BETT 2018

February 2017 I posted a DigiTeach article encouraging anyone with an interest in technology and education to consider going to BETT 2018.  If you did I hope you enjoyed it.  I happily made my annual trip and would like to share some of the things that caught my eye for whatever reason.  You might have use of them yourself.  Here goes in no particular order.  a lovely to use ‘pen’ for taking digital handwritten notes.  There was no delay time.  put on those headphones and be immersed in the story.  Add movement and the students are hooked.  (I’ve seen adults have great fun too)  this stand had storage solutions for mobile devices that I just thought were very elegant there was a stand with teachers from Finland and the teacher I spoke to had a very good experience with this as a tool to teach with games  you’ve seen the 3D printer well now have a look at the 3D pen with it’s Purple Mash website which has a wealth of resources for the primary school  a website plus app to accelerate children’s progress in maths  gives students the opportunity to independently sit an exam without a reader.  And it is now allowed by our State Exams Commission  

Robots and coding in all forms were definitely the dominant theme this year.  There were many companies demonstrating, all with something slightly different, all equally good no doubt.  I will simply mention the ones where I stopped and chatted.  a block based approach to coding using physical kits and matching software.  It is possible to progress through languages to Java and Python.  I was very curious when I saw that Morse Code was also an option   this is aimed at the 6 year olds up to start coding with very robust blocks for them to physically handle.  I thought they would stand up to the tough testing of the juniors see raspberry pi in a different setting – prompting all that investigation of multiple solutions.  Great fun trying to complete a challenge collaboratively  the bbc micro:bits have sparked so much since they were first distributed for free to Year 7 students in the UK.  Plenty of ideas and jump off points for anyone at any level thinking about coding with their students.

Among the presentations I attended, I learned that in Aberdeen the City Council has undertaken a city wide initiative to address gaps in literacy and numeracy.  Schools are involved with two teachers and two students from every school acting as ambassadors.  The software being used is Texthelp Read and Write and it has been very successful, with some unintended consequences – exam students are using the Audio Maker to create audio files for revision.

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