I think I enjoyed Bett this year more than any other. I went down with purpose; speaking about CPD at my school on the Thursday and investigating learner management platforms on the Friday. Although these challenges were met, it was all I discovered when looking around that really got me excited. Networking, seeing old friends and watching the teachmeet were also highlights but these 5 things made my top 5 Best Betts.
1. Veo Edcation – Video Enhanced Observations
I discovered these guys in the Bett Futures section, possibly my favourite part of The Bett Show. After just going through a video observation coaching programme myself and having to sit back and cringe at myself on camera whilst I teach, this slick app to make the process more focussed was an instant hit. I found the process of watching myself teach incredibly eye opening, but to be able to tag parts of a lesson whilst filming it, in order to instantly jump to different foci opened my eyes wider. A great idea in developing teachers in a slick way that really uses technology to enhance a process.
Back for another year and on a tour from stand, to theatre, to arena. This year they took to the main stage in the Bett Arena and rocked out the entire convention floor with iPad renditions of Guns & Roses’ Sweet Child of Mine, amongst others. The students have truly honed their craft with timing tight and vocals harmonised perfectly. This really was a relaxing and inspirational treat in the heart of this technoverse full of techbabble and sales pitches.
The boys behind Book Creator gave a fantastic Q & A session on the Albion stand. Hosted by fellow ADE, Neil Emery, they started at the creation story of this groundbreaking app, and took us right through to the exciting new features recently released. Best things I learnt: How to make the most of the supercool comic book features (Marvel and DC fonts included) and how to combine books if students; perfect for school trips or foreign exchanges. Who needs Biff and Chip?
These guys didn’t really show me anything new, but they didn’t have to! The energy coming from their combined stand oozed confidence in their product which they know is AWESOME! I have been a massive advocate of Kahoot since I was introduced to it in Catalonia and it really transforms my classroom environment into a hive of activity and energy. The element of competition and instant feedback enthuses students, generating excitement. I use Kahoot in most of my staff training sessions as adults enjoy the interactivity as much as the students. Another great way to use technology to enhance the learning experience, rather than just compliment it. Also got a free T-shirt!
I was surprised to see Explain Everything in the Bett Futures section at Bett, as it has been a stalwart core app for most schools running iPad schemes. They have already enhanced the self recording whiteboard with great sharing features, but here comes a new app: Explain Everything Collaborative Whiteboard. This allows one person to control a whiteboard on their iPad and invite others to collaborate on the same whiteboard on their iPads. The devices must be on the same wifi and their is a subscription cost to make, but this seems like a brilliant development in seeing students working together using tablet technology, rather than on their own projects. I can’t wait to try this out.