While not throwing up many big surprises, there was a lot to inspire at this year’s BETT education show. All the big topics were covered off – mobile learning, iPad, cloud computing, content creation as well as a few interesting newbies – by more than 640 exhibitors showing off their techie wares, teaching tools and branded goodies. Here are our best bits…
iPad and mobile learning solutions
Mobile devices, specifically iPad, are huge in education right now, so we expected a lot of BETT 2013 to be skewed towards mobile learning and 1:1 deployments. It was good to see a lot of interest in Lightspeed’s stand, as they are one of the vendors we’re really excited about at the moment, and have suggested their solution to our e7 iPad trial customers. Lightspeed is a great tool that lets you manage devices and ensure secure web access, with mobile device management (MDM), online workspaces and loads of security and web filtering options all in one package.
We also spent quite a bit of time checking out the buzz at the DisplayNote stand. DisplayNote is a presentation tool that looks set to change the way you teach, letting you deliver presentations directly to iPad, rather than to a whiteboard at the front of the class. It was interesting to see less interest in interactive whiteboards this year – usually a mainstay at BETT – in favour of the more personal learning and pedagogical benefits of solutions like DisplayNote for iPad and the cost-effective media streaming functionality of Apple TV.
Also popular were solutions for syncing and charging your classroom iPad deployments at the same time, especially Lock’n’Charge trolleys. These are a great way to store and sync devices if you’re just starting to integrate them into your teaching, but we would suggest a move away from a static trolley to an MDM solution that lets you sync and push content out to devices over the air, if you want to stay really flexible. (Get in touch with us for more on these!)
Live TV and radio, 3D printing
There were a couple of stands showing off live radio studios, which we think are a great way to get students working together to create content. We offer all manner of audio suites for classrooms, but we can actually take it one step further by adding something like NewTek’s TriCaster to turn it into a full TV solution, with live vision mixing, instant replays and more. This is the kind of solution we provided Wiltshire College when they wanted to update their analogue TV studio.
Lastly, 3D printing is a technology everyone seems to be talking about at the moment, and it was causing quite a stir at BETT too. Linking programming skills to engineering and production, 3D printing lets students get hands-on with a full design workflow, from initial concept to finished product. It’s definitely one we’ll be looking out for in future.
Want to know more about any of the solutions featured at BETT 2013? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. You can also keep up with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.