Saturday, January 12, 2008

First Impressions of BETT 2008

( Mr McIntosh the photographer caught at BETT 08)
The previous post may seem a bit odd!!! however it was a challenge laid down by that lovely Mr McIntosh at the TeachMeet that he would give 7 £1 drink vouchers to the first person to blog about what BETT would look like in 2035....... Draig Goch can never miss the challenge of something for free ( Welsh !!!!).
BETT was its usual self and I will probably post over the next few days on the 'wow' objects of 2008. But for now I want to praise the organisers for giving Prof Stephen Heppell a 'Learners of the Future' ( Stephen Heppell, Alex Savage (back to camera) and Ewan McIntosh in the background)
space in the middle of the main floor. Here among the 'SALESMEN' :-( from all of the heavyweight educational suppliers, was a haven of good practice.
There were children actually showing visitors how they used an interactive whiteboard. Prof Heppell had also arranged for a group of Advanced Skills Teachers to show how they actually approach the curriculum using new technology.... of course as we already know, ( but need to let our colleagues now!) most of these are FREE and OPEN SOURCE.
The talk that I caught with a good audience was Alex Savage from Notre Dame High School in Norfolk.Alex and his pupils have used a range of applications from wiki's to blogs and podcasts to develop the set curriculum in ways which are meaningful to pupils and again mostly not with proprietary stuff but with freely available applications ( it was quite good that Alex was talking alongside Softease and the PODIUM podcasting product ..... actually mentioning Audacity ... well done Alex).
Looking at Ewan's later question on what BETT will look like in the future, I realise that big money companies pay towards the show, but wouldn't it be better to have a slightly smaller show where pupils and teachers actually show how relevant products, not those bored staff from big providers.

All of the best stuff that I saw on Friday was being delivered by teachers!(no bias honest!!!)
Flashmeeting of Teachmeet08 (watch from 1hour on....)
This was exemplified by those who waited until the witching hour of 6pm for the great Teachmeet 08, (as Mr McIntosh said, the first time TeacMeet has left Scotland), it was a room full of the great and the good of the Edublogosphere and web 2.0 world in the UK..... a list would be bound to leave people out, but here goes :
Doug Belshaw ( formerly Teaching Mr Belshaw now Doug Belshaw) EdTechRoundup
Dave Stacey ( Olchfa Secondary School, Swansea)
Anthony Evans ( Skinny Boy Evans and Redbridge ICT)
Terry Freedman ( Coming of Age and ICT in Education)
Linda Hartley (Acting to Improve: Informal Learning)
Karyn Romeis (Karyn's Erratic Journey)
Lisa Steven ( Lisibo and ¡VĂ¡monos!)
Jo Rhys Jones ( Primary MFL Ning Community)
Jeff Howson ( E2BN - Flashmeeting and Making the News - IT Consultant)
Drew Buddie ( Moodle King)
John Warwick ( E2BN - Flashmeeting, Deputy Head of St Luke's School)
Lee Davis ( IBO OLPS Blog)
Joe Dale ( MFL in my Classroom)
Mr Doug Dickenson (Dougmuses)
Alex Savage ( Notre Dame High School)
Leon Cych ( Learn4Life)
Mark Pentleton ( Coffee Break Spanish et al )... on the flashmeeting catch Drew Buddie's excellent presentation ( at 3 hours 1 minute and 6 seconds)..... Monster Presentation Drew :-) .
Apologies if anyone has been missed from the list.... it had been a long day, it was a shame really that the best bit was at the end ...... a great big thank you to the wee man Mr Ewan McIntosh for getting the whole thing going ...... thanks from Mr H.... more on BETT later :-)


Moturoa said...

Yes the last post was a little cryptic! I hope that Ewan paid out!

Bett must have been quite something. I was hoping for more output during Bett but people must have been too busy wining and dining or had no access!

Skute said...

It's interesting to note that you've compared Softease's Podium and Audacity - Audacity is an audio editing tool - not a podcasting tool. Audacity may be open source, but if you want a tool to create the RSS feeds and upload to an FTP site with the single click of a button then it's not for you!

Mr Harrington said...

Hi Skute - as a podcaster I understand your point, many of us upload our converted MP3 files to hosts such as Podomatic, Odeo or others FREE of charge... these hosts provide the RSS ...not too fiddly really. My main point is still valid I think that open source/ free software is available to cope with most needs. :-)

Mark Berthelemy said...

Sorry I missed you at the TeachMeet. Looks like you met my colleague, Karyn, but I had to go early.

It looks like I missed the best bits. All the presentations I saw were from advisors/consultants/industry, not teachers. Which is what I was hoping for... When Teachmeet (or even BETT?) becomes a place where teachers can swap ideas it will have far more value.

Skute said...

I suppose it depends on how easy you want to make it for the young users :)

The use of open source / free software in schools is an important discussion though!

Mr Harrington said...

In think Skute that some of our pupils will be able to cope with this - in school I had an 8 year old who could easily handle the recording and editing/ insertion of music clips and saving aud files to mp3.... and a group of 10 year olds who were ok with uploading to Podomatic.... good to have this almost synchronous discussion....

Mr Harrington said...

Mark - very sorry I missed you on Friday... we actually left at around 7.30 to get back to Wales, I missed Drew's excellent presentation... I caught Alex by accident ( glad I did) .. it was great to have face 2 face chats with so many online friends at the Teachmeet :-) I look forward to meeting more people this year...

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