Over the past few months the education sector has felt the knock on effect of the Government’s changes. The diminishment of programmes such as Building Schools for the Future (BSF), school budget cuts, and the introduction of Free Schools and Academies has presented new – and for some, tough – challenges. The BETT 2011 education show offers a wide range of ideas for responding to the challenges.
Whilst some educators may feel deflated by the budget restrictions or disappointed by the cuts to BSF, it is important to bear in mind that there are means of effectively managing these changes. A thrifty approach, whereby schools consider how to make a lot out of a little, is perhaps more relevant than ever.
BETT, the world’s largest technology in education show taking place from Wednesday 12 to Saturday 15 January 2011, provides a platform to explore the new developments in the sector and how the change can be managed successfully. BETT gives local authority staff and educators the chance to meet with around 700 educational suppliers, attend CPD certified seminar sessions, source advice, and meet with like-minded individuals. By attending the show, these individuals can find out how to help their pennies go the extra mile whilst investing in solutions that can provide long-term benefits.
Classrooms of the future
Managing change is an important element of BETT 2011; those who have found themselves affected by the cuts to BSF may be wondering in which direction they should now turn. The Future Learning Spaces feature has been designed with this in mind and highlights that classrooms of the future are still very much accessible. Here, visitors are provided with a space to find out about creating a learning environment that inspires and motivates learning. Cost-conscious local authorities and schools looking for financially responsible ways to remodel existing learning spaces can visit the Future Learning Spaces area to be inspired! Companies who design, build, manage and equip the UK’s evolving schools will be located in this area to discuss with visitors their requirements, which is of course also of relevance to those who are interested in finding out more about the introduction of Free Schools and Academies.
Also at BETT, visitors will find the Central Feature entitled ‘Visual Learning’. In light of the current climate, the theme of the feature is learning for less in addition to how technology can improve learning. By attending the stand, visitors can see for themselves demonstrations of new technologies from students at Lampton School in Hounslow. The feature, led by Professor Stephen Heppell and sponsored by Impleo, and designed with input from the students themselves, focuses on three themes: using technology to explore the process of transition; technology for revision; and the use of technology to engage girls in science.
Offerings from exhibitors
Over 700 exhibitors will showcase products and services. On stand A16, ParentMail, the school-to-home communication company, is showcasing +Pay at BETT 2011. +Pay is fully integrated into ParentMail so schools can communicate and engage parents electronically as well as manage, collect and bank payments from parents. Schools of all sizes are said to benefit from using ParentMail +Pay, from small village primaries through to large secondary and independent schools.
Stream2School on stand P6 provides schools with the opportunity to source their curriculum application software on a rental basis. Using the latest streaming technologies, Stream2School is able to offer online ‘cloud’ distribution of educational software titles, such as Textease Studio CT, Kar2ouche, Fuse Creator and WriteOnline, at a fraction of the standard list prices. The Stream2School service also provides schools with entirely free access to a selection of open source titles, such as Open Office and Inkscape.
Dataspire on stand B51 is showcasing its two flagship solutions; Dashboard and Citrix Thin Client, and provides advice for those concerned with financial issues. Both systems truly highlight the company’s desire to effectively help schools maintain robust technological systems, in the face of rapidly changing school finances and priorities.
Dataspire’s main aim for all clients is to reduce total cost of ownership and reduce management costs, by revitalising current systems and alleviating many associated strains. Dataspire is holding live on-stand demonstrations outlining how everyday tasks can be made easier through prolonged equipment lifespan, and reducing ICT management costs.
Adobe on stand K40 is holding best practice sessions every 30 minutes, led by teachers from the company’s Education Leaders programme. These teachers promote excellence in education in primary and secondary schools throughout the UK by integrating Adobe tools and applications into every day lessons. These sessions at BETT will be used toshare best practice in the classroom and explain how they are working with government and fellow educators to develop education resources that can be used across the curriculum. Workstations will be set up on the Adobe stand, where visitors will have the chance to try Adobe tools and applications out for themselves and learn how they are being used in the classroom.
To see more examples of the innovative technology on offer to education, pay a visit to the Demonstration Zone, where exhibitors will be highlighting how their products can be used to maximum effect in timetabled sessions. The full timetable will be available on the BETT 2011 website
Advice and support comes by the bucket load at BETT, with a comprehensive and extremely popular seminar programme. This has been divided into five main themes: curriculum & assessment, innovation, management, training & development, and special educational needs. Each seminar is guaranteed to be of the highest quality, providing attendees with inspiration and advice. Seminars are also CPD accredited. Securing a place in a seminar costs £15. Please visit www.bettshow.com/seminars for more information. Ordinarily seminars would also take place on the Saturday of the show, however new for 2011 is Open House @ BETT, where for the first time, meeting spaces and audio-visual facilities are being offered free-of-charge to not-for-profit subject associations, teachers’ associations, organisations and networks.
The growing focus on special educational needs (SEN) over the past year brings an increasing responsibility on school leaders. In the SEN Zone at BETT 2011 visitors will find a comprehensive gathering of educational ICT providers, showcasing the latest and most innovative specialist SEN resources. At the heart of the BETT SEN Zone you will find the SEN Information Point hosted by nasen (stand SN15), the UK’s leading association for encompassing all special and additional educational needs.
BETT 2011 takes place from Wednesday 12 to Saturday 15 January 2011 at London Olympia and is free to attend. For more information and to register, visit the website . Please quote priority code EMM8 on the registration form. You can also find us on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/BETT2011) or Twitter (www.Twitter.com/BETT2011).