Tag Archives: tips

#BettChat archive 22nd January 2013

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Welcome to #BettChat! Today’s topic: your peer tips and advice for new & familiar faces at #Bett_Show. Who wants to start?

Lucie Da Silva‏  @eSchools_Lucie

Literature vs photos, so many brochures are dumped outside and paper is heavy! #BETTChat

eInstructionApacEmea‏  @eInstruction_uk

#BettChat Wear the comfiest shoes you can find. Trust us, your feet will thank you at the end of a busy day (or 4!) #Bett_Show

russell dyas‏  @russdev

@bett_show Decide your focus and must visit stands before you go vrs wondering around the show #BETTChat

Vocab Express‏  @vocabexpress

With the scale of #Bett_Show, planning your visit in advance on the website can really help make the most of your day! #BettChat

Lucie Da Silva‏  @eSchools_Lucie

PLAN PLAN PLAN. It’s a big place…focus on why you are there and remember what you want to gain from your visit #bettchat

Lucie Da Silva  ‏@eSchools_Lucie

Wear layers, if ExCel is like Olympia…it gets pretty hot in there! Oh and take some deodorant 😉 #bettchat

Lucie Da Silva‏  @eSchools_Lucie

Bring your own sandwiches…or take out a loan in order to buy lunch… #bettchat

eInstructionApacEmea‏  @eInstruction_uk

Registering for your visitor pass in advance on the #Bett_Show website can also help you beat the morning door queues! #BettChat

BESA  @besatweet

@Bett_show #BettChat the BESA Information Point is the best place throughout the show to get any information you need – we’re here to help

BBC Worldwide’s Labs  ‏@BBCWLabs

#BETTChat: advice to get the most out the event – plan, stay focused & wear comfy shoes (passing this on to @kosuMobile @Flooved)

Lucie Da Silva‏  @eSchools_Lucie

Look out for your free coffee vouchers available through our partners #bettchat #eschools #workingtogetherforfreecaffeine

Advanced learning‏  @advlearning

If you want to attend any seminars make sure you book in advance so you don’t miss out #BETTChat

Karen Pernyes‏  @KarenPernyes

@Bett_show It’s bigger than you think. Don’t just turn up without planning or comfy shoes #BettChat

eInstructionApacEmea‏  @eInstruction_uk

We’ve heard talk of people adding their Twitter ID to the visitor passes – makes connecting with others after easier! #BettChat

WebBased‏  @WebBasedLtd

Check out the Bett profiles beforehand & use the new interactive floorplan to mark who you want to see & where you need to go #BettChat

Claire Ashton  ‏@ClaireAshton

#BettChat don’t collect brochures willy-nilly, you’ll end up with a very heavy bag you’re unlikely to look at again.

Bett‏  @Bett_show

We’d like to add make sure to follow the hashtag #Bett_Show as we will be tweeting news, events & offers throughout the show! #BettChat

BBC Worldwide’s Labs‏  @BBCWLabs

@eInstruction_uk Great idea! Adding Twitter ID to your visitor pass! #bettchat

Casio Projectors  ‏@CasioProjectors

@Bett_show Look out for our Casio stand at the show – new faces, you won’t be alone, we have some excited Bett-newcomers too! #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

Take your device and connect to the wi-fi. Many companies have gone electronic with their brochures/information using QR codes #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

Search out stand offers and competitions promoted on Twitter only! Find out company hash tags for the show before arriving #BettChat

Karen Pernyes‏  @KarenPernyes

#BettChat @ClaireAshton shoulderbag or rucksack at least – you’ll end up with stacks of paperwork however hard you try

Peter Mason‏  @ptrmsn

#BettChat Plan your visit in advance! I’ve shared my top tips over on the @PlanetSherston blog. http://bit.ly/USrMKb

WebBased‏  @WebBasedLtd

You’ll have a lot to get round on the day so save plenty of time by pre-registering for #Bett_Show https://form.n200.com/?s=2hfw51qqzv2p4&check=1 … #BettChat

Robyn Clark Rajab  ‏@clarkformaths

#BettChat #Bett_show all I want to know is how to survive the weather in England! It’s scaring me more than giving a talk.

