Bett is an annual trade show in the United Kingdom marketing information technology in education. 34,000 attendees from more than 146 countries in the global education community came together at the London Xcel this January to discuss how educators and learners can thrive.
What’s the real point of Bett?
It doesn’t matter how many shows I visit around the world, there’s something about the size of Bett that always surprises me. It can be pretty overwhelming the first day. Everything from coding tools to interactive surfaces dazzle the eye. But what is the actual goal of all this technology on display?
Robots can dance but can they teach?
Accessible technology can be such a fantastic tool in the classroom. It can bridge disciplines, personalities and ability levels. At Bett there are robots facilitating teamwork as children solve challenges. There are interactive flexible room layouts that not only redefine but turn the traditional classroom structure on its head.
Ultimately, though, all of this technology has to be useful; it has to be something that the majority of teachers and pupils can use — without putting people off. If technology is difficult to adopt, then it will just deter teachers and institutions from investing further in the potential of technology. It is essential to make it as easy as possible for teachers to not only understand the technology, but also to help shape how it’s being used by each individual pupil.
That’s the practical part that can sometimes be lost in the sea of gadgets and slogans on the conference floor. It’s easy to understand why it can get lost; everyone likes talking about the successful outcomes of technology and the fun things you can do. People don’t often like talking about the foundational work that needs to be in place to enable this success.
A thousand gadgets, but one ambition
What everyone in this room has in common is that they are trying to find ways to make it easier for teachers to shift their method of teaching to engage and motivate students. But transforming the classroom isn't as easy as opening a box. Too often, teachers will get frustrated by the lack of support for (and training required for) a new piece of technology. This often results in tools collecting dust — a black mark against future technological investment.
Despite all the tools being in place for a new type of classroom, many institutions are still only early on in their development. This need to help make the environment ready for technology to truly work for the teachers and students is what excites me the most, as well as being the reason I wanted to become a part of Jamf.
We believe all students deserve the best learning experience and teachers need access to technology tools that just work. After all, if the desire is to embrace the technology tools promoted at Bett, then there needs to be a focus on ensuring that the teacher can manage the immediate and agile needs of the modern classroom. Classroom management is a crucial piece of every school's mobile device strategy that will enable transformational learning.
Interested in learning more about accessible technology for teachers and classrooms that just works? Try Jamf School today.