Google Cardboard lands at CLC and BETT is upon us

Google Cardboard

With the weather finally getting colder and Christmas firmly behind us the CLC team found a unique way to escape the January blues this week with the long awaited arrival of our Google Cardboard.  Potentially the world’s coolest piece of card, it allows users to experience virtual reality on their smartphone. We love the space experience, sparkly stars, planet spotting and a very soothing soundtrack! Watch this space for pupil card base workshops.

Out and about

It’s been a very varied week, Louise started us off using Microscopes to explore the outdoors with EYFS at Henry Fawcett, followed by budding city planners from Henry Fawcett designing an building their own town in minecraft and yr 2 explorers from Rosendale using Google maps to look at Geography at home and overseas. While Sue ran the first of many E-Safety parent sessions…get yours booked in ahead of E-Safety day on 9th Feb. Parents are your biggest allies in keeping children safe online!

BETT – top tips for a great day.

We are off to BETT next week – tweet us if you want to catch up! Here are our tips to make the most of it;

First off, check out the website and download the app  – You will need to formulate a rough plan for the day and the app is a great way to find out what’s going on where.

Pre-register – this can be done on the website and takes seconds but saves alot of hassle on the day

Attend talks and seminars – In addition to the BETT-programmed talks and seminars, many of the suppliers also offer free sessions.  Plan to attend at least a couple of the BETT events as this breaks up your day, gives you an opportunity to learn from others and most importantly enables you to take the weight off your feet for 15 minutes or so.

Have a strategy – You probably already have an idea of the kinds of thing you want to look at.  If you don’t, get thinking.  Check out which suppliers are exhibiting these products and plan your schedule accordingly.  If you don’t have purpose then the exhibition can be overwhelming and exhausting.

Be cautious about giving out your contact details – Most suppliers want your contact details.  You may be tempted by the offer of a free quality street but in return they will hound you with follow up emails and calls.  If you are interested in a product then do pass on your details.  If you are less than keen, then proceed with caution.

Our recommendations as follows – Check out the new BBC Microbit in the Creative Zone.   BBC Microbit will be promoting the device and there will  be talks and demos of the Microbit each day including an interactive talk on Friday 22 from 2-2.30 exploring live coding.  The CLC will receive its batch of Microbits in the next few months.  If you like what you see at BETT then get in touch.

Lego Education is shaking it up this year and instead of their usual display, they are creating the Innovation Hub, where teachers will talk about their experiences with using products like WeDo in the classroom. Visit stand E141 and book some sessions in the Hub. Lego is launching some new products over the next few months, including the new WeDo so do check out their stand and book onto their sessions.  Lego will be running sessions at our summer computing conference so again, if you like what you see at BETT, then do come along to our June conference.

Makeblock mBot is an open-source STEM robot , based on the arduino and compatible with scratch-based and other software.  As there are so few good robots on the market, the mBot is probably worth a look. They are on stand B242.

Hear from Minecraft Education themselves. Each day from 12.30pm – 1pm Michelle Dauphiny (Exec Producer for Minecraft Education) will be presenting on Minecraft in Education at the Microsoft Learn Live Theatre.   Many schools are requesting help with Minecraft at the moment so we shall be listening in to this with interest.

BETT futures is always worth a look to explore new technologies created by start ups from around the UK.  Not all of it is good but there is generally something that is worth closer examination.

and finally to round off our tips for BETT 16 we strongly advise you to wear comfy shoes and pack a sandwich.  The arena is huge so you’ll be notching up the steps on your new Christmas FitBit.  There are lots of food stalls at BETT but queues can be long and meals are pricey.

The CLC team will be at BETT most days so if you want company then do let us know.

Happy BETT 2016.

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