Saturday, January 18, 2014

#BETT14 Here we go again !

I am heading down to BETT14 on Tuesday afternoon for some pre-meetings and then the usual busy diary of meetings in and around the conference.  Staying back in familiar territory near Gloucester Road Underground this year,  after last year's foray to Greenwich, so hope to be able to network longer without worrying about missing the last light rail train across the water.  Reflections last few years here 

I can't claim to have been at this event for last 30 years but I've attended since the mid 1990's

My diary is pretty full but  - If  you have something unique and engaging aimed at any part of the assessment , e-portfolio space or you have some genuinely open learning or you are looking for meaningful partnerships with school , college or vocational learning space either in Scotland or internationally then I would be interested in talking to you.  I am easy to get hold of - just tweet something to @joecar and I'll respond.

Scottish Education really is very unique and very distinct to what is on offer in the school , college and vocational space in England.  Remember if you have attended the The World Education Forum  you may have been persuaded that we only do things in one way in the UK . In fact the Scottish Education tradition has been distinct for centuries.
I am not even sure if there will be a Scottish voice at this pre-Bett  Forum this year ?

My ambition of having a joint agency Scottish stand at Bett still has still to come to fruition - maybe one day.

When I arrive I'll share notes with colleagues who will have been down hearing about a major global learning project we have been tracking for the last three years New Pedagogies for Deep Learning: A Global Partnership .On Thursday afternoon/evening  I am attending the related strand on new modes of assessment. I am hoping that we and Education Scotland can plug into this project and a relevant juncture.

Around conference I am meeting usual suspects from Microsoft , Google and other global vendors . It is remarkable change that over last 12 or so years many of the big global vendors tend to be in and around the event but no longer take stands - I think this just reflects changing business models - the resellers fill the gap and the stands are no longer just about the technology but how the technology is deployed in classrooms.
Great too the folks now talking about how it is done are teachers who really use the technology with their learners.

I'll be dipping in and out of the various strands of the conference programme too

  • School Leaders Summit
  • Workplace Learning Summit
  • Technology in Higher Education Summit

  • Here is a snap shot

    Wednesday morning I'll catch the ministerial address and then vendor meetings and then speaking at Talking about potential of harnessing massive open on-line courses for staff development incorporation into school and college classrooms - and probably a bit more too

    Picking up some meetings in afternoon with some business partners.

    Thursday morning meeting with vendor partners and in afternoon meeting some companies with new models for on-line assessment - then picking up New Pedagogies Conference . Meeting some folks who are into gamification and virtual worlds for assessment in evening.

    Friday - Morning to explore exhibition area and catch some of the presentations - business lunch and catching up with James Fanning of Education Scotland before running back to Airport .

    My top tip - you will hear a lot of self centred crap from those who have not spent a lot of time in front of real learners - if you work in Education policy - please do not feel inadequate in front of lots of expensive glossy technology .

    If  you really work in school , college or work based learning - then challenge these policy makers , tekkies and pseudo education leaders to deliver things that help the learners in front of you. Think ahead too what will help learners over next 3-5 years.

    A learner without access to a browser and wifi - is at an educational disadvantage.

    Have a mind open enough to see what you can do to change things for your learners .. but be street wise enough not to buy the latest gizmo with a fifty year lease back and a maintenance licence that will mortgage their future.


    Reverend Walt said...

    Joe -
    Will be following your tweets as you go! I have pulled out as difficult to justify outgoings from personal funds :(

    I applaud your challenge to 'make it real' and hope that readers of your blog will consequentially demand more and better from suppliers (and policy makers).

    As for a united Scottish presence - long overdue in my book!

    Joe Wilson said...

    Cheers Walter,
    All indications are that there will be a really small Scottish presence this year at Bett14 . So will do best to broadcast what is going on . The privilege of attending events like this should oblige folks to share . But made harder as it appears some of our policy colleagues have stepped back from using social media

    Anonymous said...


    Thanks for sharing information on this blog. As something of a techno-dweeb, I find your comments about the use of technology quite interesting.

    I don't own a cell phone and have never sent a text message or a tweet. However, I am likely going to proceed with the Master of Instructional Design and Technology through the Open University of Malaysia, and am accordingly giving greater consideration to the technology.

    My question for you is: What are your thoughts about the "best" style of Tablet or Laptop for Students and Faculty?

    At present I am most inclined towards a Touch Screen device that incorporates, or is designed to work well with, a Wacom Stylus. From what I have seen, such a stylus enhances the utility of a Tablet or a Smart Phone considerably.

    That said, I would like to be able to use just one device to do the brunt of my work. This seems to limit me to devices that use Windows rather than Android. (I exclude Apple only because I am otherwise working in a Microsoft environment. Is this a mistake?)

    I have suggested that our College provide Learners with Tablets instead of textbooks, because the cost offset seems pretty reasonable these days, and the overall functioanality seems so great.

    Thanks for your time with this, Joe.



    Saskatchewan, Canada

    Joe Wilson said...

    Without prejudice

    I am working at moment on my laptop which has wifi and all the productivity tools I need I can choose to use lots of software from a range of providers including open software and pick whos cloud or not I want to store things in also comes with bluetooth and all the ports needed to work with a range of other hardware.

    So my productivity tool of choice is not a tablet device but a lap-top with enough power to do lots of things . I would use a stylus if I was drawing but I key in most things . If money was no object I would have a tablet for browsing and taking notes and a laptop for everything else .

    Thanks for your comment and sorry we could not lure you to Edinburgh University which offers some excellent on-line programmes in instructional technology.