The BETT Show—formerly known as the British Educational Training and Technology Show—is an annual trade show in the United Kingdom showcasing the use of information technology in education. This year it was a unique experience, comprising four days of education technology innovations and inspirations from around the world.
What we loved
- Primary coding strategies
- Connected toys
- 3D printing
STEM a counterpoint to social media
Demand for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) jobs is booming and the call at BETT was to learn to code early. The move is to normalise reading, writing and coding.
The ‘Women in STEM’ workshops reminded participants to ‘rewrite the script for women’. Discussion highlighted the need for mentoring and support for females to come in and out of the workforce as needed.
As Digitales supports workplace flexibility for all, we could only agree.
Imagine, explore, inspire and motivate
Seminars highlighted the parental fear that technology will ruin children’s lives, though it’s also noted that children are ‘amazing scientists and explorers’.
Another reminder to focus on the creative elements—imagine, explore, inspire and motivate.
The theme of ‘fear limiting the use and technology choices’ was revisited in the main BETT Arena during day two. Suggestions included:
- Helping parents understand the opportunities in technology
- Gamifying content
- Creating STEAM—the ‘A’ for Art’ is added to the conventional STEM acronym
BETT hosted a dedicated STEAM Village this year and speakers in the primary section of the space discussed the shortfall of 40,000 (UK) workers over the next eight years.
Additionally, it’s noted that a child’s creative attitude to engineering is positive during the early years, though interest dissipates around year 5 to become disengaged by the end of primary.
Parental involvement a key
The focus of digital content delivery was on ‘the way we teach this stuff’.
Examples demonstrated that building technology is a collaborative activity—even if not always physically social—with involvement with each parent as the key to increase engagement.
Did you visit the BETT Show this year? What are your thoughts? Look out for the rest of our highlights!