Take a look back at our first exabytes conference!

Exploring exabytes conference 2016

There’s been a bit of radio silence here on the Exa blog, with the major events we’ve been organising over the last few weeks taking up a whole lot of time: the Bradford Gigabit City Launch, the opening of our new office, TeachMeet Bradford and our first exabytes conference on classroom technology. We’re starting back up with a look at what happened at exabytes, and why it was such a major success.

exabytes conference trends on Twitter

Taking place at Bradford’s Midland Hotel on the 23rd of June, exabytes 2016 brought together teachers and educators from across the UK for an all-day event exploring practically every side of educational technology.

From the start, we wanted to make sure that exabytes was all about what our attendees wanted to see. When teachers registered for the conference, they were able to choose what kind of events they were interested in seeing - we planned an extensive programme around their choices.

With over 30 sessions planned throughout the day, exabytes attendees were able to explore everything from Key Stage Computing to Raspberry Pis (with our dedicated Pi room hosting some amazing events) and more. Following a keynote from memory expert David Thomas, attendees headed off to the dedicated event rooms for the first sessions of the day.

David Thomas opens exabytes with a keynote speech

exabytes hosted so many different events that there’s no room to describe them all here - we’ve selected a couple to go through here to give you an example of the events from exabytes, but we just want to thank all the presenters who helped make the conference an unforgettable edtech event (along with all our attendees!).

In an early workshop, Tim Burnett explored the current status of examination, looking at how physically written exams can hold students back - an increasing number of people are just more comfortable typing than writing. Tim discussed the possibility of electronic assessment, along with some of the major issues with implementing it (high costs, difficulty and more.

Raspberry Pi specialist and tech writer Les Pounder hosted a session introducing attendees to using Python via physical computing. Using the Python programming language with a range of Raspberry Pis, Les showed attendees how to control an LED through Python, using this as a way to introduce some useful real-world features. As you can see taking a look back through #exabytes16, this was a particularly popular session with some great reviews.

Attendee reactions to Les Pounder's intro to Python

What’s next for Exa?

While we’ve just wrapped up some of our largest events for this year, there’s always something going on at Exa. Next month, we’ll be attending the ISPA Awards, where we’ve been nominated for 4 awards (Best Shared Hosting, Best Dedicated Hosting, Safety and Best Cloud Product).

We’re proud to have been nominated for so many awards this year, and we’ll be taking a look at just why we’re in the running for each category with some posts over the next week - stay tuned!

In July, we’ll also be starting to roll out the new version of our SurfProtect content filtering system. Already one of the best available choices for filtering online content, the new version of SurfProtect is designed to improve performance and convenience, making it an even better choice for schools and businesses.

Finally, we’re working on a complete redesign of the Exa Networks website! We’re creating an entirely new site to give our customers and visitors a convenient, informative and efficient browsing experience that matches the high level of quality that you get from our Internet connections and services.