Tag-Archive for ◊ Bett Show ◊

BETT for Beginners 2013
Friday, January 04th, 2013 | Author:

This is now the third version of this popular post, (here are tips for  BETT2011 and BETT2012) but I thought I should edit it slightly and repost it for people that are new to BETT.

Firstly, what is BETT? – http://www.bettshow.com

Well it’s a huge event where there are hundreds of educational suppliers ranging from huge companies like Google and Microsoft down to tiny companies you won’t have heard of via others like Busy Things, Rising Stars and BrainPOP. BETT has been held at Olympia for years and this year moves to Excel in London Docks. It usually attracts 30,000 people a year and was held at the start of January, but has now moved to 30th Jan-2nd Feb. It is free to attend but you do need to register.

I first went (twice) as a trainee teacher and it was part of our course to go and see the hardware and software that was available to schools. This is still the case, although don’t expect to see Popplet, Prezi or any other web 2.0 product demonstrating their wares, this is about the paid-for stuff you have in school. Back in my trainee days (9 years ago…) there were also loads of freebies such as pens, sweets and memory sticks to be had. If you were lucky you won a set of voting pads or a Microsoft fleece. These days there are still some free gifts handed out but for me, it is about much more than getting free pens. During my time as a consultant for the Hampshire VLE, BETT became a chance to talk to suppliers about working with our VLE to provide content for schools, this never happened for one reason or another but still, it was a good chance to make connections with companies and see new products. Now, BETT has become a chance to meet people from Twitter, have discussions and see presentations as well as look at what is there on display.

So, what do you need to know before you go? Well, firstly, Wednesday tends to be the quietest day and Friday the busiest. It still seems like schools will let teachers out of class on a Friday as if it is a less-important day than Wednesday or Thursday.

Before the show:

  1. Book a ticket. It helps to have one as your line will move quicker. The Bett website is here so go on, go and sign up.
  2. Plan your day/s. Why are you there? What do you want to see? Who do you need to go and speak to? Especially in these ‘financially uncertain times’, what will you be taking back to school? Your school might have spent £150-200 covering your class, so you need to go back with something to show for it. Make sure your day is well planned and you’ll be fine.
  3. Also plan in rest stops. But why not plan these to coincide with a Teachmeet Takeover? Three years ago I sat and had lunch while watching @tombarrett share Maths Maps and two years ago I did the same while listening to the wonderful Bill Lord (@joga5)
  4. Do some research! There are some great show-only deals available, but there’s no point negotiating if you don’t know the normal price. Think of it like the DFS sale. There might be a great sale price available, but is it always that price? Have they only knocked £5 off for Bett? Knowing your stuff before you go will help. When you’re at Bett your mind will be in a bit of a daze from the sights/sounds so trial some software, look at some prices etc.
  5. Ask your staff what they would like to find out. Does the literacy coordinator need to look at e-books? Does the SEN coordinator need some software to help writing? Ask the staff before you attend and that may help your plan.
  6. Look at the seminar list. There seem to be loads more talks and seminars this year than in previous years.
  7. Make business cards. Now this is where opinion will get divided. Some will mock me for suggesting such an old-fashioned approach, some will say ‘I’m not important enough for a card’. I say neither am I. My cards have my name, position, school, blog and twitter name on. That’s it. If you meet someone and want to follow them/swap ideas, why not just pass them a card? The cards are also useful should you want to enter a competition as some stands have jars for you to put your name/card in to enter their prize draw. I’d also take a small stapler as suggested by Terry Freedman so you can staple your card to a prize entry from. You could also make your cards a little different, why not add your Twitter avatar, especially if it isn’t a photo and why not add a QR code that links to your blog? Google will help you to find a QR code generator here.
  8. Get a spare battery/charger. Your phone will run out. You’ll be trying to tweet all day so it will probably run out. The memory from Bett2010 was @lisibo asking anyone and everyone if they had a plug so she could charge her iphone (and being told to move for being a fire hazard). Buy a spare battery (and charge it). You’ll need it come 3/4pm. Especially if you attend an evening event! There are sometimes stands that have spare plugs, so carry your charger just in case.
  9. Check tube trains, there shouldn’t be any problems, but it’s always worth checking the day before!