Smoothwall  ‏@Smoothwall

Pre-register to save hassle http://bit.ly/OUQAA1 #Bettchat

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Don’t forget to download the new #Bett_Show app for an interactive schedule and directory of all there is to see! #BettChat

Lucie Da Silva‏  @eSchools_Lucie

@clarkformaths It’s shorts and flip flops weather over here currently so don’t worry 😉 #bettchat #britishweather

Kevin Brunton‏  @kbrunton1912

#BettChat Plan a route, don’t be afraid to say no and go to the next stand, bring water, get web addresses/download links and not brochures

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

Make sure you pick up plenty of freebies! #Bettchat

Lucie Da Silva  ‏@eSchools_Lucie

Change your avatar to a proper pic and/or add your twitter name to your badge so we know who you are #bettchat

Lucie Da Silva‏  @eSchools_Lucie

Do your research! Lots of companies offer BETT discounts but check how much it is to make sure it’s a good deal! #bettchat

Lauren Pinney‏  @HPSMrsPinney

@hps We’d like to add make sure to follow the hashtag #Bett_Show as we will be tweeting news, events & offers throughout the show! #BettChat

russell dyas‏  @russdev

If doing more than one day then make sure get an oyster card for underground etc #bettChat

Bett‏  @Bett_show

@clarkformaths We are keeping our fingers crossed that the last of the snow will be gone by then! #BettChat

Zu3D animation‏  @Zu3D

Yes! And have some water & throat sweets if you’re an exhibitor RT @lapsafe: Our top tip for @Bett_show? Wear your comfiest shoes! #BettChat

Pora Ora Ed‏  @PoraOra

Best advice from an #edtech startup perspective – NETWORK! Chat & take emails (carry a stash of business cards!) #bettchat

Dave Coleman‏  @davecoleman146

RT @russdev: If doing more than one day then make sure get an oyster card for underground etc #bettChat <- Good advice

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Some fantastic #Bett_Show top tips so far in today’s #BettChat! Keep them coming!

Frog‏  @frogtrade

Excitement has hit fever pitch at Frog towers for #Bett_Show can’t wait for you to see our stand & find out what freebies we have #BettChat

Lucie Da Silva  ‏@eSchools_Lucie

@ZU3d Yes you just reminded me! By 4pm each day, most of the eSchools team had almost lost their voice! Throat sweets are vital! #bettchat

Bett‏  @Bett_show

#BettChat tip: Remember that #Bett_Show has a new home @excellondon! Here’s some help to plan your journey in advance http://ow.ly/h1NK4

Pora Ora Ed‏  @PoraOra

Don’t get too magazine/catalogue happy. Our shoulders have never been the same since the Brand Licensing Event! #Bettchat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

Attend a Learn Live session at take useful tips back to the classroom. http://bit.ly/143usdE #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

@Bett_show @excellondon Yes, don’t go to Olympia! #BettChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

Attend a Learn Live session and take useful tips back to the classroom. http://bit.ly/143usdE #BettChat

Lucie Da Silva‏  @eSchools_Lucie

Don’t rely on hearing your mobile phone if you’ve arranged for a contact – put it somewhere where you’ll feel it vibrate! #bettchat #noisy!

eInstructionApacEmea‏  @eInstruction_uk

We saw a great tip from @terryfreedman – make up/bring some business cards to save filling in loads of contact forms! #BettChat

Capita SIMS‏  @CapitaSIMS

@clarkformaths It does take some getting used to Robyn! Make sure you stop for a nice cup of tea every now and again at #Bett 🙂 #BettChat

Bett‏ @Bett_show

Don’t just follow #Bett_Show – share your thoughts & findings with us & the world using the hash tag too. We would love to hear! #BettChat

Lucie Da Silva‏@eSchools_Lucie

@eInstruction_uk @terryfreedman Lots of people were using stickers with their details on last year, business cards can be lost… #bettchat

eInstructionApacEmea‏  @eInstruction_uk

@eSchools_Lucie Thanks Lucie – that’s a great idea! #BettChat

stephen heppell‏  @stephenheppell

Had fun afternoon playing with ancient comptometers etc #BETTchat folk – wander by the central feature and play too http://www.heppell.net/radio

eSchools‏  @eschoolsuk

#bettchat have a plan for your @Bett_show visit & stick to it. If you have a smart phone follow your planned company/orgs for updates

