My favourite finds at BETT
Wednesday, January 20th, 2010 | Author:

I know that BETT finished ages ago (well it seems like it anyway) but it has been a busy few days packing boxes and such like so I haven’t had chance to post about my BETT finds. Some of these are obvious and some less so. What I have tried to do is also contact the company to find out more information to help you out. There is nothing in it for me, I just liked what I say and thought some of you might like them too.I must say that this post is aimed at my ICT cluster, but obviously, if you find it useful, that’s great!

So in no particular order…

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Brainpop seemed like a great resource for explaining difficult subjects and ideas. These also include quizzes to test the children’s knowledge. The videos inject humour into the range of topics and would be useful for teaching children about a range of different topics.

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I was initially attracted to the Scholastic stand because they were playing a huge part in TeachMeet Takeover (as were BrainPop). I was around presenting and attracting teachers to the stand to listen to the ideas that were being shared by other teachers. After a while, I had a look at their demo of Class Pet and liked what I saw. You can easily assess the children using a number of objectives and activities. Activities can be assigned to specific pupils so that they can assess themselves at their own pace. This looks like a good way of using ICT to assess maths and literacy. 

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Anithings was one of the products and companies being showcased on TeachersTV in the run up to BETT. I was immediately drawn to the characters that could be used within the animations. Younger children will love the cartoony creatures, but you can add and adapt the characters too. It is easy to move them around the screen and then the final animation can be embedded as a flash file. Maybe it’s just the googly eyes, but it is good fun!

2Simple2Create a Super Story –
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As always, 2Simple have delivered. There are many blogs already about their incredible new product so I will let you read those below. It easily lets you create stories, information texts and anything you like really. Characters are dragged on to the screen and then manipulated in a number of ways to animate them and move them around the screen. Sound can also be put in very quickly and easily. The finished article can then be saved as a flash file and put into a VLE, blog or website. Great for sharing with parents or for extending learning after the lesson.
Read more from some of the experts:
2Simple Blog
Bev Evans – @bevevans22
Simon Widdowsden – @xannov
Simon Haughton – @simonhaughton
Mark Warner – @markw29

Not really new but…
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Espresso is a fantastic resource when it is used well. I used to use it all of the time at school, it made searching for content a nice, simple task. I would often use the resources for assemblies or as part of my input. Espresso have made two major changes recently. Every video can now be embedded into a VLE, making it very simple to share the videos as part of a discussion or a test or maybe even a blog. They have also just launched a home access module allowing the pupils the opportunity to explore the resources themselves at home.

i-board was my favourite find of Bett 2009. A whole host of inexpensive, fun activities for Key Stage 1 children. This year I was given the fantastic news that these are now completely free. Fantastic news for anyone with KS1 children. They are so good that many Year 3/4 teachers have used them too.

What did you see at BETT? Have I missed something?