A year ago I visited the BETT conference after a significant absence resulting from my time working out in the UAE. At the time I was disappointed however I attributed a large part of this as related to a lack of planning on my part. So for 2017 I had to make sure not to repeat this.
And so it was, that this time around I made sure I had a plan in place for my one day visit. I had chosen to visit on the Thursday to coincide with some of our students working with i3 technologies, with the idea that I would be able to travel down with the students. As it happened I ended up travelling down myself however stuck to the planned day with a hope to catch the students session.
Prior to BETT opening I sat down outside the venue and reviewed my plan making sure I knew where each of the stands I intended to visit were, marking them on the venue map which had been provided. My initial plan included a number of vendors which I wanted to visit with a focus on solutions for monitoring internet traffic and e-Safety. I also had decided upon five presentations which I hoped to see covering a variety of topics including e-Safety, measuring educational technology success and also using Windows 10 in classrooms.
My day turned out to be frantic as I tried to see all the vendors I wanted to see. Quickly this made it apparent that I hadn’t left enough time between the presentation sessions. I ended up only managing to see 4 out of the 5 sessions I planned to see and in 3 cases this involved being stood at the back of the room. That said, they were definitely worthwhile. I am a bit annoyed however that I missed @ictevangelist Mark Anderson’s presentation which happened on the following day, on Friday.
I particularly enjoyed the session from Andy Carpenter and Dave Strudwick from the Plymouth School of Creative Arts. It was great seeing the various videos of their students and the enthusiasm which they had built through engaging and exciting projects. I very much liked how they had achieved an environment where students were able to arrive at lessons and get started in learning immediately without having to wait to be told what to do by their teacher. I think this is something we all need to strive for in developing our students as independent learners.
Having returned home and reviewing twitter tonight I note that #TMBETT is currently going on. This sounds like it is worth attending and having reviewed my blog from a year ago I note I said roughly the same thing then. I wonder whether it will be 3rd time lucky and 2018 will see me staying on for Teachmeet BETT.
Overall I found BETT to be a useful and worthwhile experience this year. The extra time I allowed myself and the initial planning helped. Next year I think I may even consider going for two days rather than one and I will definitely be adding in #TMBETT to my itinerary. But that’s next year so for now all that remains is to say goodbye to #BETT2017.