Tag Archives: events

BETT 2016 Highlights Part 1: STEM and Social Media


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.  Continue reading

Frankfurt Book Fair 2015 Highlights

By Virginia — When the Digitales team went to the Frankfurt Book Fair this year, they discovered that today is an exciting time to create digital content. Read the event highlights below.


Every year, the ‘Hot Spot’ digital zones at the Frankfurt Book Fair grow, creating new opportunities for discovery. Each of the following offered a daily program of demonstrations and talks:

  • Digital Innovation
  • Education
  • Professional and Scientific Information
  • Publishing Services

Continue reading

Digitales at BETT 2015

Edward inside an interactive classroom at BETT 2015

BETT 2015 was an impressive display of current and emerging technologies. Robots, 3D simulation, immersive classrooms and the newest hardware, software and online resources were visible as far as the eye could see. As usual, the Digitales team carefully scrutinised one exhibit after another to source the most innovative and engaging digital content.  As well as developing new supply chains, we attended learning technology workshops and gleaned updates from our favourite developers.

Watch this space to hear about new and exciting online resources coming to Australia via Digitales soon.

Maya trying out immersive products


BETT 2015


Digitales at BETT 2015

Stuart Andrews has some great take-homes on his site www.pcpro.co.uk

Robots are Cool

If you’re looking for a way to engage young people in computing, think robots. It doesn’t matter whether you’re plugging an iPod touch into the cheeky, caterpillar-tracked Romo, running Lego elephants and wheels with Lego Mindstorms or connecting a robot claw to the Raspberry Pi; there’s something amazing and instantly exciting about watching something physical respond to the code you’re putting in. Robots encourage logical thinking and planning, and they’re just as much fun when something goes wrong as when everything goes right.

The Basics Matter

Controlling the classroom, monitoring device and internet use, marking and assessment, administration tasks.

When hardware and software developers take the time to make the basics easier, teachers appreciate it and want the products. It gives them more time to think about how they can use the more exciting tech in class

Real and Digital Worlds Combine to Create Blended Reality

Elsewhere at Bett, other software and hardware developers were looking at ways to mix the real and digital to enhance learning, while 3D printing has potential as a way to bring the digital objects into the real world. We’re only just beginning to grasp the potential of all this stuff. There’s a whole world of innovation yet to come.

Great Things Happen When Real and Digital Worlds Combine

HP talked about a vision for Blended Reality, where real-world books, objects and materials combine with digital content to give students a range of approaches to learning. It also showed how virtual objects could be explored and manipulated within education.

BETT 2014 Conference Highlights


In January this year, the DES team were immersed in digital stand alone and online content at the BETT 2014 Conference in London.  The content covered primary, secondary and higher education, as well as workplace learning and development.  BETT 2014 had more content than ever before. With a jam-packed programme, 3 bespoke CPD accredited Summits, 6 Learn Live theatres and a whole host of networking and fringe activity.


DES favourites Busythings, 10 Monkeys, Oddizzi, Langaroo, Literacy Planet and Ransom had new content available for interactive demonstrations, and we also had the opportunity to contract many great new resources that reinforce the value of storytelling to engage readers and learners of all ages.

The speed learning sessions were effective.  Each session of eight tables started with an ‘expert’ introduction of 10 minutes.  A team leader managed each table with all participants moving every 10 minutes.  Topics varied from the use of VideoScribe as a workplace learning tool to raising standards in writing.  There were ‘takeaways’ to review further rather than in-depth outcomes from the two sessions per day.


The importance of social tools for learning came out of many sessions and the effectiveness of Twitter to ‘learn the new’ was highlighted.  Additional BETT Summit sessions had a strong focus on behavioural change, content curation tools and reinforcing the ‘network as more important than the node’.

Every minute of the conference was valuable, whether engaging with interactive content or just having the opportunity to actively listen.  We look forward to sharing some of our new online resources with you in the near future.


VALA 2014: Conference and Exhibition Highlights


The 17th Biennial VALA Conference and Exhibition was on again this February, setting the stage for innovation; promoting the use and understanding of cutting edge information and communication technologies across libraries, galleries, museums and archives.