Zu3D animation‏  @Zu3D

We’ll be tweeting RT @eschoolsuk #bettchat have a plan & stick to it. If you have a smart phone follow your planned company/orgs for updates

eSchools‏  @eschoolsuk

Take a few little energy snacks to @Bett_show it can be a tiring day & you need small regular energy boosts! #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

@KarenPernyes Small bags are best, less opportunity to fill with brochures! #BettChat

stephen heppell  ‏@stephenheppell

My 3 top tips: yoghurt+honey fab for voice; central feature kids know where best free stuff is; don’t forget Oyster swipe on DLR #BETTchat

Karen Pernyes‏  @KarenPernyes

@ClaireAshton Small bags are good, as long as a shoulder bag & as long as when it’s full, it’s full. Then one in, one out maybe?! #bettchat

eSchools‏  @eschoolsuk

Be sure to pop in & say hi to #eSchools at stand C62 at @Bett_show Guaranteed fun & lots of exciting news to share with you #BettChat

James Northridge‏  @JamesNorthridge

@Bett_show Looking forward to heading over from Ireland, lets hope the snow is gone! #Bett_Show #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

@KarenPernyes No doubt some stands will be giving away ‘eco-friendly’ bags that visitors can fill with glossy paper! #BettChat

School Improvement‏  @Key_improvement

Find out what other school leaders are doing and share ideas #BettChat #collaboration

Lucie Da Silva  ‏@eSchools_Lucie

Tried wearing heels last year…..my feet have never recovered…. #bettchat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

We have water on our stand, if you get thirsty! #BettChat @CapitaSIMS

Teachit Languages ‏@TeachitLang

#bettchat has some great tips on it! Teachit will be @Bett_Show, come and see us there! #languages #mfl

Lucie Da Silva‏  @eSchools_Lucie

Are the free mugs, pens, usb sticks, badges really worth it? #heavy #bettchat

School Improvement‏  @Key_improvement

Have a chat with researchers from The Key @use_the_key @Key_Curriculum @Key_schoolstaff #BettChat

Lucie Da Silva‏  @eSchools_Lucie

Find out where the toilets are when you get there, you don’t want a mad dash without knowing which direction to go! #bettchat

The Whizz Prof‏  @WhizzProf

Perhaps take photos of the things you see. A visual reminder is often more effective than trying to remember from memory! #BettChat

will789gb‏  @will789gb

#BettChat Is there news on Gove? Will he be there? ICT is fitting in how exactly? Kids with tablets, leave them at home?

eSchools‏  @eschoolsuk

Decide what technology you need to really improve key aspects of your school & visit the companies/orgs that can offer solutions #BettChat

Casio Projectors‏  @CasioProjectors

We’ll be passing this one on to our Casio stand speakers! #BettChat RT “@stephenheppell: …yoghurt+honey fab for voice!”

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Thanks to everyone for a truly fantastic #BettChat filled with tips! We hope some of you can put these to good use for next week. #Bett_Show

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Filed under #BETTChat archive

#BettChat archive 16th October 2012

(All these tweets took place between 4pm and 5pm on Tuesday 16th October 2012)

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Welcome to #BettChat everyone – today’s topic: top tips for an enjoyable #Bett_Show! Who wants to share some gems first?

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

Re tips for an enjoyable #Bett_Show. Register for the Bett Exhibitor Open Day on the 7th November at Excel #BettChat.

LapSafe Products‏  @LapSafe

Our top tip for an enjoyable @Bett_show? Wear comfy shoes! #Bettchat

Stinky Ink  ‏@stinky_ink

@Sallyb_w Its also our first @Bett_show too and we are really looking forward to it! #BettChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

A great opportunity to meet the Bett team, familiarise yourself with the new venue. #BettChat

Boardworks  ‏@BoardworksLtd

#BETTchat is on now! I hope we’ll be seeing you all in January?

