BETT Show Blog

20th January 2016

Kicked off my 2016 BETT show experience by seeing a wonderful presentation 'Sexting, Selfies & Snapchat' by @digitalsisters 
Recommend anyone interested in 'Online Safety' in schools to follow them on Twitter.

Was introduced to the 'thigh brow' by @digitalsisters These girls know what is current!!!
The wonderful 'Now Press Play' was one of my best finds of BETT Show 2015. Lovely seeing them again in 'BETT Futures' area and seeing children so fabulously engaged in the 'pink headphones'.
If like me you fondly remember 'upstairs at Olympia' as being the best part of BETT, then the 'BETT Futures' area is the place to head. Some great startup companies that will provide you with something different for your school. For me the best part of BETT. We don't need to go to BETT to find out about Google, Microsoft etc . . .
Great to see schools bringing their pupils along to BETT. Met these lovely pupils from 'Oakdale Juniors' alongside their teacher Dawn Hallybone over lunch. Ensures that products purchased are what children are interested and engaged in! 
Loved 'riding the giraffe' with the Nightzookeeper boys (that sounds so wrong!!!) in BETT Futures zone. Amazing interactive experience that will stimulate writing. Well worth checking out, another great feature of this excellent resource. 
Lovely catching up with Oliver Quinlan over lunch on the Nightzookeeper stand in the BETT futures zone. Great hearing what he is doing with Raspberry Pi and delighted that he will giving a presentation on 'Digital Makers' at the 2016 Animate 2 Educate Summer Conference.
Kahoot is one of the best ways of bringing your curriculum to life using tablet technology, so was great to see new features at BETT. I also see and hear so many great things about Class Dojo from the likes of Simon McLoughlin at Hotspur Primary and Simon Curtin at Falla Park, so was great to finally catch up with Jenna Kleine in person. Class Dojo is an interactive class rewards system and I highly recommend all schools to check it out. Delighted that Class Dojo will once more be one of the sponsors of 'Talk on the Tyne' again this year.
Massive fan of BrainPOP UK, use the fabulous Tim and Moby videos in all of my 'Online Safety' sessions, so was nice to bump into 'Moby' at BETT Show and to give him my thanks. Children around the UK are all engaged by his cheeky antics. 
Found Nicky Morgan's ministerial address rather dull. She lacks any passion or enthusiasm about what she is talking about and when she uses phrases like 'excited by assessment' and government backing for technology being 'evidence based' it hardly resulted in a rousing approval from the audience! Such a shame that Education Secretary doesn't have the same levels of passion and enthusiasm of those in the room watching her! 
Little snippet of Nicky Morgan's ministerial address. Did find the idea of the Downing Street 'Code Club' rather amusing. They seemed to have had more joy getting hold of a BBC Micro:Bit than most Year 7 pupils! 

Was delighted to have attend the launch of 'Bluebot' at last year's BETT Show and have loved using with pupils and introducing to teachers over these past 12 months. Was great therefore to pay TTS another visit and to see so much enthusiasm in their fabulous new products. Some great new additions to their range released at BETT.
Demonstration of more fabulous updates to Purple Mash from 2 Simple Software. A fabulous product just kerosene getting better and better!
Interactive Resources (Primary Games LTD) make some of the best Maths apps available. Great to meet with fellow Geordie Mark Cogan and to discuss some of their latest additions. Love using his apps both in schools and during Animate 2 Educate training sessions. Can't recommend them highly enough. Many iR apps will feature in my 'Marvellous Maths Apps' courses later this term.
Final stop of BETT Show Day 1 was to call round to Naace stand and to say hello to my friends there. Delighted to have been invited to speak on their stand tomorrow.
Little video of memories of Day 1 at BETT Show.

Off back to hotel now to get changed into my tux. Looking forward to attending 'BETT Awards' for first time tonight.
Great night at Bett Awards. uge congratulations to all of the winners and also all of those who were nominated.

In amongst the various Bett Award winners I was particularly pleased for my friends from 2 Simple Software who scooped an award for their brilliant 'Purple Mash'. A richly deserved award. I'm a massive fan of what Purple Mash can offer schools.
Each year you find something at Bett that really stands out from the crowd and has the 'wow effect'. Last year for me it was 'Now Press Play' with their pink headphones and this year it was unquestionnably 'Ada the Show'. Loved chatting to Zoe (who plays Ada) who definitely won the award for best Bett costume. Clearly knows her stuff and feels passionately about getting girls involved in programming. Story of Ada Lovelace is one that should be shared with all children and I believe that this is a wonderful medium to do so. I'm certainly booking them for my school.
Love using 'Comic Life 3' app. Only ever get the chance to catch up with my friends from across the Atlantic at plasq once a year at Bett, so was great to chat at length to the team and see a demo of the new updates. Some great new templates are coming soon!
Met up with my friends from Daydream Education to see their latest developments. Lots of interest in their new 'Maths Tutor' software (nominated for a Bett Award) and I also loved their new 'P.E.' app. Aimed more at the secondary market, but got lots of friends who are P.E. teachers, so will certainly be recommending, as looked great.
'Matific' are a company who I have worked with closely over the past 18 months. Saw them present at Bett in 2015, but this was their first time exhibiting. Absolutely love the mathematical thinking that has gone in to creating this software and was delighted to see lots of others also taking a keen interest in their product.
Big fan of Education City so was great to catch up with their team and to see the latest updates. Was pleased to see that there still remained such great interest in their product.
Delighted to have had the opportunity to present at Bett for the first time on the Thursday afternoon. Massive thank you to Naace for giving me the opportunity to present.
'Explain Everything' is one of my favourite apps and one that I always recommend to schools. Was great to see demonstration of the new collaborative version and made sure that I downloaded it straight away. Can't wait to start using it in class.
Two great new products to add to the excellent range from 'Rising Stars'. Loved their new 'Achieve' apps and also got my free sample of 'Switched on Minecraft' that will be released in April. Looking forward to getting a copy of that and to using the 'Achieve' apps for revision with my pupils.
Have loved using my 'Bluebot' from TTS since its launch at Bett Show last year. The new 'Tactile Reader' from TTS is a great new addition to the 'Bluebot' range. Ordered straight away, without question one of the best products that i saw at BETT 2016.
Lots of people as me about 3D printers. To date had always seen them as a bit gimmicky and viewed lack of suitable software as been main barrier to their widespread use in Primary education. You can now however use a 3D printer with '2 Design & Make', part of the BETT award winning 'Purple Mash' from 2Simple Software. This integration with an easy to use and familiar piece of software, coupled with lower purchase prices of 3D printers will see me recommending them to Primary schools for the first time.
Great night at Bett TeachMeet on the Friday evening, wonderfully hosted by Dughall McCormick and Dawn Hallybone. Loads of great presentations and opportunity to network with so many great people.

Seemed to be a bit of North East takeover at #tmbett16 Loads of people with North East connections were amongst the wonderful presenters. Simon McLoughlin lives just half a mile away from me and have had the pleasure of meeting him in the North East on several occasions. Delighted that via Bett TeachMeet presentation and via his role on the Class Dojo stand that so many others got to share the wonderful ideas that Simon has too.

Going to end with the word of Bob Harrison who posted my favourite tweet during Bett and summed up perfectly what the Bett experience is all about . . .