BETT 2022 (including day 2)

After my Bett day 1 post (read more here) I was intending to post at the conclusion of day 2 however having travelled home, feeling a little bit under the weather (but not covid thankfully), and suffering from Bett fatigue this just didn’t happen.   As such I thought I would combined my Bett day 2, and overall Bett post into a single post;  this one.

Day 2

So, day 2 for me didn’t get off to a great start as I woke feeling a bit under the weather, however thankfully the lateral flow tests indicated negative.    As such I decided to cancel a planned breakfast meeting in order to get a couple of extra hours in bed in the hope of feeling better.   I was also concious of having to travel home at the end of the day, having only been able to justify attendance at 2 of the 3 days of Bett, as such I thought the extra bed hours were wise.

I spent a bit of time of day 2 supporting the Association of Network Managers in Education (ANME) on the stand area they had on the NetSupport stand.   This was good as it allowed me to have discussions with IT staff from a couple of schools which I wouldn’t otherwise have talked with, discussing issues and possible solutions.   Again, this highlights the key benefit of the Bett show in the opportunity to network with colleagues.

It was while on the stand that Bukky stopped by for a chat.   I always come away from chats with Bukky feeling positive and upbeat and this time was no different.   We discussed a number of different areas including assessment and how there is a need to explore how technology can be better used to change the examinations and assessment systems which currently still rely on paper based exams.    Mark Anderson also popped by, and I was introduced to Esam from Microsoft leading to a nice group selfie.   I note on reflection, I may have briefly met Esam at a Microsoft FE event some years back however at the time and in the busy day and number of people met, I didn’t associate the face or name.  And this is a problem I often have at Bett, recognising who I have or havent met in the past, including those I have only met via social media;   It is however great when Bett provides you an opportunity to meet someone you have previously only corresponded with online.

During day 2 I also had the opportunity to meet up with an ex-colleague who is now working for a college.  He was at the event with a new apprentice, so it was nice to see them both exploring Bett and was a good opportunity to introduce them to the ANME, which I am not sure FE colleges are as aware of as schools.

Before I knew it, it was time to jump on the train and head home.

Bett 2022

I suspect on reflection that 2 days at Bett is likely to be about the most I could reasonably allocate to the show.   I will admit there were a few people I had wanted to meet, who due to time, etc I didn’t manage to catch up with, plus there were a few presentations I missed which may have been good to attend.   That said, I think this year, although the need for planning your time at Bett was clear, I also realised the importance of allowing some time to support those unintended catchups and meetings which could never be planned.

For me, sadly not feeling so great towards the end of the first day, and into the second day impacted on what I was able to achieve;  Sadly there is little I could have done about this.   It had been a busy couple of weeks leading up to Bett and I think this simply caught up with me.

Again, looking back, the key benefit of Bett is the networking opportunities.   During the two days I caught up with a variety of other educational professionals in different roles and in different educational contexts, and was able to chat and discuss the opportunities and challenges, including how technology is being, or could be used.    Without Bett, and similar other shows, these opportunities wouldn’t exist.     It was at this point I also thought about the ANME trail, which sees visitors to the show encouraged to visit a set of stands to try and win prizes;  I love the way this encourages visitors to follow a path around the venue, and in doing so hopefully encourages opportunities for networking and discussion.   

I didn’t manage to attend as many presentations as I intended during the two days, however I think this is partly due to some incidental meetings, which resulted in me not going to some of the presentations I planned to go to.  On reflection, I think this was a fair exchange.   The presentations I did manage to attend were all useful and informative, so it is definitely worth reviewing the programme of events ahead of Bett and planning which sessions to see, even if you don’t eventually get to them.


Bett continues to be a big event in the UK EdTech calendar.    I am not sure I go for the stands anymore, instead going for the presentations and the mainly for the networking side of things.   And the networking side of things never fails to deliver, especially following a 2 year absence from face to face meetings at Bett.

Looking forward to Bett 2023, I think I will be in attendance once again.   I suspect one area I need to work on is planning to visit more of the stands, and particularly those stands which represent new start-ups and solutions, as opposed to the established brands and products.  

Bett 2022 was another useful, memorable and fun event.   Here’s looking forward to Bett 2023.