On the day:

  1. Buy some water and a snack. The food and drink inside Olympia was quite pricey and I would imagine Excel being the same so grab yourself some water beforehand. Often there are some companies (such as Espresso and 2Simple) who have free water or a water fountain, this will save money on expensive bottles!
  2. Display your name/twitter name so people can see who you are. I can’t remember how many times I’ve met someone whose name and twitter name don’t match and I’ve spent ages trying to marry the two together. There are loads of people, so grab a marker pen and write your Twitter name on your badge. (Or copy @dughall with this snazzy jumper)
  3. On that last point, @digitalmaverick suggests that when you register for the show, instead of putting your name as Ian Addison, put it as @ianaddison and then it will display your Twitter name large and bold on your badge.
  4. If you need a friend, come and visit someone from Twitter. Quite often people attend Bett on their own. This could be because of cost so why not pair up with someone else when you get there? To find people head to a Teachmeet takeover or head to Brainpop’s stand or Rising Stars or 2Simple. There always tend to be lots of Twitter users around those stands. You can then say hello to people and feel less alone. Check here to see where/when people are around.
  5. Get your bearings. Bett is big and can be scary. There are lights, colours, sounds everywhere. Spend a while getting used to it. Walk from one room to another, find the stairs, the toilets. Look for a key stand e.g. Microsoft, Google, 2Simple that will help you get your bearings as you walk around. Then you can start to follow your plan.
  6. It’s like a theme park, at lunchtimes the cafes are busy. Don’t go there at lunchtime. Sounds obvious, but it’s true. It’s also expensive so, as above, take a snack/picnic.
  7. Wear sensible clothes. You don’t need a suit. You’re not presenting/selling anything so get comfortable. Wear shoes you can walk in for 8hours. Take a jacket you can carry when you get hot (which you will). You can put stuff in the cloakroom, but again, you’ll be queueing and paying. A rucksack is probably a good idea.
  8. Don’t get offended by Twitter. I’ve had a few occasions when I’ve met someone who was following me but I didn’t know who they were and vice versa. It’ll happen. Say hello, apologise to them or ask them what they do. Then remedy the situation by following them. If they aren’t very interesting, unfollow later. Twitter is a huge place and I’m sure you’ve missed someone or other, don’t worry about it.
  9. Don’t worry if you miss people or don’t get much chance to speak to them. It’s a busy place, you can’t meet everyone. There’s always next year right?
  10. Don’t worry if people seem pushy. Politely take their leaflet or tell them you’re not interested and move on. Sometimes people are rude and noone wants to see that. I tend to sit down for 5mins and empty my bag of everything and then put the interesting stuff back in and the rubbish in the bin. There’s a lot of rubbish, but some great hidden treats too. It is well worth doing a quick check of rubbish before hauling it all home with you!!
  11. Do make time to speak to people on the stands though, there are some great products to see at BETT.
  12. Oh, if you ignore your plan (as I have done a few times every year), don’t worry. Of course something caught your eye. Don’t worry that you sat and watched a 3D presentation or joined in a competition to win a whiteboard or whatever. It’ll happen.
  13. Don’t worry that you forgot to tweet about what you saw or who you met. Do it later.
  14. Enjoy yourself! Yes it’s big, yes it’s overwhelming, but I enjoy it. Mainly because of the underground events and meeting people, but still. It’s good fun.
  15. Attend at least one Teachmeet Takeover if you can.
  16. Oh and yes, there will be free stuff. Yes you can get pens and badges and sweets, but please, please DON’T be the idiot that goes crazy. Last year the saddest moment was watching two of my children waiting politely for 5 minutes for someone to stop talking so they could ask for a chocolate from their stand only to be pushed out of the way by a teacher (I saw her badge) who promptly took a handful and walked away. My children asked me why they had to have manners when it was clear so many people attending had none at all! So take a pen, a sweet, look at the products if you feel you have to, but don’t take the Michael. Plus, you are a teacher! There are always pens at school. It’s more fun trying to find weird and wonderful freebies instead, such as Squidgy Pig.

After Bett:

  1. Take stock of what you’ve seen. What did you learn? Blog about it. Don’t have a blog? Start one.
  2. Tweet people to say hello. You’ll have got new followers and you’ll be following new people. Say hi to them.
  3. Follow up the free trials and contacts you’ve made. Have a play with new software and share it with colleagues. If a company says you have 2 weeks from the BETT show to try it and buy it, tell them you need more time. You’re a busy person after all. Don’t be swayed too much by the ‘sales’ and stuff, the software isn’t going anywhere.
  4. Look up the materials from Teachmeet. I’ll post those on here so don’t worry!

