Once Christmas and New Year festivities are out of the way and everyone returns back to work, the calendar event that stands out in January is the education roadshow BETT at ExCeL London.
BETT is the first industry show of the year in the education technology landscape, bringing together over 800 leading companies, 103 exciting new EdTech startups and over 34,000 attendees. People from over 146 countries in the global education community come together to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education, as well as seeing how technology and innovation enables educators and learners to thrive. This year colleagues from Elements, Springwell, Greenacre & Wellspring Central Team made the trip down south to London to seek creative ideas and inspiration for our future technology in the classrooms investments.
Miro – E, an advanced Al robot with animal-like qualities that is adapted for the educational market is a perfect fit for any classroom especially SEN and SEMH. The Miro-E contains over 25 sensors, allowing it to see, hear and interact with its environment and, through a specialised programming interface, endless programming opportunities to push student creativity. More information on Miro-E can be found online and on YouTube.
appiTab by Osborne Technologies is a ‘just released’ multipurpose interactive table aimed at preschool and younger years students but realistically works at all age groups (we had fun testing it out!). The table top design allows students to gather around and collaborate interactively with each other. The device is powered by the Android operating system which is found in most modern tablets, enabling access to 1000s of games and educational learning content. Simple games like pool require students to work together to determine the angle of shots and cue pressure. There is a real sense of achievement when you sink a ball into the pocket as a team. More information can be found on their website: https://www.appitab.com
Google Education. Seminars run in the main arena throughout the week at BETT and this year I signed up to a session titled ‘Driving Change Through Reflection: Emerging Trends in Education & How to Embrace the Future’ by Liz Sproat – Head of EMEA – Google for Education.
For me one of the main highlights would have to be the Google stand – it was really useful to see first-hand the creativity that can be achieved with Chromebooks and Google Education. I also picked up some accessibility tips on the Chromebook that I wasn’t aware of and now can’t wait to try them out with pupils. And just generally speaking, it was brilliant having the opportunity to speak face to face with people who are passionate about the use of technology in education. I was particularly on the lookout for coding and programming based technology that can be used with pupils working below Year 1 and I found lots to feel inspired by. Charlotte Walker – Teaching and Learning Lead and Computing Subject Lead.
At BETT I came across a company called Divoom with a unique product that I have not seen before. The product was a small frame of 16×16 pixels that allowed pupils to create stop motion animations. It can also be supplied with programmable hardware buttons to enable younger pupils and those with complex needs to be able to program their animations easily. Alternatively an iOS or Android application can be used to program the animated frames. Once students have programmed the unit it will continue to display the stop motion animation they have created on a continuous loop. I thought this was a great way to engage pupils in the basic principles of computer programming, whilst giving learners the freedom to create their own unique content and encouraging creativity. Scott Chappell – Springwell IT Support Engineer
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