Capita SIMS  ‏@CapitaSIMS

Tips for a great @Bett_show, wear comfy shoes and change them half way through the day, get some fresh air and drink water #BETTChat

Smoothwall  ‏@Smoothwall

Decide what you want to get out of the exhibition & create a timetable & allocate certain parts of the day for certain priorities.#BettChat

Technogym‏  @Technogym

We’ll demo ways to get students into active learning, so be ready to get active! Seconding the #tip for comfy clothes & shoes 🙂 #BettChat

Frog‏  @frogtrade

#bettchat. You’ll have a lot to get round on the day so save time and hassle by pre-registering!

Technogym‏  @Technogym

RT @smoothwall: Decide what you want to get out of the exhibition, create a timetable & allocate parts of the day for priorities. #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

As a teacher, I found arriving two hours before it closed on Saturday worked best, quiet and easy to get about, need a focus too! #BETTChat

Clip Display Ltd‏  @clipltd

From and exhibitor POV: Be open and creative to new ways of presenting your products/services, you need to be unique to stand out #BettChat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

For exhibitors: Before the event use your website and social networks to let customers know you’re going to be there! #BettChat

Frog‏  @frogtrade

Don’t forget to to pick a nice big sturdy bag to collect all your goodies – the Frog bags are always a popular choice 😉 #BETTChat

Frog‏  @frogtrade

Everyone keeps saying comfy shoes, what’s the health and safety implications of slippers?? #BETTChat?

Capita SIMS‏  @CapitaSIMS

Give people a reason to visit your stand, and not just the freebies! Communicate this before hand to create interest #BETTChat

Bryan Plumb‏  @BryanPlumb

Have an idea what you’d like to see, but wander away from your plans too & be ready to be amazed at some of the lesser known tech #bettchat

Clip Display Ltd‏  @clipltd

Take a look at our apps and advice for some top tips on getting the most out of exhibiting http://www.clipdisplay.com/apps-and-advice #BETTChat

Joanne White‏  @jolwhite

Make sure you carry a bottle of water as you’ll be chatting lots …and some mints 🙂 #bettchat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

Good one @jolwhite, and make sure you don’t have garlic the night before! #BettChat

Frog‏  @frogtrade

Great tip @BryanPlumb – you definitely need to plan but its always good when you come across something new! #BETTChat

Bett‏  @Bett_show

Some great tips! We would love to hear what is your usual highlight of #Bett_Show? #BettChat

Mango Marketing‏  @Mango_Marketing

For pre-planning don’t forget the stand package includes Mango’s Bett PR support. Email bettpr@mangomarketing.com with any queries #bettchat

Capita SIMS‏  @CapitaSIMS

Think about how to maintain staff motivation, do all of them need to be there all day, four days too much? How can you reward them #BETTChat

Bryan Plumb‏  @BryanPlumb

@Bett_show Putting my feet up with a brew on Sunday? #BettChat  ;o)

ip Display Ltd‏  @clipltd

@CapitaSIMS Great advice! The most successful exhibitors are the ones who send out a pre show marketing message #BETTChat

InfoMentor UK  @infomentoruk

After a tiring day walking around the #BettShow you’ll need refreshment, join our reception at the end of each day at our stand 🙂 #BettChat

WebBased‏  @WebBasedLtd

Check out who’s exhibiting & what you’re interested in seeing beforehand by looking at the online profiles on the Bett website! #BETTChat

selectec‏  @selectec

@Bett_show comfy shoes! #BettChat

Crestron UK ‏  @CrestronUK

#BETTchat With so many exhibitors make sure you plan your time. Visit us (B274) to see how technology can enhance the learning experience

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

Highlights for me are spending time with so many colleagues, it’s rare for so many from across the business to get together #BETTChat

Loxit Ltd‏  @loxitltd

Highlight for Bett 2012 had to be the Teachmeet take overs on various stands, superb insight into #edtech and its application #BETTChat

InfoMentor UK  ‏@infomentoruk

#BETTChat Keep a kit of useful items eg screen wipes, stationery & bottled water on your stand to keep your stand & staff running smoothly!