This all sounds like a lot, but it is mostly common sense and stuff that I’ve picked up along the way. Do you have any other tips for Bett newbies? Is there something I’ve missed?

More tips for beginners here and another post is here

David Rogers has written a great post on how to enjoy BETT by causing some trouble…that post is here.

Pete Yeomans has written a post here explaining that there is no such thing as free. There are some very good points here, definitely be polite when talking (or avoiding) vendors!

Terry Freedman’s very comprehensive guide to BETT is available on his blog.

I have always asked for other tips and here are some from previous years:

Dave Colman – More tips for BETT can be found at http://www.sharepointedutech.com/2010/12/29/tips-for-the-bett-show-2011/

Richard Anderson – I’ve always found that the main problem with BETT actually occurs post-BETT; you need to plan in time to actually look through the contacts and materials you’ve collected. It’s easy to let a few weeks pass by. If you’re staying down in London, take some time before dinner (or on the train home) to sort through the materials and condense them down into the stuff you’re genuinely interested in / genuinely able to afford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 Posts of 2012
Friday, December 28th, 2012 | Author:

Before writing a review of 2012, which will take a bit of thought, I thought I would share the top 5 posts on this blog throughout the whole of 2012. What this top 5 does show is that all of these posts are over a year old (the BETT one is 4 days from its first birthday). This appears to be because it takes a while to build an audience. The Bett Show post is 6/7th on Google’s search page for “Bett Show Tips” and search for Digital Leaders and my tag is 4th on the results page. Another thing that the most popular posts show is that the ‘how-to/guide’ type posts seem to get more hits than the reflection-type posts. Maybe teachers are looking for people to show them how to implement these tools in their classroom.

But hey, I’m just glad that anyone finds these posts useful!

Top 5 for 2012…

1. Bett for Beginners

This will be re-produced and updated in the coming days, but for now, the 2012 BETT guide is the most popular blog post on the site. This post gives a few tips and hints to getting the most out of the annual BETT show.

 

2. How to Get Started with Google Apps for Education

Another post getting an update and a revamp is the guide to setting up Google Apps for Education. This has been popular since it was written and this year alone has had just under 5,000 views. I have started re-writing it to take recent changes into account and that should be due in early 2013.

 

3. Come and have a #ukedchat

This post is getting quite old now, but it gives a very brief overview of ukedchat, the weekly twitter discussion forum. There have probably been many more posts about it which are better and more up-to-date, but this still had 3,000 hits this year!

 

4. Primary Digital Leaders

Written in December 2010, this post laid out the plans for Digital Leaders in my school. This all started after a discussion with Chris Mayoh and Dawn Hallybone at a Microsoft event in November 2010. We had just seen Daniel Stucke talk about his digital leaders and we planned a few ways forward for our own schools too.

 

5. Manga High – an overview

With 2,500 hits this year, this post gives an insight into Manga High which used to an expensive online resource but for the past 18months or so has been free. My children love using it and it really challenges them to think quickly.

Hashtag Craziness #tbett
Saturday, January 07th, 2012 | Author:

As you may have noticed, there are lots of hashtags circling around for the BETT Show.

We have the official one (#Bett_show) and lots of unofficial ones too including #bett12, #bett2012, #bett and #bettshow. If you look through the hashtags then there are obviously lots of companies promoting their stands and their products, so how can teachers share ideas with each other about what they’ve found without it getting lost amongst the promotional tweets? Simple, we make a teachers at Bett hashtag. It isn’t my idea, but as I seem to be organising silly things at Bett, I thought I’d share it with you.

The new hashtag for teachers at Bett is #tbett. It’s short, there’s no silly underscore and we can archive it for all the useful goodness we find this week.

Tony aka Grumbledook blogged about hashtags too here: http://www.grumbledook.org/blog/2012/01/04/tweeting-ideas-at-the-bett_show-bett12/

BETT for Beginners
Sunday, January 01st, 2012 | Author:

I originally posted this last year but I thought I should edit it slightly and repost it for people that are new to BETT.

