BETT 2016 – takeaways for teachers

If you missed out on a trip to Bett this year, don’t worry as Texthelp have brought back some great takeaways

Technology can lighten the load

A recent TES article described educational technology as “electricity – it should go unnoticed.” In the article Anne Knock from Northern Beaches Christian School in Australia describes the philosophy, “We don’t talk about electricity in education do we? People when they talk about our school, they say it is technologically advanced. Our principal was quick to see the advantages of technology and was an early adopter of it. But in essence, technology is invisible now. Just like electricity, it’s there, it’s an enabler, it makes the connections work.”

This is a sentiment that’s been reiterated by Nicky Morgan, MP too. She started lots of conversations about how the Ed Tech embedded into classrooms can lighten the load for our nation’s teachers; technology is supposed to complement the work you do, not replace you or cause more work/stress. If you’re too busy to implement Edtech in the classroom, why not hand the reins over to the pupils and set up a peer mentoring scheme?

The future of literacy and education

Another hot topic at BETT this year was the future of literacy in Education. We’re all aware of the falling literacy standards in the UK right now but what’s being done to help? Lots of presenters at BETT were discussing how the curriculum should be altered to  focus on teaching comprehension, communication and computation rather than reading, writing and arithmetic to prepare students for the offices of today and their future careers. But how will this help with good old fashioned literacy? Today’s pupils will still need to focus on traditional reading and writing. And what about those who struggle with this? Will they be left behind? What we do know is this; no matter what the future of the curriculum is, with experienced teaching staff and a wealth of ed tech out there, these issues can be tackled head on.

One size fits all education doesn’t work

Bett’s keynote speaker Dan Haesler commented on how a “1 size fits all” approach to education doesn’t necessarily work and can be detrimental to the emotional well-being of pupils in schools up and down the country. Here at Texthelp, we’d tend to agree with this. We know your pupils all learn differently, that why Ed Tech is a great way of involving all learning styles in the classroom. Whether it be with Text-to-speech software for your auditory learners, picture dictionaries for visual learners and mind mapping for the kinesthetic learners in the class. There’s lots of tools out there to ensure everyone in your class learns in a style they’re comfortable with.

It’s a global thing

There was a focus on connecting global learners and educators at BETT this year. In times where we’ve got lots more access to connect with peers worldwide, it’s important to have lots of arenas to share ideas and learnings; BETT is great representation of this. When EdTech really takes a hold in the UK, there’s lots of best practice examples in other countries, such as USA and Canada as well as Australia that educators will be able to look to for inspiration. If you’d like to share your ed tech experiences with other Educators, why not join our Teacher community?

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