On the face of it, BETT seems like any other trade show. Lots of vendors with shiny stands and know it all sales people. But it's not. There are so many layers to bett, that as an educator you'd be silly to ignore it.
Free CPDThe most interesting and exciting aspect of Bett for me, is the large amounts of FREE seminars, talks, and workshops taking place not only in the 4 or 5 Bett theatres but also on individual stands. Ston Computing is a great example of this, they have a schedule packed with inspirational talks from educators, innovators and personalities.
Meet Likeminded EducatorsAnother big pull is being able to meet other educators. Bett has the largest Teachmeet every year, and seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year. There is also a teachmeet takeover going on daily, where teachers are taking over some the of the exhibitor stands to give talks.
Meet ExhibitorsBett is also a great opportunity as a educator to speak to people who are not directly in the classroom. For example, the Raspberry Pi Education Team of @Clivebeale @Ben_nuttall DaveHoness and myself will be at Bett for all four days. We want to meet you. We want to know what you want, what your concerns and interests are. We want to listen to you, and we are not alone in this. All the exhibitors want to hear from you too.
Try StuffIf you've ever wondered what Raspberry Pi was all about, or Lego robotics, or Smart boards, or any other educational technology then Bett is the place to do it. Where else do you get to play with technology all day? You might even be able to win a prize or earn a badge for doing so. On the Stone Computing stand, I'll be running a Raspberry Pi workshop, so come have a go and earn a badge!
Get StationaryEvery year I am usually able to restock my pencil case and often my stationary drawer thanks to Bett. Many stands will offer you some promotional pens, pencils and often much more, in the hope that you'll speak to them. It's a win win on both sides.
From the horses mouthI don't like to describe the Education Secretary as a horse, but it is fair to say that big announcements are sometimes made at Bett. A few years ago Michael Gove announced that the ICT curriculum was being scrapped during his keynote, and he is due to open the show this year. He is not the only high profile speaker. At bett you get the chance to ask questions and have access to people you may not ordinarily have.
Ok so this one is less of a reason to go to Bett. I'm not that cool, but I will be at Bett every day, and as you can see from my timetable below I'm going to be busy! I really want to meet and hear from you. I want to help you teach computing, a subject that I am passionate about. I don;t want to tell you what to do, I want to understand what will help you teach how you want. Please tweet me, come find me at any of these stands, and connect with me.
Check out my Bett Timetable here!
My Timetable Highlights:
- 10 ways yo use YouTube Talk - Google Stand Wednesday 22nd 10.30am - 10.50am.
- Raspberry Pi Bett 2014 Workshop - Stone Stand Wednesday 22nd 11am - 12 noon.
- Girls in Computing Talk - Stone Stand Wednesday 12 noon.
- Adventures in Raspberry Pi Meet and Book Signing - Exa Stand Friday 24th 3.30pm - 4.15pm.
- Sonic Pi Live Demos - OCR Stand every day!