This post is a beginner’s guide to Bett. I’m sure there are others out there, but here is mine. Before I start, I have been to Bett as a trainee teacher twice, as a VLE consultant twice and once last year as a teacher. I never attended while in my previous teaching post due to a lack of money and a lack of awareness of Teachmeet events and the like. This time, we are still in the ‘no money’ situation, but I am keen to attend to meet up with my fellow Twitter educators and to get involved in as many events to share ideas as I can. So here goes…

Before the show:

  1. Book a ticket. It helps to have one as your line will move quicker. The Bett website is here so go on, go and sign up.
  2. Plan your day/s. Why are you there? What do you want to see? Who do you need to go and speak to? Especially in these ‘financially uncertain times’, what will you be taking back to school? They’ve spent £xx covering your class, so you need to go back with something to show for it. Make sure your day is well planed and you’ll be fine.
  3. Also plan in rest stops. But why not plan these to coincide with a Teachmeet Takeover? Two years ago I sat and had lunch while watching @tombarrett share Maths Maps and last year I did the same while listening to the wonderful Bill Lord (@joga5)
  4. Do some research! There are some great show-only deals available, but there’s no point negotiating if you don’t know the normal price. Think of it like the DFS sale. There might be a great sale price available, but is it always that price? Have they only knocked £5 off for Bett? Knowing your stuff before you go will help. When you’re at Bett your mind will be in a bit of a daze from the sights/sounds so trial some software, look at some prices etc.
  5. Ask your staff what they would like to find out. Does the literacy coordinator need to look at e-books? Does the SEN coordinator need some software to help writing? Ask the staff and that may help your plan.
  6. Look at the seminar list. Yes, you may need to pay for some of these, but some will be great and well worth it.
  7. Make business cards. Now this is where opinion will get divided. Some will mock me for suggesting such an old-fashioned approach, some will say ‘I’m not important enough for a card’. I say neither am I. My cards have my name, position, school, blog and twitter name on. That’s it. If you meet someone and want to follow them/swap ideas, why not just pass them a card? The cards are also useful should you want to enter a competition as some stands have jars for you to put your name/card in to enter their prize draw. I’d also take a small stapler as suggested by Terry Freedman so you can staple your card to a prize entry from. You could also make your cards a little different, why not add your Twitter avatar, especially if it isn’t a photo and why not add a QR code that links to your blog? Google will help you to find a QR code generator here.
  8. Get a spare battery/charger. Your phone will run out. You’ll be trying to tweet all day so it will probably run out. The memory from Bett2010 was @lisibo asking anyone and everyone if they had a plug so she could charge her iphone (and being told to move for being a fire hazard). Buy a spare battery (and charge it). You’ll need it come 3/4pm. Especially if you attend an evening event! Update – Chris Ratcliffe (@chrisrat) says you can charge your Android or iPhone at the Scholastic stand. This is perfect as they are hosting lots of Teachmeet Takeovers too. Again, you can charge and get CPD at once. *Bear in mind, the signal inside Olympia is shocking!
  9. **Check tube trains, there was talk of it not being possible to get a tube to Olympia. Try Hammersmith,Earl’s Court or Kensington High Street instead**

On the day:

  1. Buy some water and a snack. The food and drink inside Olympia is quite pricey so grab yourself some water beforehand. – There will be FREE bottles of water on the Espresso stand (as well as yummy chocolate) and 2simple have a water fountain which is also free.
  2. Display your name/twitter name so people can see who you are. I can’t remember how many times I’ve met someone whose name and twitter name don’t match and I’ve spent ages trying to marry the two together. There are loads of people, so grab a marker pen and write your Twitter name on your badge. (Or copy @dughall with this snazzy jumper)
  3. If you need a friend, come and visit us. Quite often people attend Bett on their own. This could be because of cost so why not pair up with someone else when you get there? To find people head to a Teachmeet takeover or head to Brainpop’s stand or Scholastic or 2Simple. There always tend to be lots of Twitter users around those stands. You can then say hello to people and feel less alone. I’m on the Brainpop stand on Friday afternoon, come and say hi!
  4. Get your bearings. Bett is big and can be scary. There are lights, colours, sounds everywhere. Spend a while getting used to it. Walk from one room to another, find the stairs, the toilets. Look for a key stand e.g. Microsoft, Scholastic, 2Simple that will help you get your bearings as you walk around. Then you can start to follow your plan.
  5. It’s like a theme park, at lunchtimes the cafes are busy. Don’t go there at lunchtime. Silly but it’s true. It’s also expensive so, as above, take a snack/picnic.
  6. Wear sensible clothes. You don’t need a suit. You’re not presenting/selling anything so get comfortable. Wear shoes you can walk in for 8hours. Take a jacket you can carry when you get hot (which you will). You can put stuff in the cloakroom, but again, you’ll be queueing and paying.
  7. Don’t get offended by Twitter. I’ve had a few occasions when I’ve met someone who was following me but I didn’t know who they were and vice versa. It’ll happen. Say hello, apologise to them or ask them what they do. Then remedy the situation by following them. If they aren’t very interesting, unfollow later. Twitter is a huge place and I’m sure you’ve missed someone or other, don’t worry about it.
  8. Don’t worry if you miss people or don’t get much chance to speak to them. I spoke to Mark Warner for about 5 seconds at Bett2010 and barely got chance to say hello to Phil and Nicki Allman and Simon McCloughlin last year. It’s a busy place, you can’t meet everyone. There’s always next year right?
  9. Don’t worry if people seem pushy. Politely take their leaflet or tell them you’re not interested and move on. Sometimes people are rude and noone wants to see that. I tend to sit down for 5mins and empty my bag of everything and then put the interesting stuff back in and the rubbish in the bin. There’s a lot of rubbish, but some great hidden treats too.
  10. Oh, if you ignore your plan (as I have done a few times), don’t worry. Of course something caught your eye. Don’t worry that you sat and watched a 3D presentation or joined in a competition to win a whiteboard or whatever. It’ll happen.
  11. Don’t worry that you forgot to tweet about what you saw or who you met. Do it later.
  12. Enjoy yourself! Yes it’s big, yes it’s overwhelming, but I enjoy it. Mainly because of the underground events and meeting people, but still. It’s good fun.
  13. Attend at least one Teachmeet Takeover if you can.
  14. Oh and yes, there will be free stuff. Yes you can get pens and badges and sweets, but please, please DON’T be the idiot that goes crazy. Last year I saw someone walk up to the 2Simple stand, tip the entire cup of pens into their bag and try and walk away. Take one, look at the products if you feel you have to, but don’t take the Michael. Plus, you are a teacher! There are always pens at school. It’s more fun trying to find weird and wonderful freebies instead, such as Squidgy Pig.

After Bett:

  1. Take stock of what you’ve seen. What did you learn? Blog about it. Don’t have a blog? Start one.
  2. Tweet people to say hello. You’ll have got new followers and you’ll be following new people. Say hi to them.
  3. Follow up the free trials and contacts you’ve made. Have a play with new software and share it with colleagues. If a company says you have 2 weeks from the BEtt show to try it and buy it, tell them you need more time. You’re a busy person after all. Don’t be swayed too much by the ‘sales’ and stuff, the software isn’t going anywhere.
  4. Look up the materials from Teachmeet. I’ll post those on here so don’t worry!

This all sounds like a lot, but it is mostly common sense and stuff that I’ve picked up along the way. Do you have any other tips for Bett newbies? Is there something I’ve missed?

More tips for beginners here

 

On last year’s post, some people left comments, so here’s my pick of the best/most useful:

Mike Mcsharry

Food in Olympia is poor (at best).

There is a large Tesco with a decent takeaway food section within a reasonable walking distance. In my experience the local cafes and foodshops nearby are expensive and have poor selection.

If you don’t want to use the tube (and bear in mind you can wait a long time for tube trains at Olympia) then investigate the Southern Rail service – which goes as far north as Milton Keynes. (I never thought I’d write North and Milton Keynes in the same sentence). Tube train Olympia – Earls Court typically is a shuttle service that moves when it’s full.

Wear comfy shoes and don’t let the sales guys drag you on to their ‘you mustn’t miss this fantastic seminar’ sales pitch.

Dave Colman – More tips for BETT can be found at http://www.sharepointedutech.com/2010/12/29/tips-for-the-bett-show-2011/

Richard Anderson – I’ve always found that the main problem with BETT actually occurs post-BETT; you need to plan in time to actually look through the contacts and materials you’ve collected. It’s easy to let a few weeks pass by. If you’re staying down in London, take some time before dinner (or on the train home) to sort through the materials and condense them down into the stuff you’re genuinely interested in / genuinely able to afford.  (Ian – I find emptying the bag before you head back home helps with carrying bags full of junk!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Category: blogposts, Conferences / BETT  | Tags:  | 11 Comments
Teachmeet Takeover Bett2012
Sunday, December 04th, 2011 | Author:

You have probably started to think about your trip to the Bett Show in January. Will you go along looking for new ideas or a great piece of software that you’ve been missing in your school? Or will you be like many of us and go along to share and collaborate with others?

For me, Bett is about talking to like-minded teachers from across the country and being able to share ideas and bounce things around with them. Twitter really comes alive when you meet the people behind the tweets and at Bett2010 I was able to do that when I attended (and presented at) some of the Teachmeet Takeovers that were happening around the Bett Show.