Joanne White‏  @jolwhite

tip for exhibitors.. always smile even on at 3.55 on day 4, visitors do your research before it’s huge and there’s so much to see! #bettchat

Econocom UK‏  @Econocom_UK

@Bett_show You need to have with a clear message for everyone. And maybe try and be different to attract visitors #BettChat #Bett_Show

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

For visitors, if you have a specific person or company to speak to, arrange an appointment as they’ll be busy #BETTChat

Pete Johnson‏  @Peter_Porpoise

Do not ever ever ever buy new shoes for @bett_show #BettChat #bitterexperience #blisters

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

Again for visitors, we have free coffee vouchers on our stand… others likely do too #BETTChat

Peter   @ClickViewPeter

#bettchat Enjoy the new venue and remember the excellent Olympics!

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

#Bett_show is great opportunity for us to catch up with our existing customers, and demo our solutions to other education users #BettChat

Frog  ‏@frogtrade

The most important thing is – enjoy it! It’s like Christmas for our staff – we love BETT #bettchat

Claire Ashton  ‏@ClaireAshton

@frogtrade We could test it next year, although slippers all day may not be such a good idea #BETTChat

TOPdesk UK‏  @TOPdesk_UK

#BettChat Universities get involved! http://www.unidesk.ac.uk #servicemanagement @BETT_show

Mango Marketing‏  @Mango_Marketing

@selectec @Bett_show – we agree! #Bettchat

Peter ‏  @ClickViewPeter

#bettchat turn up on the last not second week of January!

Mango Marketing‏  @Mango_Marketing

@Peter_Porpoise We second this! #feelyourpain #bettchat

ClickView UK  ‏@ClickViewUK

Our office team get to leave their desks for 4 days and meet our customers in person. It’s like going to the Oscars for them…! #bettchat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

It will be cold outside but may be warm inside! Olympia always was but new venue so who knows? Try to dress for all eventualities #BETTChat

Clip Display Ltd‏  @clipltd

@CapitaSIMS Great point & often not thought about! The staff on the stand are incredibly important for a successful event #BETTChat

Pete Johnson  ‏@Peter_Porpoise

make sure your stand build takes into account (lockable) space for coats and bags for your staff #bettchat

Pete Johnson‏  @Peter_Porpoise

be as pleasant to the person approaching at 3.59 on Saturday as you are to peeps on 1st day – they might just be from a MOE 🙂 #bettchat

Smoothwall‏  @Smoothwall

Plan your journey to the #Bett_Show in advance by using the travel guidehttp://www.excel-london.co.uk/visitors/interactivebigpicturemap … #BettChat

Clip Display Ltd‏  @clipltd

Do your sums and work out just what success looks like! Try our lead target calculator for exhibitors… http://www.clipdisplay.com/apps-and-advice/lead-target-calculator … #BETTChat

Mango Marketing  ‏@Mango_Marketing

Think about on-stand events to tempt visitors & don’t forget to use #Bett_Show (official hashtag, 1 tweet per second during show) #bettchat

Mango Marketing‏  @Mango_Marketing

Data pens are invaluable during busy times – have somebody qualify leads so you can follow up post-show for best ROI #bettchat

Clip Display Ltd‏  @clipltd

@Mango_Marketing Definitely! Download our free to use Lead Capture App to collect & rate leads: http://www.clipdisplay.com/apps-and-advice/lead-capture-app/ … #BETTChat

InfoMentor UK  ‏@infomentoruk

We believe that every school is different, visitors aren’t just leads. Capture conversations not just badge scans 🙂 #Bettchat

Serco E & L‏  @Serco_Education

Visitors and exhibitors should check out the @BETT_show arena – it looks very impressive and is right next to our stand #BettChat

Claire Ashton‏  @ClaireAshton

@infomentoruk We find we need paper too! Electronic ways of capturing interest are never enough, both together can work #BETTChat

Mango Marketing‏  @Mango_Marketing

Have a think about what you could give teachers visiting your stand that could make life easier – top tips, insight, research etc #bettchat

Mango Marketing‏  @Mango_Marketing

@ClaireAshton @infomentoruk We agree! Using them both together is the best way – follow up is better for everyone then! #Bettchat

Bryan Plumb‏  @BryanPlumb

@Mango_Marketing Or alternatively, one of these https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ai5JRBzCQAAIlrQ.jpg:large … #bettchat

Capita SIMS  ‏@CapitaSIMS

One more tip, give school presenters name badges and explain exactly what BETT is like. They won’t be used to a transient audience #BETTChat

Capita SIMS‏  @CapitaSIMS

@clipltd Thanks! We familiarise colleagues with the presenters, try to engage with them all day with customers #BETTChat

Bett‏  @Bett_show

And #BettChat is over for another week – thanks everyone! Some great tips. Remember to tweet us your suggestions for next week’s topic!

