I went to the BETT exhibition and conference a couple of Fridays ago in the cosy, intimate surroundings of the Excel exhibition centre. It was huge. Surreal almost.
Some of the people I met had come a long way (Sweden for example). I’d walked and crossed the river from Greenwich – having finally found a reason to take the strangely pointless dangleway. I’m not good with heights.
So what to make of BETT? There was a massive amount of stuff on display covering all age ranges. Not surprisingly, lots of tablet stuff (mostly iPads). Had a chat with the people from Urkund too – an alternative to the seemingly ubiquitous Turnitin.
If nothing else, it drove home that if kids are increasingly growing up and being educated with all this tech, then at HE level we should be aware of it and not perceived to be stuck in the dark ages when they get here.
What was most interesting to me were the sessions. Students from Plymouth Uni talked eloquently about their use of social media and similar ‘cloud -based’ web tools. Ironically this was on the day when Gmail when down for a while – so always have a plan B. This brought to mind an exercise I had to do a couple of years back, mapping out my Personal Learning Environment. About the only thing I used that I think wasn’t mentioned was Zotero. I was interested in their experiences of blogging too. Initially maybe a bit daunting but a great reflective tool and of course good for networking and developing a professional online persona. Or just rambling like I do.
I enjoyed Doug Belshaw’s Masterclass on Digital Literacies – food for thought there and I’ll blog about that when I’ve got some sensible thoughts together. Also on a similar theme was a talk from UAL about their ambitious communities of practice approach to engaging students and staff with digital technologies.
Resources from these that were new to me (or slipped my mind in the past) included:
So would I go next year? Hmm.