Tag-Archive for ◊ Conferences / BETT ◊

BETT2013 Plans
Saturday, January 19th, 2013 | Author:

Borrowing (porcupining) the idea from Chris Mayoh, I thought it would be useful to highlight some of my plans for the BETT exhibition. I have a number of presentations and these tend to be for companies I have worked with in the past few years. So I thought I would share my plans so far. I do need to look at the seminars and theatres and plan some of those in somehow too!



11:30am – 12:00 (Google)

Francesca, Issy and Emma will be presenting on the Google stand looking at how they have used Google Sites in the classroom. We will be sharing a few ideas of how to get started and showing just how easy it is to create a website in minutes. Google Sites is a great tool for sharing information that the children have learnt on a particular topic and they are extremely easy to use.

1:30 – 2:00pm (Stone Computers)

Emma, Emily and Lottie will be on the Stone Computers stand (info here) sharing their thoughts on what it is like to be a Digital Leader and they will also be talking about our school blogs. This includes examples of children who have now got their own blogs for sharing their own ideas too. Our school blogs have had 600,000 views in two years and I’ll be giving a bit of an insight into what we use the blogs for and how they have helped our school. For info: This talk will be followed by Chris Mayoh discussing his Digital Leaders, which will be well worth sticking around for.

2:30 – 3:00pm (2Simple)

Henry and I will be looking at how we have been using 2Do It Yourself to create platform games. This will include designing our own characters, planning the game and then editing the code to change the game dynamics. The children learn and use a whole range of skills when creating these simple games and we will give a demonstration of that.

When not presenting, we’ll be wandering around and enjoying ourselves!

Thursday – Not attending, back in school for the day!



10:00am – 12:00 BrainPOP

Along with my wife we will be on and around the BrainPOP stand showing just how amazing BrainPOP is and how it can help with a range of topic areas in your classroom. We’ll be the ones in the black t-shirts ūüôā

1:30 – 2:00pm (Stone Computers)

Similar to the presentation for Rising Stars later on today, this will be another quickfire look at free web tools to get teachers using the web in their classrooms. This will include tools to help with animation, research and art.

2:30 – 3:30pm (2Simple)

I will start with a presentation looking at the impact Purple Mash can have in your classroom. I will then be around to answers questions and to help share some of the great ways in which we have used 2Simple’s tools in our school.

15:30 – 16:00pm (Rising Stars)

This will be a presentation sharing a range of free online tools to help with ICT in the classroom. This will include tools to help with presentations, ebook design and photography. These are quick and easy tools that can be learnt in seconds and then applied into your curriculum with ease.  There will also be a chance to purchase copies of my book, Essentials: ICT and get it signed too.

6:30 – 9:30pm

I’ll be heading to the Teachmeet to see what wonderful stories and ideas people are sharing this year.

When not presenting, I’ll probably be on the BrainPOP ¬†stand ūüôā


11:30am – 12:00 (Rising Stars)

This will be a presentation sharing a range of free online tools to help with ICT in the classroom.  These are quick and easy tools that can be learnt in seconds and then applied into your curriculum with ease.  There will also be a chance to purchase copies of my book, Essentials: ICT and get it signed too.

2:00 – 3:00pm (2Simple)

Another talk and demonstration of Purple Mash talking about how we have used this in our school. There will be time for questions too.

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‚Äôve 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‚Äôve collected. It‚Äôs easy to let a few weeks pass by. If you‚Äôre 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‚Äôre 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.

BETT – Teachmeet Takeover and Kidsmeet Takeover
Tuesday, November 13th, 2012 | Author:

This post is just to announce that the wiki pages for Teachmeet Takeover and Kidsmeet Takeover at BETT2013 are now live.

If you are unaware, a Takeover is where a company gives up part of their stand for 30 minutes so that a teacher or group of children, can share some ideas about anything. This is usually a free tool or idea and it should be something that can be easily replicated in the classroom.

For example, last year two of my children discussed Popplet on the Scholastic stand and then I talked about 5 cool web 2.0 tools on the Rising Stars stand. It can be anything that you have used or tried in your classroom. A good way to approach this is get someone to share a 30minute timeslot with.

So what do we need? Well we need two things. Firstly we need people willing to present and secondly we need companies willing to share their stand with the presenters, If you are one of those, then click the links below and sign-up on the Wiki.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

PS: Yes, there is a Teachmeet on the Friday of BETT and no, details aren’t all sorted yet!