Clip Display Ltd‏  @clipltd

Thanks @Bett_show! Best of luck to everyone taking part in #BETT_Show! We hope you have a great event #BETTChat

InfoMentor UK‏ @infomentoruk

Good luck to everyone exhibiting and to everyone visiting, have a fantastic time and we look forward to seeing you there #bettchat

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ICT: Challenging but exciting times ahead

Terry FreedmanTerry Freedman share his views and gives advice on the challenges that lie ahead for teachers with regards to ICT and education in general.

The challenge of waiting for the new curriculum, CPD, keeping up with new technologies, finding out the best and most cost-effective way of using technology across all subjects to engage pupils, budgetary restrictions, creating the next generation of innovators etc.

What a year 2012 was! First we celebrated the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Then we celebrated the Olympics and the Paralympics. One of the Olympic venues was the Excel centre, the new home of the Bett show. Perhaps fittingly, the events held there included boxing and weightlifting…. So, should we in the ICT community be celebrating – or commiserating with one another?

Well, let’s just stand back for a few moments and look at the overall picture. Mainstream schools no longer have to follow the Programme of Study for ICT (although they do have to teach ICT in some form or other). As part and parcel of this, schools do not have to abide by the Attainment Targets and their associated Levels. There is no longer a designated central budget for schools to spend on ICT.

Even Ofsted is taking a hands-off approach in the sense that inspectors will be looking for evidence of learning taking place, which means that teachers can use ICT in their lessons how they like as long as their pupils are making the progress expected of them. Slavish adherence to detailed lesson plans is no longer required (although lessons will still be expected to have been planned!). Even the much-publicised observation by Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw that mobile phones can be disruptive in lessons and that he didn’t allow them to be used in his school was not an edict to ban them from the classroom but, I think, a challenge: if you’re going to allow them in school make sure they are used purposefully. As for advice on how to do so, there are no longer official agencies to guide you, and time and money for CPD are, as ever, difficult to come by.

If we had to sum up all of this in a single phrase it would be, I think, “Laissez-faire”, which literally means “let it be”. This is either incredibly liberating, rather scary, or a little of both.

Last year, I invited people to respond to an online survey about the trends seen at Bett 2012 and what the future might hold. The two stand-out features were more and more cloudbased applications, and more mobile, mainly tablet, devices. These two trends are not unrelated, of course.

On a purely anecdotal level, it would seem that schools are becoming more and more interested in one-toone computing as a way of engaging learners and making anytime-anywhere access to the internet a reality. There have been number of trials involving the use of tablets such as iPads. While there are advantages of giving students a tablet of their own, such as the fact that they can use it wherever they happen to be, there are challenges involved too, namely the expense at a time when there are no ringfenced funds for ICT. How have schools squared this particular circle?

They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and to overcome their financial constraints some schools are starting to look at the idea of Bring Your Own Device, which is something I have been researching of late. This side-steps the financial burden associated with buying and upgrading a large number of devices. However, BYOD brings its own potential headaches which schools need to think through before doing anything. In other words, BYOD is not a quick fix, and a few building blocks need to be in place before it can start to be implemented.

Interestingly, on the subject of budgets and spending, things are not all doom and gloom. According to recent research from BESA (An assessment of digital content sales in UK schools, April 2012), sales of digital content have risen, especially in primary schools. The result, is that a 5% increase in spending is predicted for 2012. That’s a welcome sign because it would seem to suggest that an absence of designated funding for ICT may not lead to an overall fall in spending on it.

The research does not provide reasons for this, but it could be that the disapplication of the ICT Programme of Study from September has led schools to rethink what they are doing in ICT and try something new. Providing a curriculum that will inspire the next generation of e-learners, is a challenge and a half – but how exciting to be able to wipe the slate clean and start completely anew!

