#BETT2016 – Day 2 Highlights

Thursday began bright and early at:

#1 The School Leader Summit

‘Maintaining The Ability To Learn In A Digital Landscape’: with so much focus on learning through technology, some questions have been raised about the ability of pupils to learn through traditional methods. This session will address an integrated approach; where by students understand their own ability to learn through e-books.’

The session was led by Tricia Kelleher, Principal at the Stephen Perse Foundation.


Tricia Kelleher inspired us with how Perse Foundation have redesigned their learning spaces, share resources and also develop content for and with staff and students.

We got a glimpse into how information and content is interacted with in shared spaces and outdoor areas via devices and Apple TV, essentially creating micro libraries. Tricia referred to education today being a world of the mind where the traditional model of schools receiving published materials for learning is changing into schools becoming capable publishing houses.

Perse Foundation integrates iTunes U – GAfE – iBooks textbooks and iBeacons as key resources. For example, iTunes U serves as a platform to share content in different forms for learning materials that include video, audio, interactive, tailored resources. This enables learning content to be readily differentiated, down to individual education contract levels. It is accessible via specific stages where students can simply click on what’s appropriate to them, subsequently, ‘centralizing the learner’.

In response, questions from the floor included:

  • Do you check content accuracy e.g. scientific or French grammar books if you don’t have that expertise in house? – Yes, expert advise sought.
  • What’s the impact of creating own resources?  – Opportunities for collaboration. A range of people with different areas of expertise can work on authoring a book/s. Mindset is key as it is a different way of working.
  • How has it changed teacher CPD and how digital pedagogues are taught? – School developed ongoing after school CPD sessions and promotes peer2peer support.

For more information, check out the Stephen Perse Foundation website.

#2 STEAM Village – STEM: Is It Too Early?

Graham Farrow set off a lively discussion on Twitter with the question STEM in Primary: is it too Early? I joined in >>Tweet STEM

Various tweets joined the flurry, clearly a hot topic, although it was disappointing to hear a bit of a sales pitch to start the session on STEM kits that ‘have all you need’ to teach good lessons.
Graham described the research with main UK employers to establish the skills employers require for the future. This revealed that in a changing economy there is a demand for science, engineering and technology graduates.
The debate around STEM continues, and although used a lot in education circles, do we all know what it is? Where does it fit in? Graham introduced the Brands 4 Learning process.
The teachers interviewed asked for a coherent approach to STEM entailing:
– structured approach for the whole school
– resources practical to deploy
– clearly linked to standard curriculum
teacher support and parental involvement 
differentiated and extension activities
– infrastructure for CPD.
#3 BETT Launch of EdTech UK

board edtechBETT Launch of EdTech UK featured a quick intro by each of the start-ups developing future technology. Clicks links for more info:IMG_9140

FutureLearn – free online MOOCs
Kano – computer and coding kits for 6 & ups
Gojimo – revision app & online homework club
Blippar – publishers into digitally enabled materials, such as AR.

To summarise the introductions and questions from the floor, EdTech UK feels that impact is most important, using and engaging with technology through contextual, relevant content.

Their companies focus on free, open-source content where making is equally important as coding. They stressed the necessity to offer a high quality product that allows convenient access, and is pervceived as quality, and often linked to education lead players such as universities, e.g. FutureLearn is linked to University of London, UK.

Technology Futures Key = DISCOVERY
Making is at the heart of great learning through curation and needs to encompass a combination of tech and physical experiences.
Simon Nelson, concluded that digital is not yet at the top of institution and publisher priority lists and that #thinking must change on this.
#4 Minecraft: Education Edition

The Minecraft Team presented updates on MinecraftEdu, with changes such as login via Office365 and lesson plans available through the website.

You can also try out coding within Minecraft with ComputingCraftEdu‘a new way to learn computational thinking inside Minecraft. Players will start with a tile-based interface to learn the fundamentals of programming in a fun, accessible environment.’ [from website].
Worth a look and Follow on Twitter @MinecraftEdu.
   > > Day 3 Highlights here 
> > Day 1 Highlight s here

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