In January, Sarah Fielding and Chrissie Metcalf attended BETT – an education showcase event hosted by Microsoft. Bringing together 850 leading companies and 103 exciting new edtech start-ups, BETT gives its 34,700 attendees from the global education community an opportunity to find inspiration and discuss the future of education
Whilst the majority of edtech is focused on compulsory-aged education, it enabled us to delve further into what kind of background the students may have come from, think about how we can take advantage of this within Higher Education and see the expectations and developing role of technology within the education sector. BETT also features a Higher Education area and some inspiring high-level keynote speakers from companies such as Canvas.
Interacting with start-up companies at an early stage is a great way to shape the development of those tools, making them more fit for purpose in HE environments. Notable companies and individuals that we spoke to on the day included VR guru Steve Bambury, pi-top, Thinglink and Google Expeditions.
We also watched informative presentations from other HEIs about their experiences of using Microsoft Teams for education (UCLAN) and Minecraft to teach biological sampling techniques (Teesside), providing valuable insight into how they are using technology to engage students and staff in dialogue.
All-in-all an exciting and productive day, with lots of inspiration brought back into the team. BETT is free entry, so for the price of a train ticket, it’s a fantastic opportunity for us to find out about new technologies and how they are being used.