BETT2013 – My Discoveries

This week, I attended the BETT educational technology event at Excel, along with thousands of other teachers and those involved in education. The event was huge and there was a lot to see. I didn’t manage to see all of the stands that I wanted to, but here are some of my highlights:

  • Hue have some tiny visualisers that can also be used for animation. They have a stop motion animation kit, which includes the HD camera, software and clay.
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  • Super Tiles for iPad - Interactive Resources make lots of wonderful educational games and teaching tools. It was great to hear that their ‘Tiles’ game is now available on the iPad. I use the PC version of this game regularly to introduce children to the use of brackets in calculations.
  • Fiction Express for Schools - This site provides ebooks for schools to use as part of their lessons. Each book is published in a weekly chapter every Friday. At the end of each chapter, there are voting options to decide what should happen next. When children have voted, the author writes the next chapter based on the most popular option! A free trial is available if schools are interested.
  • RM Unify – This free service from RM provides an online launcher for various ‘cloud’ services and apps that schools might already be signed up to. Pupils simply log in to RM Unify and then use it to access the other sites. This saves children having to remember different usernames and passwords for each service – something that causes lots of headaches and wasted time in schools!
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  • Reading Eggs - This site encourages children to learn to read, providing books, games, a story writing factory and rewards for children to achieve by completing the reading lessons.
  • Google – This area of the hall was always extremely popular and they provided lots of presentations about how to use Google tools effectively in the classroom. They also shared a site that I wasn’t aware of before, keystotheweb.com, offering video answers to commonly asked questions about the Internet. Here’s an example:
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  • The Phoenix - I’d not heard of this comic before but it looks really interesting. Each comic includes one-off stories, longer stories that form part of a serial, as well as non-fiction information. Schools can subscribe to receive the comics each week and it’s also possible to download them to read via Newsstand on an iPad.
  • Videoscribe – Danny Nicholson shared this animation tool in one of his presentations.
  • People – It was fantastic to meet many teachers who I know via Twitter and Facebook, as well as many others who use my Teaching Ideas website.
  • Johnny Ball – My final highlight has to be having a lesson from Johnny Ball. He had such enthusiasm for his topic and used a selection of basic props to teach lots of different Maths and Science concepts!

BETT 2013

There were lots of amazing presentations and the organisers are hoping to put the videos of some of these on their site in the coming weeks.

I also attended the Teachmeet event on Friday evening at BETT, where lots of amazing teachers shared their experiences and favourite resources. Here are some of the presentations that I particularly enjoyed:

  • Action Jackson kicked off the event with a fantastic motivational message – I am Amazing! You are Amazing! We are Amazing! Yeah!
  • Powtoon – This was mentioned a number of times throughout the evening. It lets you create free animated presentations online.
  • BATTT – Bring a Teacher to Twitter is a new idea by Stephen Lockyer and Ben Waldram. It encourages teachers to help one of their colleagues / friends sign up to Twitter and get involved with others who use it to share and discuss good practice.
  • ICT Magic - Martin Burrett encouraged teachers to share their good practice and resources. He suggested a range of free resources to do this, including Edcanvas, croak.it, educreations, memplai.com and realtimeboard.com.
  • Miles Berry – Miles showed us how to use Hackasaurus to hack sites that people have already made… a great way of helping students to learn how webpages are made.
  • Creating Clipart – Bev Evans showed us how easy it is to make clip art using the shape tools in Microsoft Publisher. You can watch lots of her tutorial videos on her blog.
  • Classdojo also got a mention – this has popular in lots of classes at my school. Do you use it?

Did you attend BETT? What were your favourite discoveries?

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