Tomorrow, all being well, I shall be travelling to London for the annual BETT exhibition at Olympia. This show is a ‘must’ event for people involved in ICT and education
I have attended most of the BETT shows ever since they started way back in the days of the BBC micro. I have generally found the show seems to vary each year. For me it seems that every other year the show is a good one with lots of innovation on display. Other years you tend to find just consolidation or new products. Note that a new product does not always = innovation.
Last year was an interesting show for me as I spent it meeting people and attending seminars rather more than visiting the stands. I wonder therefore if I missed anything but there did not seem to be any great innovations apart from touch sensitive desks.
Talking of touch sensitive desks, such as Microsoft surface, I wonder what had happened to them? Not much has been heard of them after BETT, did they due a death, were they simply too expensive, too impractical or has someone realised that we tend not to use desks so much in modern classrooms?
Anyway, this year’s show promises much. We have already had , about time, Becta’s announcement of the Home Access programme and I wonder whether the suppliers may be displaying their wares at the show. No doubt the Becta stand will be busy with people enquiring about the scheme. What, however, interests me more about this year’s show are the free evening events. I shall be attending the TEDx event on Wednesday evening but sadly I’ll miss the friday teachmeet. The Thursday event I may or may not be able to attend depending upon train times.
Anyway, I shall no doubt be tweeting about the show while I’m there and hopefully meeting people.
June 2010 update
Well, what a different half a year makes! Six months later and the whole ICT in education world seems to have been turned upon its head. The new government has clearly indicated its dislike of ICT because of its costs and has accordingly slashed school’s ICT budgets and disbanded the national organisation, Becta, in charge of ICT in schools. Although Becta is not due to close until March 2011, there must be some doubt as to whether they will have a stand at the next BETT show. Indeed, the impact of the government’s decisions are being felt right across the board and it is now questionable how many people, companies and organisations will be exhibiting at next BETT. I guess at this stage we shall just have to wait and see.