VALA’s vision is of a future where networks enable almost instant access to digital resources, a world where technology better facilitates business, collaboration, research and learning.  In this future filled with big data and big ideas, our cultural institutions have already begun the transformation into places rich in creativity and imagination, where makers, hackers, gamers, crafters and readers are all welcome.

Digital Education Services cataloguer, Sun Young, attended a number of talks during the conference and lets us in on her favourites:

Residing in the cloud: looking at the forecast now and into the future

Michelle McLean, Casey-Cardinia Library Corporation, Vic

The cloud offers libraries many benefits, the best known ones being financial and IT related savings. But how much is this worth and is that all there is? If libraries move their IT into the cloud, whether by choice or necessity, it is important to know what the forecast is and to be ready for it. This paper explores the variety of cloud computing options available, summarises the main benefits and concerns of using these options, provides examples of how cloud computing is already being utilised successfully and outlines how libraries can best plan to make the move to the cloud.

This paper will be freely available from May 2014.

All on the ground: there is no cloud

Derek Whitehead, Swinburne University of Technology, Vic

The cloud is an information technology metaphor to inspire and frighten us all, but what does it mean? Is there a cloud at all? This presentation looks at how libraries, almost unawares, have taken to the cloud enthusiastically and ahead of the others. The paper looks at the cloud from the vantage points of an IT manager, a copyright officer and a librarian. It traces its development from opportunistic vendor-provided hosting and management of software and content, to the current cloud environment. It considers the clouds we all use. It looks at benefits and problems. And it looks ahead to a cheerfully cloudy future.

Linked Data : thinking big. Starting small.

Peter Neish, Victorian Parliamentary Library

The concept of using Linked Data in libraries is gaining momentum; however, there are limited concrete examples that demonstrate the benefits of this approach. This paper explores the use of Linked Data at the Victorian Parliamentary Library, and discusses whether the internal benefits on their own are enough to justify the investment in this new technology.

This paper will be freely available from May 2014.

I read this thing…: bringing professional development into the social media age

Holley Adams, Hugh Rundle and Hannah Munn, City of Boroondara Library Service, Vic

This paper discusses the planning, implementation and ongoing expansion of an online professional development platform for City of Boroondara Library Service staff. “I read this thing…” is a project that attempts to address the professional development needs of our library staff by creating a self-supporting online workplace learning network. The authors identified flaws in the existing systems of informal learning and professional reading, and conducted a survey to identify staff learning needs and desires. An integrated system of online communication platforms was created to enable and encourage staff to share informal professional learning. The project is continuing to evolve in response to staff feedback and involvement.

This paper will be freely available from May 2014.

Overall, these talks focused on new technologies and keeping libraries current; with discussions of the pros and cons of cloud management systems, copyright, privacy issues and security of data, given the direction IT systems and management systems are headed in.

Sun Young observed that the job of libraries is to “seek and accept [the] changes… be the change people need to see information work.”


Digital Education Services Exhibiting at VALA 2014

2014 was the first year Digital Education Services exhibited at VALA and we were thrilled to be part of an innovative and exciting conference. VALA provided us the opportunity to chat with our existing clients and meet many new faces who are leading the way in the transformation of libraries, museums, galleries and academic fields through the uptake of existing and emerging technologies.  We enjoyed promoting our many Online Resources to the delegates attending the conference including the popular Literacy Planet, Busythings, Muzzy and the Australian Video streaming resource, Beamafilm. Mango Languages was also a popular resource, complimented by the delicious Mango slushy’s available from our stand (and enjoyed by many).

Mango Languages

The winner of our VALA competition; ‘3 months free off a 12 month Mango Languages subscription’ will be announced soon.

Stay tuned for the announcement in an upcoming blog post!

BETT 2013 Lifelong Learning

BETT 2013 Lifelong Learning
The DES focus at BETT 2013 was ‘Lifelong Learning’. Our team started from early on day one to explore online, educational and special needs exhibitors integrated with all technologies.
Highlights for us included:
Early Years World – Already available from DES
A new, innovative collection of interactive computer activities for 2 – 6 year olds designed for nursery settings, child minders and home users. It is exceptionally easy to use with 56 mini-adventures and over 160 activities divided into age ranges and levels of difficulty. Activities get progressively more skilful whilst ensuring the child’s continued confidence as their IT skills are nurtured.

