ITNedu exhibited at BETT for the first time this year. BETT is the world’s leading EdTech event bringing together a huge range of companies, resources and speakers at the ExCel centre in London. Business Development Manager Gareth Edwards reflects on the show.
Now in its 32nd year the BETT show is unique among the trade events and exhibitions that I attend. Aside from being the largest EdTech event in the UK, it is different as a significant number of visitors are end users. In EdTech this means teachers and students. Helped by opening on a teacher-friendly Saturday exhibitors are able to get feedback and insight from those that really matter.
It’s not uncommon at BETT to see teachers or ICT managers flanked by a group of students exploring the stands. It’s a proven strategy too – if the students have taken interest there is a teacher taking note not far behind. Armed with just a computer and a TV screen (and the support of an award winning archive of over 2.8 million clips) ITNedu was introduced to the BETT audience. Teachers frequently stopped after being grabbed by the content on show; a murmuration of starlings that could be used to show mathematical mapping, hovercraft racing to explain friction, footage from the Wall Street Crash bringing history to life. It is fantastic to see teachers instantly understand the educational value of what they are seeing (more on the starlings in a moment).
A subject never far from a discussion on video in education is YouTube – An amazing repository of video content, and a prevalent feature in many classrooms. The platform has undeniable benefit, and almost half of 5 to 16 year olds access the site every day. However, teachers are also increasingly aware of its limitations. Access may be problematic as many schools choose to block the site entirely. Videos can be removed due to copyright infringements, and content can be unsuitable. Indeed teachers noted that even adverts and unmonitored below the line comments have caused problems. More fundamentally there are also pedagogic limitations.
A teacher looking for content to illustrate mathematical modelling needs to know in advance that a flock of starlings could be used, and then needs to search the web for an appropriate clip. Using subject matter experts ITNedu has established the educational value of a video in advance, adding metadata outlining the subject, level and learning practice. As such the process is reversed; a teacher can now search for content directly relating to the practice or subject they are teaching, and find it easily in a secure and rights-cleared resource.
BETT continues to showcase and advocate for the very best in EdTech. Combining technology with rich educationally-relevant resources is consistently proven to be vital part of the contemporary classroom.