Day 1 of BETT

OK so lets start with the usual BETT mishap, and this years one is a good one.   Basically had a breakfast meeting setup for during BETT, occurring in the centre of London.    So I departed my BETT hotel and headed out early in the morning, necessitating getting up around 6am.   And so it was I arrived early, found the location and took in some views of the Thames, before presenting myself at the venues security area, an area populated by around 15 security staff and me, their first visitor of the day.    But they had no reference of the event I was attending.   A quick look at the invite and it was dated the 24th March, tomorrow, I had just somehow got it in my head it was on day 1 of BETT.   I was not just early, I was 24 hours too early!     Now am not sure how I will ever top this one.


So, onto BETT itself.    The main benefit of the event is the networking side of things, and once again it provided on this side of things.    I spent a bit of time with the Association of Network Managers in Educations (ANME), spoke with Steve Beswick from Microsoft in relation to the Microsoft Surface Devices and inking and discussed cyber security and data protection with Tony Sheppard

I also said quick hellos to Mark Anderson and Al Kingsley on the Netsupport stand and to Abdul Chohan and Aarti Malani ahead of their session plus to Tom Dore from British esports (and am being careful to ensure I write esports correctly following Toms session) and Ian Stockbridge.     And apologies to others I may have missed off, in my foggy recollection at the end of a busy first day.   I will note I need to get better with my selfies, as despite the many hellos or quick chats I came away with very few selfies.

Esports and cyber

I took in Tom Dores talk on esports, which really highlighted the potential esports has as a vehicle to engage students and to promote soft skills plus also the digital citizenship skills and knowledge increasingly needed in this technological world.    This highlights my need to continue to encourage and support esports in schools.

I also took in two cyber security discussions, with the most significant comment being the need to discuss “Cyber Resilience” of schools rather than the narrower focus of “cyber security”, looking largely only towards preventative measures.   I also liked the 10 recommendations which one of the sessions finished on which included the need to adopt a “Continuous Improvement Cycle”, with this need echoed in the 2nd of the two sessions.   The need for the wide awareness of cyber risks among staff but more particularly as something discussed at a senior level, regularly, with this referring to daily or weekly rather than an annual discussion.

Interactive Panels

I wont make much of a discussion on this as sadly there were still quite a few companies hocking their interactive panels and projectors.   Not really that much of a surprise from a business perspective as, if you take them as useful, the market comprimses of every single classroom in every school, across the world;   As such I need to get over this issue;   As long as there is a market and a profit I suspect interactive panels will continue to show up at EdTech shows.    One interesting trend though this year, was the projectors setup to create large interactive floor surfaces or walls rather than your traditional board wall space.   It’s a minor variation of the interactive panel theme and I can see some interesting use cases with younger kids, but still feels a bit like old tech, just wrapped up as something new and shiny, and I note I saw i3 doing similar things almost 10 years ago now.

AI and Machine Learning

It came up in some of my discussions especially in relation to cyber security products, but as it was quite a busy day I didn’t really push anyone in defining how AI or machine learning was utilised within their products.   Maybe something to focus on in day 2.


Day 1 was a busy one.    My step count by the end of the day was around 15,000 steps, and being above 6ft tall, plus tending to walk at a brisk pace, this means I covered some surface area, in and around the chats and presentations.    Although BETT this year Is smaller, it didn’t really feel smaller.

Was it worth it coming down for BETT?    I would suggest it was however at the end of day 1 I wonder in myself whether I could have made more of day 1.    But that is an issue I am more concious of in myself these days, that maybe the search for continuous improvement leaves me always feeling a little disappointed no matter how things have gone.    Maybe I need to relax a little, network, have fun and just be content with having achieved all that I could achieve.

Some BETT Show advice

Its been a while since the last face to face BETT show, so I thought I would share what I hope is some useful advice in advance of the event.

Wear comfy shoes

There will be a lot of walking involved, although my understanding is that the event is smaller than it was previously, it still presents a significant bit of floor space.   As such it is important to be prepared and therefore to have comfy shoes on, and also generally comfortable attire.   That said, I suspect I will be in suit as per normal;  I once wore my suit on a trip with year 7 and 8 students to Blackpool zoo, so suspect this is simply a habit when working.

Bring a supply of Bru (or other drink!)

There are places to get a drink and a bite to eat but, in my experience, they can be busy, plus sometimes have limited choice, and tend to be expensive.    As such it’s worth making sure you bring something to drink with you, which in my case has to be “the bru”.   I will also be trying to get my usual Irn-Bru themed selfies as usual, but more on selfies later.

