Wednesday, 14 January 2009

BETT 2009 Day one - Steven's Perspective

Yesterday was the the first day of BETT ( - the world'g biggest education technology tradeshow. Katy and I am here to find out about all the latest developments in ICT and share that information with you. This post would have come yesterday but for an unfortunate incident involving an overexcited ICT consultant, a cup of tea and a laptop...

Trying to be methodical on the first day at BETT, I stuck mainly to the first floor. I was particularly looking at datalogging, as I have had a number of recent requests for advice in this area. As you will see from the first post below, I have come to a recommendation.

TTS Logbox

Lots of you have been asking for advice on which dataloggers to purchase for your school. Having looked at what is on offer here at BETT and others that schools have been working with, as well as discussing the issue with consultants from other LAs, I would recommend particularly the TTS Logbox ( The main reason for this is the pricing - at £79.99 they are about half the price of the most popular competitors' products on the market. Despite the price, they have all the functionality and of the others and very good build quality. With rubberised edges they should stand up to classroom use and even a few knocks. The logbox has built in sound, light and temperature sensors, and an external temperature probe. It also comes with easy to use and very Primary-friendly software. Additional sensors such as heart rate are available separately.

TEEM software evaluations

Teem is an independent organisation whose mission it is to evaluate educational software to help you be more informed in your purchases and make the right choices. Software is evaluated by teachers for teachers with useful comments about how easy it is to use, the quality of the content, ways that in can be used in the classroom and how well children engaged with it. As well as software packages an increasing number of web-based resouces (both paid and free) are evaluated. If you are considering a software purchase it's well worth having a look at this site (and of course consulting with your ICT HOS consultant!) before you splash the cash.

2Do It Yourself

"Create your own interactive Flash resources, activities, games, puzzles, quizzes. With this software teachers and primary school children can create cross-curricular, personalised resources and use them on whiteboards, websites and even on Learning Platforms. There are plenty of opportunities for meaningful learning as children plan, design, create, publish and play."

I can't enthuse enough about this latest piece of sotware from 2simple. In fact, I won't write about it in detail today or I will not stop and there's a lot more I need to look at here at BETT. I will post more about it soon when I have time to collect my thoughts and will publish some activities I have created with it.

If you are at BETT this week, go and see 2simple on stand F59, ask for a demonstration and tell them that I sent you...

I'll leave you with a quote from my counterpart in Hackney, Carole Newton, who I sat next to when we were first introduced to this program and is much more coherent than I...
"I believe this software will revolutionize teaching and learning. It puts the focus back on the learners generating andself differentiating their learning and allows teachers to rediscover their creative juices."

Anyway, that's some of the highlights from day one - do look out for them if you visit. Today I will be attempting to takle some of the ground floor of the exhibition! Don't forget to give us a call if you visit and we can meet up to share what we have seen. Just don't come near me with a cup of tea if I have my laptop out...

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