BETT 2014 – the UK’s biggest education and learning technology event – has closed its doors, after another bumper show full of new ideas for tech in the classroom. Chief on the agenda this year (or so it seemed by sheer weight of interest) were interactive touchscreens, 3D printing, Apple iPad apps and accessories, as well as an increase in furry costumes. These are our BETT 2014 highlights.
Interactive touchscreens were big news
The first major thing we noticed when we stepped into the BETT 2014 show space at London’s Excel was the amount of interest interactive touchscreens were getting. A couple of years ago, the main buzz was around interactive whiteboards, but it seems this has now been replaced with interactive touchscreens – and every other stand seemed to be promoting touchscreens!
One of our current favourite bits of tech for the classroom – the CTOUCH interactive touchscreen – was looking great, and receiving a constant flow of people to the stand. The CTOUCH is essentially a huge iPad, with an HD display ranging in size from 45″ to a massive 84″. It’s ideal for classrooms, as teachers can present with the CTOUCH mounted on a trolley, streaming content from mobile devices, or it can be used flat on a table top, with up to four students getting hands-on and collaborating with activities at the same time. Check out more about CTOUCH here.
On the subject of collaboration, there was also a fair bit of attention on collaboration tools like DisplayNote – a presentation solution that lets you deliver presentations directly to students’ iPad, rather than to a whiteboard at the front of the class.
3D printing was a hot (!) topic
We’ve been extolling the virtues of 3D printing for the classroom for a little while, and there seemed to be a huge amount of interest in any stand showing off 3D printers. It’s one of those solutions that is really helped by seeing it in action, and looking at some of the results for yourself. We think 3D printers could be a very welcome addition to design-based subjects, and the team have been testing out a particular model made by Cube recently. See it in action in our Cube 3D printer hands-on test.
Apple iPad remained a big draw
If you know Jigsaw24, you’ll know we’re huge proponents of Apple’s iPad, and help schools achieve their 1:1 visions with our Apple and iPad services. So it’s always good for us to check in on the latest apps and accessories that are being developed for iPad. Every stand seemed to have some kind of Apple tech on there, whether it be an iPad case, they were developing an app, or they were just using iPad as part of their exhibition. iPad is now clearly engrained in the minds of educators and the education sector. Find out more about iPad for education here.
Device management and security
Key to successfully implementing mobile devices like iPad in the classroom is mobile device management and security. The Lightspeed Systems stand was getting a lot of attention for this reason, especially on the subject of web filtering for the future, and keeping students safe online. Their Web Filter solution is a CIPA-compliant web filtering service that lets teachers create class-specific ‘web zones’ so students can only access content approved for their age group, and it can be applied to specific mobile devices and even works offsite too. Find out more about Lightspeed Systems here.
Some interesting seminars and stands
The seminars at BETT are always a big draw, and this year’s lineup was no exception. There was a strong focus on pedagogy, with speakers addressing the pedagogical shift in the classroom, and what technology and infrastructure is best suit suited to support it.
In terms of the actual stands, the standouts were Frog and EducationCity, which were lively, colourful and very busy! Each big brand also had its own message, and the big players Apple, Google and Microsoft were all in attendance, although they were all bringing different ideas rather than a coordinated thread.
And then there were the furry costumes. It’s unclear just what it was about the show this year, but BETT 2014 definitely had a lot more cuddly characters in attendance than usual!
Want to know more about the latest technology trends for education? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.