Have a plan

I think this is the most important piece of advice I can give.    With Bett I feel you get what you put in.   If you go without a plan, you are likely to get little from the event, or at least will get less than you could have got.    As such look at the programme of presentations, look at the stands, consider the colleagues who will be there and then consider what you want to achieve.   With this information you can now plan your trip, which stands you will visit, what speakers you will go and listen too, etc.    You can make sure that you get to the speaker sessions relevant to you and your school, avoiding the disappointment of a missed session.   That little bit of effort in planning your visit will pay off when you reflect back on what you have got from the event.


The BETT Show is also a great opportunity to get some selfies in;   Now I have never been too good at this so it is something I need to work on.    When do you interrupt a little networking discussion to ask, “Can I get a selfie?”   The key benefit of a couple of selfies, is the ability to use them as a conversation starter online, and to engage with other EdTech people via social media.   Its also nice to keep a record of who you met and bumped into to reflect back later in the year or further into the future.    Am increasing aware of the need to gather photos as a record of my endeavours to help when my memory fails me.  

Enjoy and network

Above all BETT is a technology show, with people there to share their thoughts, to share their products and to generally explore technology in education.    As such take the time to network and meet people, discuss your thoughts and ideas and seek the views of others.   Enjoy the fact that for the duration of the BETT show there are people from all over, all located in the same building because of their shared interest in how technology can be used to support, enhance and redefine the educational experiences of our students.   BETT is the home of the EdTech crowd.


I have in the past been disappointed with BETT but in recent years I have come to realise it isnt about all the stands and the presentations, that which disappointed me, but about the people you meet and interact with while there.    Its about networking, and about a little fun.    So, with that in mind, I have a plan, my comfy shoes are ready, the Bru will be packed, and I will be off once more to network with as many EdTech enthusiasts as possible.

Look forward to meeting some of you on the BETT show floor, do feel free to stop me and say hi if you see me and if we don’t bump into each other, I just hope you have a great visit!

BETT Show 2022

It’s the BETT conference this week.   Last time I was there was 2020, as the last couple of years have been without it, without the biggest EdTech event in the UK calendar, so this one will be a little special.   As such I thought I would share some thoughts in advance of the event.

Lost again?

Let’s start out with the inevitable for me;  getting lost on the tube, missing a train, etc.  Will this year be the year I manage to get to and from BETT without any drama, or will it simply be another year, another transit related mishap?


One of the things I am looking forward to is the inclusion of esports in this years event.   I see great potential for esports within education so it is nice to see that esports will have a visible presence at BETT.  Am particularly looking forward to catching up with Tom Dore and seeing his presentation on “Esports: What educators need to know that your students know already!”.    The potential is there, it is now just for schools and colleges to get on board.

Meeting and networking

For me this is the big reason for going to BETT.  It is the opportunity to meet up with colleagues from schools and colleges across the UK and discuss the possibilities and the challenges in relation to the use of technology in schools.    It is this sharing of thoughts and ideas, along with the common goal of BETT, that of supporting the effective use of technology in education, that brings me to the event most years.   

Cyber Security

I have spoken and wrote a reasonable amount on cyber security in schools over the last couple of years so it was with interest I noted a number of presentations on the very subject at BETT.    I will be eagerly attending a few of these to get an insight into others approaches and thoughts, to see how these align with my own and where there might be areas for me to build on and improve.   Cyber security is a growing concern for schools and I think the presence of a number of presentations on the subject just highlights this, but also that this fact has been recognised.

Interactive panels

I mention interactive panels, as my ongoing dislike for them continues although the reducing price point of them makes them a little more palatable.   The issue I have had with BETT over the last few years has been the number of companies showing off their interactive panels or interactive projectors or the new software they have for use alongside interactive display devices.   My issue with this is that SMART started selling interactive whiteboards around 25yrs ago, so in a tech conference I wouldn’t expect 25yr old tech, which in tech terms is an age, to be taking up such a significant part of the event arena.   Now I hope this year this won’t be quite as big an issue, and especially given I believe the BETT event has a lesser floor space than in previous years, however only time will tell.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

AI  and ML have been buzz words of the last couple of BETT shows however the reality is that the solutions reportedly using AI often weren’t.  It is my hope therefore this year to maybe see some interesting ideas or applications of AI and ML, beyond the speculative future gazing as to possible uses, or the mis-marketing of use, where it isnt.    I will however be honest that I suspect this hope will likely be dashed.


