Bett is one of the largest education technology conferences in the world. It is a platform for 34,000+ educators and leaders from the UK and overseas to engage with 800+ EdTech providers, SMEs and start-ups, and to learn from 300+ of the most influential voices in the landscape. People from over 146 countries in the global education community come together to celebrate, find inspiration and discuss the future of education, as well as seeing how technology and innovation enables educators and learners to thrive. 
- Evidence based practice and design
- Reducing workload
- Encouraging creativity
This was my fourth Bett show and this time I came prepared. Knowing exactly what I wanted to get from these 4 long days of exploring this endless edtech heaven, I made a master plan in advance. Bett show offers a seminar programme like no other, gathering that many experts from all sectors is not a usual opportunity. So, you’re guessing, I had to go and see them all!
What started off as a simple idea of attending seminars I am interested in, finished as a running competition from one seminar hall to the next…all day, every day.
There were many more seminars I wanted to attend and a whole group of people I wanted to meet, but this year’s focus was clear – Listen, Learn, Share. So for my dear colleagues at Edge Hill University, University of Zagreb and University of Latvia, friends from North West University and curious people from other corners of the world, here I share my notes and ideas from #Bett2020
Sharing the most up-to-date understandings about the working of the learning brain, Andrew will show how learning, memory, motivation and barriers to learning happen, the role that emotions play in all of that and how billions of dollars’ worth of research boils down to the fact that if a developing brain feels love, it will develop in as healthy way as possible.
Speaker: Andrew Curran, Paediatric Neurologist & Neurobiology Researcher – Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, Associate of Independent Thinking Ltd
|The importance of information gathering in safeguarding young people|
The safety of young people in education is of the upmost importance- but how do we effectively gather and monitor information to do this successfully? Justin Reilly, CEO of Impero Software, takes a look at the importance of information gathering in safeguarding young people in education, as well as the technological tools that have been proven to empower school staff to monitor both offline and online risks of harm. This session looks at how gathering information appropriately can aid in identifying young people at risk early, provide timely interventions, whilst promoting a whole-school approach to safeguarding young people in education.
Speaker: Justin Reilly, CEO – Impero Software
|Nordics@Bett: Creating Really Advanced Future Thinkers (CRAFT)|
This session at Nordic@BETT offer a rare opportunity to stay informed on up-to-date developments in digitalization and education in the Nordic schools. Students will showcase collaboration through digital media when presenting innovative cooperation between the Nordic countries and self-governed areas. This session will show approaches to digital competencies in school and Nordic CRAFT (Creating Really Advanced Future Thinkers) through Computational Thinking, coding and technology comprehension. Speakers are students from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and self-governed areas.
Speaker: Miles Berry, Principal Lecturer, School of Education – University of Roehampton
|The Billion Dollar Edtech Question: Can We Prove it Works?|
Everyone – from parents to governors, teachers to school leaders, IT managers to policy makers, and of course learners – wants to know why to bother with educational technology. It undoubtedly makes our lives more complex, whilst not always enabling us to see how it is having a positive impact. In this session, I will unlock the mysteries of the evidence base for Edtech, highlight why it is just so challenging to answer that billion dollar question and provide some practical tools to help us all make more discerning decisions about what Edtech to use, when, how, and why. Along the way, I’ll share insights of how some of the UCL EDUCATE companies have taken responsibility for such research – and by doing so, earned their coveted EdWards.
Speaker: Alison Clark-Wilson, Principal Researcher, UCL EDUCATE – UCL Institute of Education, University College London
|The Importance of Creativity|
Creativity is of critical importance to drive human progress and innovation in the world today. Erik will share insights into how Apple champions creativity and how education is part of its DNA. For 40 years Apple has worked alongside educators, and have seen — and research has shown — that creative expression leads to deeper student engagement. During this talk Apple will explore how creativity is brought to life through their Everyone Can Create curriculum, which helps educators find the creative genius in every child.
Speaker: Erik Hanson, Senior Director – Marketing Communications – Apple
|Getting it Done with Adobe Acrobat DC|
PDFs can sometimes be seen as an inflexible document format, yet it makes up a huge majority of documents teachers work with. We are going to show you how to make the most out of your existing and future PDFs! Well-presented and easy to use documents are at the heart of every curriculum. We’ll show you how to create documents that will look great on any screen. We’ll explore tools to edit, sign, share, protect, and search so you can collaborate with colleagues and students significantly faster and easier.
Speaker: Lukas Engqvist, Teacher – Brobygrafiska Utbildning
|Barefoot Computing – Hands-on, Unplugged Activities to Teach Computational Thinking|
In this hands-on session you’ll will learn about Barefoot’s model of computational thinking by taking part in a range of unplugged activities, including speed drawing to practise abstraction and code cracking to hone their logical thinking! Delegates will leave with an understanding of how Barefoot Computing can support them in their classroom and how to access a Barefoot workshop. BT’s Barefoot Computing provides resources and CPD workshops to support primary teachers in teaching computing in schools across the UK.
