would believe that we are about to enter into one of the toughest times budget wise for primary schools in many years. Why on earth do we need projectors capable of working in 3-D? There were several stalls selling them with further evidence of people selling a solution waiting for a problem. 3-D films are being made to stop film pirating and it just seemed that these were being sold because they could be (and no other reason).
It also strikes me as strange that, when we appear to be several years ahead of North America in our use of educational technology and particularly ensuring that pedagogy is a key factor in the planning for its use, there are so many North Americans drafted in to lead on several stands. This is not me being jingoistic just intrigued that people who no knowledge of our curriciulum are seen by companies as better equipped to sell to British teachers.
Finally a comment on Teach meet which took place in two forms over BETT. There were the after BETT unconferences and the Teach Meet Takeovers. I have already blogged about the Tedxorenda and TM Takeover both of which I thought were superb. I enjoyed some cracking sessions today watching @daibarnes talk about his school moodle, @lisibo talk about tools to support language teaching, @zoeross talk about web 2.0 tools and @dughall talk about his work using forums on the Kirklees VLE. I videoed his wonderful and exhaustive list and will post this when edited. All great sessions and all gave me something to either think about or implement in my work. The takeovers have been a great success, I do think that there needs to be some level of consideration of their next use but if you look at the lead time and then the impact – one word Superb!
The Teachmeet event was incredibly inspiring with a wide range of ideas and suggestions from people in the classroom. I will post in more detail as my train is nearing home – I suspect that I will steer people to @dawnhallybone’s excellent blog as she types faster than me in meetings and therefore will be more detailed!!
So I return home shattered but excited from what I learned (and a successful personal set on behalf of the strategies to 95 people and standing room only for my IWB session). I am sure I will sleep well due to tiredness but also dream of several wonderful new applications.