Takeaways from Bett 2018

Exploring the 2018 Bett Show

The Bett Show always presents a fantastic opportunity for visitors to discover new approaches and opportunities, covering a truly vast range of ground. Whether you were able to visit Bett or not, there’s no real way to see everything that’s happening at the show, so we’ve taken some time to explore some of the best from Bett 2018, ranging from some of the exciting new developments in the edtech world to some effective advice from the many sessions held across Bett’s arenas.

As part of our stand at Bett this year, we offered completely free advice on practically any edtech issue, from the upcoming effects of GDPR to strategies for getting the best out of edtech, ways to effectively use Raspberry Pi, and far more. We’d like to extend that a bit further - get in touch with Exa for completely free expert advice on practically any question you have!

Sessions, Developments and Advice from Bett 2018

Every year at the Bett Show, there’s dozens of edtech-related sessions, from cross-show events about the state of education to smaller sessions on everything from the export market to post-16 education. At this year’s Bett, we took some time to explore the show - here’s some of our major takeaways from Bett 2018:

Better Value - Teachers and schools are becoming far more cautious about paying for edtech, with shrinking budgets and several bad experiences putting many off making high-value investments. We’ve seen a lot of teachers looking to focus on free edtech options and solidly proven services - a bar that edtech companies are going to have to meet.

Useful Computing - Traditionally, there’s been something of a problem for schools wherein edtech is purchased as something of a novelty, and ends up gathering dust rather than being used. It seems reasonable to suggest that educators are moving past this stage, focusing on solutions which have genuine utility, whether that means cutting wasted time, reducing costs or opening up wide-ranging possibilities rather than a limited number of options (Raspberry Pi and micro:bit being the major examples here).

Showing off PiTops at our Bett 2018 stand Large displays using interlinked BBC micro:bit

New Technology? - Somewhat surprisingly, there didn’t really seem to be a huge amount of brand-new tech at this year’s Bett, with the majority of exhibitors having been around for last year’s show, usually with similar products (discounting upgrades). However, there’s definitely been a few changes - 3D displays seem to have completely faded out of the spotlight, most noticeably. Given that the technologies share a number of potential disadvantages (primarily cost and ease of use), there’s still a question as to whether classroom VR is set to go the same way.

Free Edtech Resources from Bett

With budgets increasingly getting lower, it’s perhaps unsurprising that teachers are increasingly turning towards free or particularly low-cost edtech resources in class. There’s an incredible amount for free software out there for teachers to take advantage of, covering quite a range of useful areas. We’ve discussed a couple of the major free resources being exhibited at Bett below - our new exa.foundation resources page also hosts a wide selection of completely free activities and resources, along with links to some incredibly useful tools.

Adobe Spark: Designed as an incredible graphic/ web design tool, Adobe Spark lets young learners easily create visually impressive documents, videos and more - a fantastic introduction to web design. Spark is completely free to use in education, with some great study guides and introductions available.

From an Adobe presentation - an example of what Adobe Spark can produce

Unity: One of the most used game engines around, Unity gives users a tremendous scope for development, and has recently been made completely free to use in education - a potentially major advantage to older learners. Along with the education license, Unity have provided a number of free resources, including a complete educator toolkit.

Hello World: Launched at the 2017 Bett Show, Hello World magazine is a fantastic resource for educators, with each issue covering a whole lot of edtech-related ground. With 3 issues coming out each calendar year, Hello World’s latest issue was released just before this year’s Bett Show, covering digital literacy, Scratch, Python, and a whole lot more.

The cover for the January 2018 issue of Hello World Magazine