Speaker: Jon Chippindall, Computing Lead – Crumpsall Lane Primary School
|Driving design-focused project-based learning with Canva|
The need for visual design literacy is extremely important for modern project-based learning. Our year 11 and 12 students have been using Canva to develop a range of collateral for their final year media projects – from presentations, to marketing flyers and websites. I’ll be sharing the powerful outcomes that we’ve achieved by fostering their collaborative and design thinking skills and the amazing projects that our students have created by doing so.
Speakers: George Lee, CAST Academy Coordinator – Balboa High School; Nick Belshaw, Course Designer – Design School, Canva
|The Future of Work, Society & Learning – Preparing Learners|
Empowering teaching and learning , Innovation
We are living through history. Generation Z, with 2.5 billion 9-24 year olds, are about to become the worlds largest consumer group and will come to power within the next 20 years. The challenges they face are perhaps more significant than at any time in human history. Rapid technological progress from AI to automation to gene-editing means that the future of work and its nature will change. Climate change and population growth will mean that migration will become the new normal. The choices we make about what we learn, how we live and what we consume will determine the shape of society to beyond the 22nd century. Join Graham Brown-Martin and special guests at Bett for an evening reception of lively discussion about all our futures and positive strategies to help us thrive in it.
Graham Brown-Martin, Education & Future of Work Expert
Marielle van der Meer, Executive Director of Partnerships and Global Networks – The London Interdisciplinary School
Oli de Botton, Headteacher – School 21
Teachers and leaders have highly complex professional duties and the ethical decisions they make, to do the right thing and achieve a good result, are of enormous significance to the development of children and society. Schools are also the subject of intense public debate. Our ethics should provide clear and well-grounded principles about what is good and bad, right and wrong. Carolyn Roberts, Chair of the Ethics Committee of the Chartered College and headteacher, will talk about their Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education and the ways school can use it to make good decisions in difficult times.
Speaker: Carolyn Roberts, Chair of the Ethical Leadership Commission & Headteacher – Thomas Tallis School
|The Ethics of Artifical Intelligence in Higher Education|
Understand and overcome the ethical challenges presented by AI through up-to-date and practical strategies
Speaker: Wayne Holmes, Principal Researcher (Education) – Nesta
|What to Watch in 2020|
Using the latest news and teacher tap data, Laura will explore current challenges faced within school and discuss the implications of future policy changes for pupils, staff and school leaders.
Speaker: Laura McInerney, Journalist & Co-Founder – Teacher Tapp
|Unlocking Potential Through Edutainment|
Join Olivier Laouchez for this keynote presentation on how to unlock potential through edutainment.
Speaker: Olivier Laouchez, CEO – Trace
|Building a Creative Approaches to Social Mobility |
It is clear from global research by KidZania and OECD that social mobility is a mixed success story at best, with socio-economic contexts and experiences outside school influencing individual children’s progress. As a result, we need to differentiate between schooling i.e children being taught and education i.e experiences and learning by doing on the other. We must purposefully connect these two aspects for children to make sense of the world, find curiosity, inspiration and aspiration. We also must address the question: who are the teachers? This session will address these issues and suggested ways forward.
Ger Graus, Global Director of Education – KidZania
Anthony Geffen – Documentary Film Maker
Russell Hobby, CEO – Teach First
Omari McQueen, Junior Entrepreneur & Founder – Dipalicious
Anna Bassi, Editor – The Week Junior
|Supporting Children with Speech, Language and Communication Needs|
Speech Language and Communication needs are one of the most widely reported learning needs amongst children and young people. As effective communication is not only essential to learning, but also everyday life, helping learners deal with such challenges is possibly the most fundamental way in which school staff can support them. The role of technology in that essential work is very broad, from literally giving a voice to those who might not otherwise speak, to providing a stimulus or model in the classroom, to enabling rehearsal in a safe, neutral, environment.
Speaker: Carol Allen, Education Advisor for ICT and Inclusion – Hartlepool LA
|Requires Improvement to Ofsted Outstanding in 4 Terms – 6 easy (but hard work) steps|
This session will look at the 6 key things you need to focus on to improve learning and teaching, outcomes and destinations for young people in a short period of time. Do you need whizz bang technology? 1-1? Or is something else more important?
