Last month, the education team were once again at BETT 2020 in London’s Excel centre – one of the largest education events in the UK. Devoted to technology that adds value to pedagogy in every classroom, the show hosts hundreds of presentations, stalls and demo sessions for educators to take inspiration from. Here are just some of the standout announcements and most interesting features from the event…
Apple devices continue to make strides in education, and a lot of BETT 2020 saw both vendors and schools show how Apple as part of a school's vision can improve learning and teaching outcomes.
One of the most popular areas at BETT 2020 was Apple’s Pop-Up Classroom, an immersive learning experience where customers could discover Apple in education. During a 90 minute session, attendees were introduced to Apple and got hands-on with iPad as they journeyed through different activities such as drawing, photography, video, music, coding and – most impressively – augmented reality.
The activities were all themed around space exploration, and it was really interesting to see how iPad can be used across the curriculum to explore topics, rather than just being confined to more creative subjects. Throughout, Apple showed how skills learned on iPad can be integrated across the curriculum.
The drawing activity suggested everything from sketching imaginary planets in science to designing book covers in literacy and literature. The 'zero gravity' photo activity showed how students can sharpen their observation skills by capturing and sharing their perspective. Apple's Clips was used in the video section of the session to create a short movie on the theme of space, with ideas ranging from a news video of the Apollo 11 mission for history and social studies, to reciting Shakespearean lines that reference astronomy.
Augmented reality (AR) is big news at the moment, and Apple showed how it can support learning by letting students physically engage with virtual objects and content in the real world. Check out the video below for a glimpse at how they used AR to explore the solar system right on the classroom desk.
Lastly there was an introduction to code, where attendees used Swift Playgrounds to create geometric shapes and transform them into works of art. Have a read of our Project Guide to find out how to introduce coding foundations in Swift Playgrounds to students in just an hour.
Apple's Pop-Up Classroom was a big hit with attendees, and provided a really good glimpse at how iPad can integrate into the curriculum to improve learning – we certainly got some stellar ideas to take away! You can find out more about Apple in education at our website.
With more than three million students and teachers in the UK having access to Adobe Creative Cloud applications, Adobe are one of the biggest names in education, and they had a huge presence at BETT 2020. Their impressive classroom setup at the Adobe Creative Academy played host to loads of training sessions, with teachers on hand to show other educators how to get the most out of Creative Cloud apps.
They also hosted a range of sessions at the Tech in Action Theatre showing how to implement learning techniques across the curriculum. These ranged from introducing students to sharing professional-looking work digitally (and easily) using Adobe Spark Post and Spark Page apps, to making the most of PDFs with Adobe Acrobat DC, which gives teachers tools to edit, sign, share, protect and search in PDFs, making collaboration with students and other teachers much faster and easier. Read more about sparking your students' imagination with Adobe Spark in our article.
We've been huge fans of Showbie for years, and it's one of the apps we recommend most. For those not in the know, Showbie brings together assignments, feedback and communication into one place, making it easier to share work and comments between teachers and students, and improve assessment.
At BETT 2020, they showcase some exciting new features they've recently added to the app, including a new QR code sign-in system that both students and teachers can use, and a few sneak peeks of upcoming features still in development. A Showbie representative also regaled attendees with presentations on real-world classroom use cases of Showbie and Socrative, focusing on teacher workload, feedback and assessment.
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Inclusion was a key theme at BETT 2020. Friday's programme of events was all focused around SEND, with keynotes, CPD sessions, workshops and seminars dedicated to helping provide a quality education for everyone.
Covering primary education through to higher education and beyond, experts and educators gave practical advice, presented case studies, inspiration and useful information. A SEND Trail throughout the Excel centre also guided attendees around the show floor so they could discover exhibitors who had a special focus on SEND.
“BETT is one of the highlights of the year for the education team. This year, it was great to see advances being made in coding with Everyone Can Code from Apple. CleverTouch also launched CleverTouch Academy and they were running workshops on their actual stand which were really packed with lots of enthusiastic teachers." – Paul Ford
"I felt the layout was great this year, split into the North Halls which were predominantly the Education Show with learning and teaching tech, and the South Halls which focused predominantly on hardware. The Showbie stand was also really good, with rolling hourly demos on the big screen from a Y4 teacher who was interacting in real time with his class and the cover teacher while at BETT. Children were handing in work, and he was able to mark it live, which made for a really interesting demo." – Wendy Baugh
We'd like to thank everyone we spoke to at BETT 2020 – from exhibitors to educators to the customers we got chance to catch up with – for another great show. We will be back in 2021 to discover more education tech solutions and stories, so we hope to see you there!
Want to know more about any of the tech, solutions and ideas that were on show at BETT 2020?
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