In a nutshell, a takeover is when a teacher goes and presents on a stand about an idea or resource that is nothing to do with the company whose stand they are on. Now, there are some companies that REALLY get this idea and some that don’t. One company asked my why would anyone want to give up their paid-for slot just for some teachers? Luckily, we have some great supporters to help us out. We have created a wiki page and some of the supporters of previous Takeovers such as Scholastic, Rising Stars and BrainPop have already signed up to offer their stands to teachers who want to share ideas.

If you are familiar with the Takeover format and style then you will be pleased to know that we have changed very little. The biggest change is that we are asking for presentations to be 15 minutes in length. Previously they tended to be half hour and this is too much for the audience and attention span at Bett. Also, we didn’t have Takeovers on the Wednesday before as it tends to be quieter but we are giving it a go this year.

To sign-up, click the link below. Then you log-in and add your name into a slot on the table. Remember that slots are 30 minutes so we will ideally like 2 people per slot to fill it up.

So why not sign-up and present for 15 minutes? What have you got to lose?

If you’re not brave enough to present, you can still help. When you go to Bett, attend some of the takeovers and presentations. Be the supportive voice in the crowd or try and encourage others to watch too.

If you have a stand at Bett (or you know someone that does), please edit the document to add your names and contact details! 

www.bit.ly/tmtakeover2012

And for blog posts on previous Takeovers…try Tom Barrett’s blog here or here or the BrainPop post here.

*Please note, there will be details about the Teachmeet event at Bett soon*

 

My Bett Presentations
Friday, January 14th, 2011 | Author:

Just in case you wanted to view a presentation that I gave at Bett, here are some links to resources that I used.

Purple Mash for KS1 – Bett – Purple Mash (PPT)

Teachmeet Takeover – Blogging and some other free tools such as Wordle, Animoto, Photopeach, Viddler and Voicethread

Teachmeet 7minute – Using Google effectively

Teachmeet 2minute – Using Poisson Rouge, iboard and Infant Encyclopedia

Looking back…(and forward a bit)
Thursday, December 30th, 2010 | Author:

I wrote last year about my predictions and plans for 2010 and looking back, it seemed like I only planned for the first few months of the year! I talked about Bett, which is always a highlight, our Hampshire VLE conference and the need to look for another job. All that happened of course but so much more besides! So what was I busy doing this year?

Bett/Teachmeets

Yes, I attended Bett and yes I attended Teachmeet. I went first and presented on the use of Voki, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Since that first Teachmeet in January 2010, I have now organised Teachmeet Hants along with Gideon Wiliams as well as supporting others including Bev Evans and Tim Hand as they organise their own Teachmeets. I have presented via video at many more throughout the year. As we come to the end of 2010, I am in the midst of organising the big one, Bett 2011. Quite a huge jump within a year! Looking ahead, the next Teachmeet Hampshire will happen soon. Hopefully before Easter but I need to speak to some people and find some venues. Yep, venues. Hampshire is massive so hopefully we will have one in the north and one in the south to keep people happy.

Other Conferences

This time last year I didn’t even know what a Google Teacher was and now I am one. It was a great achievement and I was honoured to attend. Thanks again to Tom Barrett. Also this year I attended the Microsoft Innovative Educators Forum and was very happy to see @ideas_factory and @deputymitchell honoured for their amazing work.

VLE/School

I finished my contract with the local authority and am now back in school. It was a great two year post and I enjoyed it. I hope the work I did, along with my fellow consultants, will have a big impact on the schools and children within Hampshire. But things move on and I’ve been in my school a term now and it’s crazy to think of what we’ve achieved already with 40,000+ blog views and 13,000 to our school website just since September. This is fantastic and I am truly amazed. I have big plans for next year in school and I will blog about those tomorrow.

Sharing

I have also been involved in the Vital Primary ICT Forum for the past few months along with @colport. This is a great area for sharing practice with other professionals and trying to help in the crazy world of ICT. I have also been helping when possible with UKedchat and this has become a huge event each week for teachers to share ideas and discuss key topics within school.

Personal stuff (aka the important bits)

We moved house in January and we’re all settled, a friend commented that it looks like we’ve been here forever as it looks perfect. Which is a good thing. Other than that, we got engaged in the Summer so now have a 2012 wedding to prepare for!

Going Underground at Bett #bett2011
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 | Author:

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. Have a look here for more.

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