Teachmeet Takeover at BETT2013

Kidsmeet Takeover at BETT2013

BETT Radio
Saturday, January 28th, 2012 | Author:

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, my children were interviewed by the legend that is Russell Prue while they were at the BETT show. This interview was done without any¬†preparation¬†and they were amazing (as always). I thought I’d share the link, it’s a ten minute long podcast but it makes me smile.

The radio archives are here: http://andertontiger.com/BETTradio/ and the direct link to the mp3 is here: http://andertontiger.com/audio/St-John-BETT2012.mp3

Other BETT goodness aka BETT part 2
Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 | Author:

Firstly, apologies that it has taken so long to write this. The week after BETT is always just as busy as the time when you’re there. Also, I didn’t take a laptop with me due to space constraints in the luggage (Charlie’s straighteners took priority of course).

So it’s been (over) a week since BETT and it feels like a lifetime ago. BETT is different for me than it is for the majority of other people. Most teachers will go and explore the show, look around, see what is new and maybe grab the odd freebie but for me, I go there to meet with people from Twitter and do the odd presentation or two.

Firstly, the Twitter thing. Over the last 3 BETTs I have met so many people from Twitter that this has become a massive highlight for me. If you took away all of the stands and just put us all in a room, we’d happily have the best day ever. There are so many people that I connect with on a daily basis that I see these people as friends, even more so than people I know in the real world sometimes! This sounds weird I know, but I chat to some people a few times a week at least so I do count them among my friends. In fact, the first appointment on the Thursday evening was with Dughall McCormick and we discussed the fact that we had only met in person four or five times before, yet it is always like meeting an old friend. ¬†Many thanks to Matt Pearson for the invite to this event too ūüôā

Throughout the show I met many old friends, (well I say that, but mainly they are people I met last year!) and many new ones too. The oddity for me was when someone told me that they followed me on Twitter, said hello and then walked away without me getting the chance to find out their Twitter name in return! There was even one silly (but very lovely) person who accuses me of being a Twitter celebrity, I just reminded her that I’m a normal bloke that tweets too much. And has a very understanding fiancee…

The highlight of Friday morning for me is this weird tradition that I seemed to have started a few years back. In 2010 a few us were at a loose end and had booked cheap hotels without breakfast so we discussed meeting for coffee before the show. This was where I first met Simon Widdowsden (@xannov). THen last year people asked if we were repeating the #BETTbreakfast. It had gained a hashtag so I couldn’t refuse could I? This year we followed the same tradition and all met for breakfast in a pub 10mins from Olympia. This was a great chance to almost meet people like Simon Lewis (more on him later) and Merlin John and to catch up with David Mitchell, Natty (@natty08), Dawn Hallybone, Rob Harrison, Alex Bellars, John Sutton, Gideon Williams and many more. It’s a simple idea, but I love it. Bacon and eggs, plus friends. Wonderful ūüôā

I unfortunately had to leave the breakfast early as I had Google business on the Google stand. For those that attended the Google meetup before Christmas, you’ll know if something is provided by Google then you prefix it as such. We had Google wine and got a Google pen. I blame Pete Stuart (@petestuart). So, I headed to Olympia and my first bit of Google business was blagging my way in early without a trade pass (thanks to the person who helped, you know who you are) and then I met with the Google team who needed help unloading the Google boxes from the Google van. Enough of that. I spent two hours on the Google stand sharing Chromebooks and discussing how we use Google Apps in our school. What I loved was that when I started showing one person our apps approach, 4 or 5 others would gather around to watch and listen too. I have never had 2 hours fly by so quickly, it was intense and non-stop. I don’t know how the Google guys did it for 4 days! Talking to them, I don’t think they knew either! (T-shirt count = 1)

I must say that the other highlight for me at BETT is presenting. This sounds big-headed but hey, it’s my blog. Throughout the year through my various silly projects I get an amazing level of support from some incredible people. Sometimes this means discounted or even free software, sometimes they help with sponsorship or an event or sometimes they make badges for me. (This blog post is due later). So I see BETT as a time where I can do a little bit in return. If I can do a presentation about Class PET for Scholastic and have 10 more people come to the stand, then that is a good thing. My first duty was a Teachmeet Takeover for Rising Stars. I was sharing this with Bev Evans and I discussed some free stuff to use in school. We had a crowd of around 20 people and some stuck around after to talk to the team at Rising Stars, which is great. Andrea has supported many things we’ve done so it’s always a pleasure to see her and help whenever I can!

