Bett 2017

Yesterday I visited the Bett 2017 show at the London ExCeL centre, with the aim of viewing the latest of what ed tech has to offer.
Was there a big ‘wow’ moment for me at the show – no, not really. Were there some items of interest – yes, of course. I will go into more detail of some of these in further posts.
What I did notice was that the major theme, which so many developers and companies seemed to be targeting, was coding. Examples of developing young people’s coding skills were everywhere, from mobile apps to new hardware and robots which could be programmed, you just couldn’t avoid it. Yes, coding is the latest hot topic in the world of computing education, but it really did seem a bit like everybody was jumping on the band wagon; I guess they are bound to, but talk about choice!
I spent quite a bit of time around the Google stand, not suprisingly considering the time I have invested in Google products and G-suite for education in particular, for Cymru Care Training. They were seriously pushing Google Classroom at the show, demonstrating its latest features and its use with chrome add-ons. The demos made interesting viewing, although it was teaching your granny to suck eggs a bit, with me. Still, I gained some useful information from a couple of their guys on the licensing of chromebooks to tie them to your G-suite for Education domain, and manage them through the admin console. I also got to see some of the new chromebooks for 2017, that are ‘Android Apps ready’, use USB type C for super-fast charging and allow you to use a non-powered stylus to write on them. They were nice, but I didn’t see a price for them!
There were a few other stands I targetted as due course; Microsoft, Apple, HP etc., and I collected the usual assortment of leaflets and hand-outs from a wide range of exhibitors, but there was nothing I was really bowled over by. Still, I came away with some useful knowledge for keeping up with ed tech, and for feeding back to my staff at Cymru Care Training. Oh, and lots of new pens, of course!