The BETT Show 2022 will once again bring EdTech enthusiasts together in a single building to share thoughts, ideas and solutions.   I will be there, and am looking forward to catching up with colleagues from other schools and colleges.   I will also be trying to take in as many of the speaker sessions as I can.  

I am once again looking forward to BETT.   Here’s hoping I won’t be disappointed (and that I don’t get too lost on the way there or the way back)

EdTech Conversations and BETT 2020: Reflections

20200123_115436_resizedAnother year another BETT and guess what?  Once again, I failed to learn from experience and decided to make my way down via train and once again it went wrong.  This time it was simply my first train being late leading to me missing my connecting train.  This had the same concertina impact as I experienced last year leading to me rushing around.  Maybe next year I will learn?   Third time lucky?

On top of this, as I was visiting the EdTech Conversations event at the London Design and Engineering UTC first, I found that the google location for the venue actually took me the wrong way.  Thankfully some helpful students were on hand to assist and point me in the correct direction plus we had a good chat regarding the architecture course the two lads were studying.   One consolation was that at least I decided to take the DLR to the event rather than choosing to do what Ty Goddard had suggested was a 10min walk from BETT to the UTC;   Clearly according to a few audience members who had accepted Ty’s guidance, the walk was significantly more than 10mins.

Now my reason for being at the EdTech Conversations event was to present on School Tech Strategy.   On reflection I think my session was a little bit of a rambling so I must admit to being disappointed with myself.   In addition, I had technical issues with my wireless pointer, something which I should have checked before setting out.    That said, I hope those in attendance understood what I believe to have been my main point in the need for all schools, educators, support staff, etc to work together more, share their experiences, ideas and thoughts and take a more collective approach to education in general.   We all have different views, ideas, experiences, contexts, etc and together we are infinitely stronger than trying to go it alone and often re-invent the wheel.

20200123_140747_resizedIn terms of the other speakers, who presented in a more professional and polished manner than myself, I found Emma Darcy and her discussion with Ty very interesting discussing. I particularly liked her mention of preparing students for “jobs of the future” which fits with my views in the needs to do more in relation to digital citizenship.

I think my highlight from the event would be Laura Knight who despite expressing she didn’t quite agree with my “journey” idiom, went on to say so many things I agreed with.    I loved her focus on the human aspect of strategy in presenting her EdTech leader superpowers and the need to be ambitious, fearless, to find simplicity and to be relentless.    I think the human aspect of EdTech and of strategy in general is often overlooked but given it is people who generally enact strategy we should in fact have people at the forefront of thinking.

20200123_145926_resizedAlso, another highlight was Mark Steed.  Now I have heard mark speak on a number of occasions, but his 6 lessons were particularly interesting.   Like Laura Knight he mentioned the need to focus on people, adding to this regarding a focus on training.   He also highlighted that although his strategy appears to have been very successful it wasn’t without errors.  I think this is an important message in that in reviewing others strategies and approaches it almost always looks like a straight line; they were here then did X and Y and got to there.   The reality thought is that there would likely have been lots of wrong turns, mistakes, problems so its more like they did A, B, C, D, E and A and B didn’t work, C had to be adjusted and became F, and eventually they got to X and Y and success.   I think this is what I was trying to get across with my journey idiom however I don’t think I was successful in this.

Overall the EdTech Conversations event was fun and useful, and I look forward to more discussion-based events like this in the future.

20200123_153225_resizedAs to BETT, after all my rushing around I only ended up with a couple of hours in BETT so can only offer a rather superficial view.   Sadly, this view is that the event generally seemed very much the same as it has in every year I have attended since returning to the UK.   If you had a specific stand or vendor to see, then it would be useful but if you are seeking to browse or to find innovative ideas then I think you would have been disappointed.   This at least was my initial view on reflecting having returned home.     A few days have passed this then I have reflected a bit more and I can see how BETT can be seen as very worthwhile now.   It isn’t in the EdTech conference which the event is, or in the stands of technology vendors.    The strength in BETT lies in the fact the event draws educators and EdTech leaders from across the country and across the world together for 4 days and in the networking this brings.    On hindsight, even in my brief visit, I ended up at one stand where I had conversations with a number of EdTech leaders and as a result came away with plans to connect further and explore ideas and also issues and problems.   But from this comes a question: Can we stimulate the same networking opportunities without the massive cost to vendors to be present at an event like BETT?  A cost they ultimately pass on to their customers; schools.