So Friday was the day when (in the words of Bev) I turned into a software/corporate tart. After my TMTakeover I headed to BrainPOP where I swapped tshirts for an hour or so sharing how we use BrainPOP in school. I love the BrainPOP team and any time on their stand is great fun. Charlie spent a lot of her two days on there too in fact. So I swapped t-shirts (tshirt count = 2) and started talking to some people. This is hard because people assume you are trying to sell to them, which I guess in a way, I sort-of am, but I am just trying to share a great product that our children adore.

After a short time with BrainPOP it was the first of a few Class Pet demonstrations for Chris on Scholastic. Chris is another person who has helped me in loads of ways such as taking photos at the first TM Hants right through to being the first sponsor of TM Bett2012.  This is a great product that really helps with assessing maths in the classroom. The children enjoy it and one today even asked me when do they next get to go on there because they love it so much!

I also squeezed in a presentation for 2Simple about how we use Purple Mash (tshirt count = 3) and answered questions too. Out of everything, Purple Mash is the one product that I would (and did) buy and recommend for any primary school. The others I’ve mentioned are great but Mash just about edges them as it covers so much across the whole school. So I will happily discuss it with an audience and present on it whenever I am asked to.

Throughout Friday I kept having this nagging feeling that I wasn’t seeing the BETT show at all. I spent my whole time going between 4 or 5 stands, visiting people I knew, but I was fairly happy. Mainly because I knew Oliver Quinlan was exploring and snapping pictures for us all to look at later!

The evening brought the main event for me, Teachmeet. This was put together even-more-last-minute than last year and yet we felt calmer and more organised. Maybe it’s because Drew, Ian and I had sorted it last time around, maybe it was because we weren’t presenting. That honour went to Miles Berry and Dawn Hallybone.

I’m going to forget people but MASSIVE thanks to Alex Bellars, Phil and Nicky Allman, Sarah Neild, Tim Rylands, Dan Bowen, @natty08, @mrswaite, Pete Stuart, @grumbledook, Dawn Hallybone and the other 10 or so people that helped convert the Apex room from 250 chairs in rows to 25 tables of 10 in 15 minutes. Truly incredible and without you guys, it could have been a bit different!

As we weren’t presenting, we were able to flit about solving minor things and making the evening run smoothly and I know I am biased, but again…I don’t care…I felt that everything about the evening was perfect. There was a mix of primary and secondary (maybe more weighted towards primary, but last year was very secondary focussed) and there were lots of people that had never been to a Teachmeet before and also some that had never presented before! There were even some amazing trainee teachers that stood up and presented too. Kudos to them. They got a standing ovation from Dughall, Tim and Bill Lord. Not bad for your first Teachmeet is it?

One benefit of organising the Teachmeet is the ability to influence it a bit. So as the evening was drawing to a close I asked Dawn and Miles to invite three teachers up to present. These teachers (Claire, Cherise and Julie) have been planning online for weeks yet Cherise hadn’t met the other two until the evening of Teachmeet. They were nervous about presenting and sharing their project and only ‘volunteered’ because I bullied them into it. I know they had been worried all evening so I asked for them to go on last. The thought of building up to presenting and then not being chosen would be a bit too much for them (particularly Cherise!!). So they presented and they were fab. The evening was amazing and I felt very happy with it all. So to Pizza…one downside of having so many different tshirts is that both Charlie and I ended the day with BrainPOP tshirts on so we looked like we had decided to wear matching outfits. Obviously this wasn’t the case!


Overall I thought that BETT was a great experience and I want to thank everyone that I spoke to, shared with and met up with. You guys truly make it a wonderful experience ūüôā Roll on next year!

The most useful BETT blog that I’ve found¬†is this one from Oliver Quinlan

For a round-up of other BETT posts, take a look here.

BETT – Day 1
Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 | Author:

This is the first of many BETT posts that I am going to be writing, it’s been such a busy weekend that I’ve only just had time to go through and add photos etc to the blog posts! So, to start with, Day 1. The day we took the children.

I’ve been to BETT a number of times, a few as a trainee teachee and a few as VLE consultant and once last year as a teacher but I had never taken children until this year. I thought it would be great for them to experience the sorts of exciting ICT that could be used and to as a reward for their hard work with the Digital Leader project. If nothing else, I had planned on doing some Teachmeet Takeover-style presentations but in the end we were invited to present on so many different stands that we had to turn some down! I could have accepted them all, but I thought it was important for the children to have time to wander and explore the show as well.