Speaker: Cherry Tingle, Principal and CEO – Energy Coast UTC/MAT
|Women Don’t do Edtech! – Breaking The Stereotype|
The session will explore not only gender stereotypes but also ‘people who work in tech’. The panel will question whether these factors affect women coming into tech professions. The panel will offer tips about what employers can do to dispel the myth that women should be a certain ‘type’ to work in Edtech and how to be proactive in encouraging more women into the industry. Women EdTech is about profiling the role of women within educational technology. It’s shines a positive light on the impact that technology can have to enable leaders to effectively fulfil their role and encourage more leaders to adopt an appropriate technology enabled style of leadership. Their mission is to build connections and upskill educators, create new opportunities in educational technology, and build connections that can lead to better schools. They aim to create an empowered community and to increase the capacity of women in technology.
Bukky Yusuf, Edith Kay School – Senior Leader and Science Leader
Clare Roberts, Brighton Hill Community School – Head of Technology
Kirsty Grundy, Primary Education Lead’ – Shireland Academy Trust
Ranjeet Kaur, Childrens Book Illustrator – Sikh Colouring Books
Dr Neelam Parmar, Director of EdTech, Digital Learning and Innovation – Ashford School
|Beyond the Campus: Building a Digital Estate for Your University|
Universities consider their beautiful campuses and statuesque buildings, but do they consider their third space for learning? The digital estate can support inclusivity and wellbeing, increase a feeling of community and allow learning and teaching to continue far beyond the confines of a campus. This session will lay the digital foundation stone for innovative teaching spaces.
Speaker: Sarah Wright, Senior Lecturer in Education – Edge Hill University
|Digital Portfolios with Adobe Spark|
We know that students are going to be working in an increasingly digital world and yet much of the work they do in school is still recorded in traditional ways. Spark Post and Spark Page are the perfect, low barrier to entry tools for both teachers and pupils to take their work from pen and paper to a global audience. We’ll show you a variety of ways in which teachers can get students sharing work digitally without having to climb a steep learning curve to achieve very professional-looking results.
Speakers: Dominic Traynor, Education Evangelist – Adobe
|Teachers as Co-researchers: Investigating Solutions to Enhance Learner Achievement|
This session will explain how teachers as co-researchers have investigated digital technologies in order to customise their teaching techniques and make more accurate assessments of pupils’ learning interests and progress. Differentiation in teaching and good feedback are vital to improving achievement, particularly when the students have Special Educational Needs (SEN) and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). It will discuss the TPEA members’ extensive research results focusing on digital technologies like e-readers, digital media and assistive and immersive technologies. Members have investigated features designed to promote inclusion in products including BrainPOP, EyeGaze, IRIS Connect and Learning by Questions. This session will suggest ways of using technology effectively to promote engagement and enhance learning for all. In addition, suggestions will be offered about technologies that can enable teachers to be creative in engaging children and young people, especially SEND pupils and those with PMLD.
Sarah Younie, Professor in Education, Innovation and Technology – De Montfort University
John Sibbald, Assistant Principal – Manchester Communications Academy
Christina Preston, Associate Professor in Education – De Montfort University
The annual Bett Show attracts visitors from all over the world, coming to London to find out about the latest developments in edtech. It’s a meeting place for the global education community and for years teachers have met in the evening, during Bett, to attend TeachMeets. We’re delighted to invite you to join us for the third International TeachMeet. During the Teachmeet you’ll get the opportunity to give a short presentation about your international project or about any other idea for the classroom. Or, you can also just attend to listen, get inspired and network. Everyone is welcome to attend. More info http://tmintbett.wordpress.com
Arjana Blazic – Croatian Ministry of Education
Bart Verswijvel, Senior Advisor – European Schoolnet
|Becoming X: Lessons from legends|
Based on in depth interviews with some of the world’s most inspirational and iconic people, Paul Gurney shares the lessons on what it really takes to succeed in life and the implications for the future of education. The session will also offer an insight into the vision of BecomingX – the education organisation co-founded by Bear Grylls that aims to transform personal development and character education in schools and help young people all over the world to realise their potential.
Speaker: Paul Gurney, CEO – Becoming X
|AccessforAll: Digital strategy that levels the playing field for all|
This session will show you how with the support of senior leaders and colleagues, a tiny team can improve technology adoption, prepare our teachers and support staff for the 21st Century world and contribute towards an Ofsted Outstanding and a Beacon award for Staff Development.
Speakers: Deborah Millar, Group Director of Digital Learning Technology – Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education
|Establishing a Digital Learning Platform that Works for All|
This session explores how you can take advantage of digital learning platforms in order to make staff jobs easier and simplify communication with students. During this presentation, audiences will receive key tips and tricks for preparing students for the world of work, challenging current thoughts around DLE and considering programmes to encourage change in approach to delivery of curriculum.