BETT 2020: Its almost upon us.

bett1Its BETT this week!  Will be popping down to have a brief look on Thursday and also to speak at the EdTech UK Conversations event also on Thursday.   Given the shortness of my visit to BETT I am unlikely to be able to make the most of the various talks and presentations which will be going on.  Sadly, there is little I am able to do about this although I will be planning for a more significant visit to BETT next year assuming my brief visit turns out to be worthwhile.

I expect the BETT event will once again have lots of Interactive Panels and Projectors on display, something which I am not so positive about.    A quick look at the exhibitor list highlights 39 vendors in the Interactive Whiteboard Category;  Am not sure why this 25+ year old technology still occupies such a significant portion of what BETT has to offer.   Of particular interest to my visit will be those exhibitors focussing on STEAM and also AI solutions.   There’s lots of buzz around AI, and I like what Century.Tech are doing, however there are also lots of people saying they are using AI where I am not sure they really are.  I note “Find a stand sharing an AI product that has no AI” on the BETT Bingo card which seems to agree with this perception.   I will also be very interested in any solutions focussed on supporting the development of digital citizenship in schools.  Digital Citizenship has been a particular focus of mine recently and I must admit that the lack of a category for this in the BETT show guide worries me.   My hope however is that vendors covering Digital Citizenship will simply be under different categories.   The Microsoft, iSAMS, Century Tech and Netsupport stands will also all be on my list for a quick visit.

I expect it to be a busy day in terms of travel, BETT and EdTech Conversations.   I look forward to it, to catching up with people and also meeting new people or meeting in real life for the first time.  I will try and share my thoughts and experience shortly after my visit.

BETT 2019

bett1Am sat on the train as I write this returning home from BETT 2019.   Last year I didn’t manage to attend however this year I made an effort and decided to make my way down to the London ExCel on the Saturday.   So what were my impressions and thoughts?

Firstly, I must note it was a bit of a whistle stop tour due to a cancelled train which apparently had sustained damage to its windscreen leading to it being cancelled.   As such I had to wait for a later train and re-plan my journey.   Secondly, I was on this occasion travelling directly to the event via train, the underground and the DLR.   This was the first time I had taken this travel route to BETT and I sadly underestimated the amount of time it would take to make my way from Paddington station over to the Excel, leading to things being a bit rushed as I tried to make my way back for my return train ride home.

As to the conference itself the highlight was a discussion with people at Microsoft in relation to the Surface line of devices.    It was good to sit down and chat about the products and their potential for use in education.    The device I write this post on is my Surface Go which I continue to use as my main device in testing how it might stand up in prolonged use.   So far so good is my view but I hope to know more as we trial with a number of enthusiastic teachers as part of a pilot.    During the meeting with Microsoft I was introduced to their new stylus which is designed specifically for education, apparently being more robust as well as cheaper.    The reduction in cost when compared with the main stylus is a welcome one as it will make the overall Surface Go platform including keyboard and stylus more affordable for schools.   Personally, I think you need the full package of stylus and keyboard/case to make best use of the device.   This new stylus comes with a loop attachment at the end so it can be hung from your neck to prevent loss.   The loop means the eraser option is no longer at the back of the stylus but is now a button on the body.    I liked having erase as a button on the back of the stylus as it fitted my mental model of HB pencils with an eraser on the end, however I am unsure the children we currently teach have the same exposure to HB pencils and therefore although this worked well for me the change to a button on the body may make no difference to them.   I didn’t ask if it was still magnetic like its more expensive brother, however I suspect the answer will be no.  That said I don’t think this would be a deal breaker.     Overall it was a useful meeting to discuss thoughts around Microsoft, the surface and office 365 in particular.

It was nice upon arriving to bump briefly into Mark Anderson just outside the ExCel along with Al Kinglsey.    Due to being in a bit of rush to make my Microsoft meeting I was unable to spend any real time with Mark and Al, which is a pity given I hadn’t actually met Al previously in real life, knowing him only via twitter.    Hopefully I will have time to catch up with both of them properly in the near future.

I am going to jump once more on the number of interactive panel vendors again as again there were lots of them.   Now I know someone previously commented that BETT is an educational technology show so it should be expected to see panels on show, however given the increasing pace of technology I just keep hoping to see more new and interesting technologies and less IWBs or equivalents.     I will however acknowledge that I found myself looking at interactive panels on this occasion as we seek to review our classroom technologies, so if I was looking at IWB equivalents, others must be doing the same so there clearly is a market and therefore an opportunity for those vendors showing of interactive projectors and panels.  I will also acknowledge I continue to have a bit of an issue with IWBs and therefore I am primed and more sensitive to spotting them wherever they are.    I will this time say I did see some interesting stands, beyond IWBs however with the rushed nature of things I didn’t have sufficient time to really explore them.   Will need to bear this in mind for next year.

