Bett bites: Bett 2020 highlights

Couldn’t get to Bett this year? Or made it to Bett but couldn’t get round to everything (yes, we were a bit overwhelmed at the size of it this year, too!)? Never fear, we’ve rounded up all the shiny new things that caught our eye in this Bett bites highlights blog post

The London CLC team at Bett 2020 - read their top finds and themes below.

Apps, tools and – of course – robots

Cloud Stop Motion from the makers of Zu3D, which has been a popular stop motion app, looked exciting. It runs in a browser and so looks to be good across a number of platforms – we’ll be checking it out for our chromebooks as well as other devices.

2Simple’s new releases are officially launched in the next few days and, quite separate from Purple Mash, are:

Dot com digital to support safeguarding and wellbeing. It offers free content available to any school as well as additional material for subscribers. It’s been developed by children in conjunction with Essex Police and other national organisations and charities and themes covered include recognising personal warning signs, grooming and county lines.

Also from 2Simple is Python in Pieces. Although this is aimed at secondary schools it would be of interest to some primary schools for upper key stage 2 pupils. It helps make the transition from block-based coding such as Scratch to the text-based language of Python with a clever split screen, simultaneous display and support for non specialist teachers too.

Among the robots and systems our teaching and learning consultant Peter Lillington particularly liked were

  • Miro-E (you may have spotted the robot dogs at London CLC already)
  • Modi – a robust modular system for quick creation of working models with a range of blocks
  • In a similar modular vein, but aimed at a younger age range, is RoboWunderkind. It comes with a simple app to programme in a visual way

These, and some of the other options on display, we aim to look into in a bit more detail in the coming term. And that’s one of the plus as well as minus points of Bett: so many lots attractive resources to explore! Always ask: do they really suit and are they within budget?

Themes

CPD was an important and very popular area of focus this year – more on that below. Inclusivity and diversity was a real discussion point, whether creating diverse resources for use in geography and history (which we covered in a CPD session), the SEND talks or engagement of the underrepresented in technology.

The international element was another focus and we saw a lot of interest around collaboration from international organisations.

Other Bett highlights

The emphasis on CPD this year was a very welcome development. There is a clear need and it was popular – we spoke to a number of people who said they were exclusively at Bett for the CPD, including some visitors who had travelled from abroad for that purpose. In fact, about half of the participants in our sessions were from overseas.

We delivered a full day of professional development across six workshops on the Professional Development Stage in North and South Halls, covering:

  • Pedagogy and future software developers with Scratch, with Rowan Roberts
  • Storytelling with digital technologies, with Sarah Horrocks and Caitlin McMillan
  • Enhancing primary history and geography with digital technologies, with Peter Lillington and Caitlin McMillan
  • Technology in early years, with Sarah Horrocks and Louise Wade
  • Schools – saving time, working smarter, with Peter Lillington
  • Leadership of technology and digital strategy, with Sarah Horrocks and Peter Lillington

The sessions were packed – standing room only for every workshop – and feedback was excellent.  Find out more about our CPD

Finally…we can’t not mention our second Bett award win. For the second year running, our work with schools was recognised in the support and service category at the Bett show, the most high profile awards in the schools edtech world. We became the first to win this category twice since the awards started in 2013 and it follows our shortlisting in 2018. We were also finalists in the Collaboration with a School award this year alongside our partner school, Iqra Primary School.

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