Buzz, flash, beep, click…
At first glance the BETT Show seems much like any other trade show. There are big stands with glossy displays and screens galore. There are the free pens and branded tote bags. But to many BETT veterans there is so much more.
While BETT began as a educational technology show, and there is a strong representation of ed-tech at the event, it has evolved more and more into a an event about the future of learning.
This article originally appeared in the November 2016 edition of UKEdMagazine
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Technology is now interwoven into our daily lives both inside and outside of school and their is now no distinction between learning and learning with technology – it is all simply learning.
While teachers need to make themselves aware of the next big thing in education, it is the myriad of future little things which will incrementally improvement which make the biggest different in your own classroom and are much harder to discover. The exhibitor stands offer a unique opportunity to try tools and services for your school. Teachers should embrace this opportunity to take ideas and methods back to their own classrooms – so put that free notebook and pen you were just given to good use! BETT is an opportunity to play, ask questions, try out, and learn.
The show is the perfect place to discover the possible direction of learning in the future, not simply in terms of the educational tools on show, but by listening to speakers in many different diverse areas of educational research and expertise. The BETT Show has CPD theatres and the BETT Arena where attendees can listen to similar about what is new and what may be just over the horizon. One of the most difficult parts of teachers is trying to future-gaze and prepare your class as best you can for a future 10… 20… 30 years hence. BETT brings everyone together who will be shaping that future for the next generation.
Above all, any place where a large group of educators gather will yield improvements and there are few larger groups than BETT. The yearly pilgrimage is a great chance to meet educators from all over the country and beyond. From old friends, digital Twitter colleagues and talking to new teachers for the first time, BETT is the ideal place to meet fellow educators and exchange ideas.
Being fully informed about the future of learning can improve your teaching today. By knowing what is coming will help you better manage any changes. But most of all it is an opportunity to shape the your own learning journey to help your students with their own futures.