This is the third of three pre-Bett posts I have planned. The first is about Teachmeet at Bett and the second is a beginner’s guide to Bett. This post is about the underground side to Bett. The bits they don’t want you to know about. The exciting bits.

Bett is mental. It involves hundreds of stands and countless people trying to entice you to look at their whiteboard/VLE/network lead/software and they thrust leaflets in your hands and it can all be a bit bewildering. Read my beginner’s guide for some tips. I’m assuming now though that you’ve found your way around and you need a bit more to whet your appetite.

Here is where it gets interesting. These events/meetups/whatevers have all been arranged by teachers for teachers. These are to keep you sane, entertain you and inspire you.

The first is an event I have never managed to attend due to it being on the Wednesday evening. It is called TedxOrenda. You can find out more about this event here. the Tedx website describes it as follows:

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

On the Thursday evening, there is a brand new event called Collabor84Change and to sign up, you can visit this page. Their website says:

Collabor8 4 Change is an innovative ‘unconference’ event with a clear focus on leadership of ICT, use of hardware and software, with an emphasis on the impact on pupil outcomes, making effective use of existing ICT resources – as well as demonstrating innovative products that benefit school improvement through ICT.  It will involve pupils/students as well as practitioners.

Basically, there are 15 tables and throughout the event you will sit on 5 of these. On each table there will be a focus and people can discuss that focus and share ideas. It sounds quite exciting and it’ll be a great way to get to know people and collect a bank of ideas to take back to the classroom. This event is aimed more at the management team within school as these are the people that need to be inspired and can make the changes needed within school.

Of course on the Friday evening there is the big one. Teachmeet. I wrote about this here, so I won’t repeat myself but it is filling up nicely and we have a great range of presentations due. .

Throughout the 4 days there is a repeat of the exciting event from last year, Teachmeet Takeover. This is fantastic. The great thing about Takeover is that you can listen to real teachers talk about real classroom ideas instead of someone showing how their particular software/whiteboard/VLE will affect you. I loved going to these last year and listening to teachers such as @bevevans22, @digitalmaverick and @tombarrett discuss how they’d used stuff in their classroom. The timetable for Takeover can be found here.

Now for the silly bits…

Although Bett lasts for 4 days, I’ve always found that Friday is the busiest. I guess this is because more teachers can get Friday out of school than any other day. Last year there were a few people who either stayed over Thursday evening or came down early Friday so I thought it would be a good idea to meet for a cup of coffee beforehand so we all knew someone before we entered Bett. This worked well and @xannov, @mister_jim, @tomsale and I had a quick meet up before Bett. This year, I was asked if I was organising it again. I am. Here is the sign-up page. I don’t know where we’re meeting yet and it’s not a formal thing, but for people new to Bett, it will be a great way to meet someone you’ve probably tweeted with throughout the year. Oh, and you can get a caffeine kick before a day of wandering round!

And finally…Bett tig. Another silly excuse to get people chatting and meeting, @dughall organised this last year and the idea is, if you meet a fellow Twitter user, you tig them (or tag them if you’re a southerner like me) and they become ‘it’. You then continue until the day is over and then they have to buy drinks for previous tiggers at the evening event. Last year I got tigged quite quickly and I don’t remember getting any drinks bought for me, but who cares. It was a bit of fun. The full rules are here. Yep, @dughall wrote rules.

So those are some of the other things happening at Bett. I’m at all of those except TedxOrenda so please do come and say hello if you get a chance 🙂

I’ve written about previous Bett Shows a few times and these posts can be found here