Zu 3D
Zu 3D gives children (and adults) of all ages the freedom to create amazing animated films quickly and easily, in school and at home. It combines an intuitive interface with stunningly powerful features to provide an educational and fun user experience.
Oddizzi – BETT award winner 2012
Oddizzi was awarded a BETT award for Primary Digital Content in January 2012. It is a refreshingly different multimedia children’s resource; it has a depth and variety of content that allows children to explore, read, watch, listen, contribute, play and connect together. Oddizzi’s uniqueness lies in the fact that it focuses on one area of learning and delivers this in a number of ways. It is a “one-stop-shop” for world learning which means that users don’t have to switch between resources with varying levels of quality and content or that have been developed for a broader audience and not just children.
Little Bridge World – BETT 2013 finalist
Children learn English with the interactive activities in the Little Bridge School. They can:
-       Create a DigiPal character and customise rooms. This is where children will store rewards and trophies that they collect as they improve in English
-       Take care of Domino, the virtual pet! Teach him tricks, take him to dog shows and more…
-       Play games in the Castle
-       See how English really works in the Grammar Factory
-       Meet the DigiPals – a fantastic series of readers featuring the Little Bridge characters. Books and apps available
-       Make friends around the world and practise English with DigiTalk

Keep an eye out for more info on these titles as we endeavour to introduce them to our catalogue in 2013. 

We were also excited to hear about the plans to make online resources mobile. Tablet, ipad and iphone apps are all in the pipeline if not already live for many of our resources.

We were extremely happy for Busythings as they collected their second BETT Early Years Digital Content Award.  Amazing achievement.
We loved Rising Stars eBook Library collections on iPads and the new series for reluctant older readers from Ransom.
The quirky online comics are popular and we are impressed with the new range of online resources within the Digitales Darkcloud Collection.‘Learn Life’ seminar programs continued the lifelong lerning theme with a new series for 2013 on Workplace Learning.
The DES team continues to trial new content from early learning including great new language options.

We look forward to bringing you a diverse range of content in 2013.

SWITCH: Innovative, Inspired, Intuitive

Invigorated by their time at QPLA Therese and Michael were at the SWITCH conference in Sydney on 20 November learning about the exciting and innovative things that are going on in the digital world of public libraries! Thank you for visiting us at Stand 9.
With an array of fabulous international and local speakers such as Paula Brayand Christine McKenzie the conference was an inspiring and enjoyable few days.
New Australian literacy and numeracy online resources from Sunshine Online including Learning Space and Funways were showcased.
DES staff are scanning the final report to Government from the Book Industry Strategy Group (BISG). The twenty-one recommendations are grouped under six headings:
  • Integrating the book supply chain
  • Competing effectively in the global book market
  • Improving supply chain efficiencies
  • Rewarding and protecting creativity
  • Supporting the business environment
  • Supporting Australian culture

Frankfurt Book Fair 2011

The ‘Frankfurter Buchmesse’ hosts six digital hot spots under the Frankfurt Sparks banner and DES staff made the most of the digital hot spot guided tours.  The six hotspots, Digital Relations, Education, Kids and Comics, Mobile and Devices, Professional and Scientific Information and Publishing Services, all hosted workshops.
The Education hot spot ran a workshop on the Learning Resource Metadata Initiative (LRMI).  Creative Commons and the Association of Educational Publishers sponsored the session.
The LRMI project is creating a common metadata vocabulary to describe educational resources which will build on schema.org.
Around the Publishing hotspot all talk was of the digital content uptake with German and Italian publishing organisations developing their own e-book readers. Discussion commonly featured the 20% e-book sales figures in the US as against the current German figure of 0.05%.

Amongst the hyped activity it was great to visit some of the well-received Australian stands, including Rod Martin of in2Era and Val and Richard at Ziptales.

Iceland was the featured country this year and their pavilion provided a moment of tranquillity. Icelandic residents reading were the stars of simple video installations featured on angular walls. Each large wall appeared to reflect a photograph but slight movements became apparent – an eye flickering and then a page turning or cat leaping onto the reader’s knee. Simple and engaging