In my opinion, the only way to cope with all these challenges is to become something of a researcher. That doesn’t mean walking around in a white coat and carrying a clipboard, but taking the time and effort to find out what other people are trying. Even if you don’t have much time, that would be a worthwhile investment. There are several ways you can do so. I’d say going to the Bett show is an absolute must – and I’m not saying that just because I am writing this for a Bett publication! Bett is an excellent opportunity to get to see the latest products, hear what people are doing in their own classrooms, and to meet other people facing the same challenges as you.

If you’re not already on Twitter, sign up now! The days when people told everyone what they are having for breakfast seem to have gone, thankfully. Search for #edtech or #ictineducation and follow a few of the people who appear in the list. I’ve found this invaluable for finding out about new resources, reports and websites.

Go to http://www.technorati.com and search for blogs on educational technology or ICT in education, and fi nd one or two that you like the look of.

There are two good things about having a laissez-faire environment. First, nobody can truly say they have the answer. The time is right for trying new things out, whether in terms of the curriculum (should you have a greater emphasis on computer programming), assessment (how do you judge standards?) or technology (tablets or laptops?). Second, because of that I sense a real excitement in the air, and a greater than ever willingness to share.

Have a good Bett!

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Filed under Comment, Terry Freedman

Having a BETTer experience

Terry Freedman, independent educational ICT consultant and publisher of the ICT in Education website, shares his tips for getting the best out of BETT.

As a BETT veteran (should that be ‘BETTeran’?), I have developed a number of strategies over the years for getting the most out of BETT.

Now, you might think that this is a bit over the top – after all, how hard can it be to just turn up, whiz round, and do everything you need to without any planning? Well, the answer is that you could do that, but you won’t necessarily benefit as much as you might have done with a little planning.

BETT is big in terms of numbers: last year there were over 30,000 visitors. BETT is big on ideas as well. There’s always a healthy crop of cutting edge technology, not all of which has immediately obvious application in education, but is valuable nonetheless in encouraging out-of-the-box thinking. The seminars and conference are also increasingly important sources of invaluable information In fact, BETT is now regarded as the biggest educational technology show in the world. All well and good, but how can you ensure getting the best out of BETT?

I’ve written over 50 top tips for BETT which will be published soon in my newsletter, Computers for Classrooms because there isn’t room here for that many! So here are seven key ones to be thinking about.

Why bother?

I think one good reason is, quite simply, the buzz. While it’s difficult to quantify it in any way, there is definitely a value in taking the opportunity to become (re)inspired by the sheer range and amount of resources available.

There’s another reason: you might find a cost-effective solution to a budget-related problem. Last year, for example, I came across at least two products I hadn’t heard of before which could potentially save a school thousands of pounds per year.

But perhaps the most important reason is that it’s an opportunity for some really good professional development, both formally, in the form of seminars, and informally, in the form of talking to people.

Before BETT

Ask permission to go! It’s an obvious statement to make, but it’s a good idea to make sure your attendance at BETT is in the school calendar and planned for. With any luck, that will make it less likely to be cancelled at the last minute because of a colleague’s absence.

Register online, free of charge. It makes it much quicker to get in than lining up when you arrive.

Get yourself some business cards. Apart from the fact that handing someone your card looks a lot more professional than writing your email address on the back of their show catalogue, there are two other benefits. First, you can drop your cards into prize draw boxes. Second, instead of carting home reams of stuff, you can ask exhibitors to contact you after the show – without having to fill out one of their contacts forms.

During BETT

If you get thirsty, look out for free water which may be provided by some exhibitors.

When you strike up a conversation with someone, or meet up with colleagues, always ask: what have you seen today that has excited you? And then follow up on their suggestions.

After BETT

Arrange a team meeting for as soon as possible after the show. Have each team member say what three things most excited them, and three new ideas they picked up, plus what needs to change in your current practice. OK, “three” is an arbitrary and artificial number, but you get the idea.

A forthcoming edition of Computers in Classrooms will include dozens more suggestions. See you at BETT!

Terry publishes the ICT in Education website at http://www.ictineducation.org and the Computers in Classrooms newsletter at http://www.ictineducation.org/nesletter.

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Filed under Comment, Terry Freedman