Speaker: Simon Kay, Head of Digital and Professional Development – SGS College
|Using Social Media in the Primary Classroom|
There is often a fear around using social media in the Primary classroom, but during this session, the pupils and staff from Lanchester EP Primary School (Co.Durham) will show the amazing impact that the introduction of social media has had on all aspects of school life. They will share their journey from October 2013 to the present day and how it led to them being praised by Ofsted for their positive use of social media in the classroom. Headteacher (Jane Davis) will share the concerns that she had prior to introducing social media and the subsequent transformation it has on home/school communication and relationships. Two of the pupils from the school will talk about how ‘too much of their work had an audience of one’ and how the introduction of social media has given them a worldwide platform for their work and how it has allowed them to connect directly with authors, athletes, astronauts and a whole range of other amazing people. Digital Enrichment Leader (Martin Bailey) will conclude the session by giving top tips for making the most out of social media in the classroom and how its use positively models how to post safely online.
Martin Bailey – Director, Animate 2 Educate Ltd; Digital Enrichment Leader, Lanchester EP Primary School; Lecturer in Primary Computing, Durham University
Jane Davis, Headteacher – Lanchester EP Primary School
Caitlin Atkinson, Student – Lanchester EP Primary School
Anna King, Student – Lanchester EP Primary School
|The Learning Amplifier: An immersive journey with mixed reality technology|
Year: 2133. Location: Mars. Join us in Delta Colony for an unforgettable experience as we showcase how immersive technologies such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality can transform learning from pupils simply receiving information to being a part of powerful, memorable experiences. We’ll explore the pedagogy behind immersion and show that when technology is used with purpose learning is both accelerated and deepened inspiring pupils and elevating their learning.
Andrew Hammond, Senior Director of Learning & Community – Discovery Education
Phil Birchinall, Senior Director of Immersive Content – Discovery Education
|Digital Residents or the Distracted Generation? Helping Students to Manage Digital Distractions in the Class and Beyond|
This interactive keynote will argue that while technology can revolutionise learning and teaching, it can also interfere with the learning experience and students’ ability to focus. Drawing on recent research, this session will explore methods that help students develop skills to manage digital distractions, and the practicality involved for educators, administrators and institutions.
Speaker: Sophia Mavridi, Lecturer – De Montfort University
|The Future of Learning|
In this talk, Sugata Mitra takes us through 20 years of experience with how children and the internet interact. What influences does the internet have on children and learning? Under what conditions are these influences at their optimal best? How have these influences changed over time? From 20 years of travels around the world, Sugata describes the changes that schools need to make to become meaningful in a world where what we need to know is no longer evident.
Speaker: Sugata Mitra, Newcastle University – Former Professor – School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
|Reimagining Shakespeare for the digital age|
Empowering teaching and learning , Future tech and trends , Innovation
Every student reads or learns about Shakespeare’s plays at some point in their education. Yet has our teaching of it evolved to help young learners understand the complex language and themes in an easier way? In this session, we’ll introduce you to how Adobe Photoshop can be used to give learners an exciting and dynamic way of learning key aspects of Shakespeare’s work, in this case by creating an imagined social media post by a key character from an important scene in Romeo and Juliet. This fun and creative project helps students understanding of a character’s motivation and feelings. The task can be used as an effective discussion tool and can help students to unpack specific moments in a play or imagine conversations they would like characters to have.
Speaker: Greg Hodgson, Education Consultant – Edge Gain Ltd
|Supporting Dyslexic Students in Primary and Secondary School|
We know so much about dyslexia compared to other forms of neurodiversity and yet there are still huge areas of doubt. While we have moved on from the days when many claimed that dyslexia did not exist, there are still areas of contention. Should schools continue to focus on handwriting or move children on to touch typing and tap into their haptic skills? Can the use of technology improve recognition of spelling patterns or does it make children lazy? Is it a good idea for pupils with dyslexia to learn a foreign language or will it make them more confused? Our panel of experts will discuss what technology can and cannot do for young people with dyslexia and what school should be focusing on to help them make good progress – not just in school but once they are out on their own
Sal McKeown, Freelance Journalist
Rosanne Esposito, Lecturer in Special Educational Needs and Disability – UCL Centre for Inclusive Education
Laura Stephens, Learning Support Tutor – Barton Peveril Sixth Form College
Abi James, Accessibility Consultant – AbilityNet
Learn something new, be amazed, amused and enthused. This is an informal gathering of those curious about teaching and learning. Anyone can share great ideas they’ve trialled in their classrooms, ask important questions or simply sign up to take part in learning conversations. Education professionals from all sectors are welcome to take part. The main part of TeachMeet is hearing stories about learning, from teachers. This is not an event to present about a product or theory – this is a chance for teachers from all types of establishments to hear ideas from each other. Real narratives of practice that make a difference. It is about being engaged and inspired by our immediate colleagues and a whole bucket load of networking to boot!
All together, Bett+Education show 2020 was a fantastic experience, but much needed rest will now take place. I’ll be happy to see you enjoying, exploring and discussing these notes.
Did you attend Bett2020? How do you make the most of your time and energy on such a big conference? Tips for Bett 2021 are welcome.