So who to take? The Year 5 boys were obvious choices. They have presented at a headteacher conference and at a local Teachmeet and they have showed that they can ‘blag’ it and present confidently without the need of a script at all. One did make some notes but he didn’t need them. choosing other children was a bit harder because there were so many we could have picked. In the end we were asked by Google to present on their stand so I chose the two girls that had been using Google Sites to make the newsletter FYF.

In the end the plan was to have a TeachKidsmeet Takeover on the Scholastic stand, the girls to present for Google and then I was asked to present on the Brother stand about the use of Digital Leaders in the primary school.

We spent a few weeks preparing presentations although this mainly consisted of them doing it and me checking they were OK every now and again. It wasn’t until the day before that I heard both presentations for the first time. I have faith in my children. What was the worst that could happen??

So, we set off to BETT on the Wednesday and we went with some Digital Leaders from Titchfield Primary as well as their teacher, Charlie, and some other Heads and teachers from local schools. Upon arriving the children were blown away by the sheer size of BETT. I had told them and I had shown them pictures but I don’t think they were prepared for the size of it!

Firstly, I introduced them to the key stands to find in case they got lost such as Scholastic, Google, 2Simple and Brainpop. These were all fairly central and easy to find. They also had bright colours which helped! On the way we of course managed to collect some freebies such as chocolate from Espresso and some badges from Brainpop. I had already discussed the free things at BETT and the children were fantastic throughout the day. They always asked if they could have things and used their manners too. Unlike the MANY teachers who just took things from the show! One memory is of one of my boys waiting patiently to ask a lady on a stand if he could have a chocolate while a teacher from another school (I looked at his badge) came and took a huge handful! While on the Brainpop stand we of course met Moby the robot which set the day off to a great start. We also collected the Digital Leader badges that Brainpop had made especially for us too! We wore them with pride for the rest of the day. In fact, the children haven’t taken them off at all yet!


Before our presentations we managed to have a quick chat with Andrea Carr who sponsored the very first (paper-based) issue of FYF and then we had a play on the Kinect on the Microsoft stand.


In the morning the boys presented on the Scholastic stand. They were on after the Tichfield children who were discussing blogging. We then followed this up by talking about Digital Leaders and our use of free tools such as Animoto.


I tried to take photos not just of the presentation but also of the crowd that gathered. This started small with just 4 or 5 people when Titchfield began but with persuasion, coaxing and the cuteness factor of having children, the crowd grew and grew throughout the half hour we were both on stage.

Not long after we had finished we headed over to the Google stand. Now Google had never been at BETT before so there was a fair bit of excitement surrounding their stage and it was VERY busy. I had made the decision the day before to introduce the children and give a 3-4 minute talk on Google Sites. This would give the children a chance to relax a little and they seemed to benefit from this. One of the last comments I made before handing over to them was on the sheer number of cameras and phones pointing my way. I counted the Google video camera as well as at least 8 cameraphones! Nerve-wracking for any presenter! Check out that crowd!!!


I’ll say this again a few times in this post, but the children were amazing. The girls had never used a Mac before and were a bit thrown when it came to right-clicking or copying and pasting but they managed brilliantly. We were inundated with praise in person and on Twitter throughout the day. I think that they did an amazing job.

After a spot of lunch I thought it would be good to go and see the wonderful Russell Prue and see his radio station. I thought he’d interview us but I didn’t think it would be live. 2 minutes later. The children were (once again) amazing and when asked what they thought of Gove’s speech about ICT, they replied with comments saying that ICT wasn’t boring and was actually quite good fun. They also spoke eloquently about the face we do use and teach Microsoft software but we also use free things like Google, Popplet and Prezi too. The interview was recorded so I will share that once we have the recording.


In the afternoon I presented on the Brother stand about the Digital Leaders and I probably should have got them to share it, but they were happy exploring their new bags and seeing which sweets and goodies they had collected! Our last stop was a quick visit to the Uniservity stand to see Susan Banister and Lara Savory as I knew they had some plant seeds for the children. Whilst there we got a phone call from Charlie saying that Prince Andrew was on his way and we were needed for some handshaking and meeting/greeting! So we ran through Olympia and made our way to the stand to meet the Prince.

He was there to launch some assessment software but I don’t think he had ever seen it before. But hey, the children got to chat to a Prince for 15minutes or so. Although when Charlie asked her children what was their highlight…they said meeting Moby!!


Looking back, I can’t believe just how much we managed to fit into one day! No wonder I felt shattered for the next few days!!! The children were incredible and they have blogged about it here and here.

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/