Cyber security was a little bit of a discussion I had with a school management system vendor which plan to move towards forcing Multi-Factor Authentication on their users.   On one hand this will be a bit of a shock for some and will be met with cries of inconvenience however on another hand I can see exactly where they are coming from.   Schools are being actively targeted due to the large amounts of student and parent data they hold, combined with the busy nature of teachers daily lives, which often lead to simple passwords.     In addition, we have breaches of the likes of Edmodo resulting in significant sets of teacher credentials being available online.   I myself tried a schools name against the HaveIBeenPwned password checker and found hundreds of instances of the use of this as a password, which was subsequently involved in a data breach.   I suspect similarly easily predicted passwords will be in use in schools the world over.

My visit to Bett also saw me visit the ANME stand and catch up with Rick who I had worked with some years ago.    It was good to catch up and I will definitely be getting my team involved in ANME.   I was particularly interested by the start up of a group focusing on the data management side of things.   This fits with our current exploration of PowerBI as a solution to making data more accessible and easily analysed and presented such that school leaders and teachers can make informed and data driven decisions.   As such we will definitely looking to get involved in discussion and sharing of ideas around data management.

I also had a brief discussion with Adobe in relation to licensing following some worried posts I picked up on an Educational IT forum.    The worries lay around a move by Adobe from device licensing towards user based licensing.   This would for some result in significant cost implications.   Thankfully the rep I spoke to told me that licensing would remain the same, but would be a shared device licensing scheme meaning login details would need to be set up for all students using the Adobe applications.    Apparently Adobe are looking at the provisioning side of this including single sign on to try and make the end user experience in this changed model work more seamlessly with this due to be addressed around April this year.   We also had some discussion as to how schools might be offered more flexibility to have some shared device licensing and some user based licensing.   This might be useful for students studying A-Level or BTec Art subjects in that the license would allow the students to install the software on home machines.


And so BETT 2019 has come and gone.    It was an early start to get to BETT by train but worthwhile.    Here’s looking forward to BETT 2020 and hopefully making it a less rushed experience.

See you all in a years time!!!

Bett 2017

bettphotoA 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.


Reflections on BETT 2016


On Thursday 21st I visited the BETT exhibition after 8 years away.   During those 8 years I attended the GESS.GEF and BETT/BFE Middle East events which I was none too impressed with.    As such my visit to BETT 2016 was always going to involve a comparison with my experiences in the Middle East.   Due to poor planning the visit to BETT was only a short one surrounded with hours sat in traffic driving too and from London.   As I arrived home I was ready to write my usual blog about how I the exhibition offered little and how I was disappointed by what was on show.   As it happened I didn’t write my blog at that time, nor did I write in the days following the exhibition, mainly I suspect, due to my lack of enthusiasm for the event itself.


Then I read a piece by @teachertoolkit (you can read the full piece here) and I reflected on my experience and on my perception of the BETT UK exhibition plus on previous experiences out in the Middle East.    Although I had seen little to impress me with the event I had only spent a short period of hours there.    Maybe to get the full of the experience I would need to spend longer in future.    My perception of the number of people in attendance was that the UK event was significantly busier than the Middle East event and I hadn’t even visited on the first day of the exhibition.    Maybe this was the reason the UAE event had failed to inspire, because of the lack of people in attendance and the resulting lack of opportunities to meet fellow educators, to network and to discuss ideas and experiences.    In the Middle East the people I got to spend with most time were the sales people and obviously their priority is sales as opposed to sharing ideas and best practice.   Had I spent longer at the UK BETT exhibition maybe I would have had the opportunity to engage with more people, share more ideas and overall get more from the event.    I have often remarked that on training events it is the networking, the discussions over coffee, which yield the greatest benefits, yet I did not allow myself any actual time to do this at BETT.

I think, if I am going to give BETT another go next year, I will need to ensure I give myself plenty of time to make the most of the event.   I will also need to plan my time better to ensure I get to see the vendors which I need to see but also allow for opportunities to network and have informal discussions.   Another thing I will need to do is attend TeachMeet BETT as it sounds like an excellent CPD opportunity.

Here’s to BETT 2017!!



%d bloggers like this: