BETT 2013 the learning technology conference

BETT 2013 at Excel London

It’s been some years since I have been to BETT in London and after a day there I was reminded why. Even if it is in a brand new exhibit hall the concept hasn’t changed much. It is basically a big exhibit hall with vendors. And in between conference centers or learning centers for workshops and lectures. Unlike ISTE, a conference I quite like,  BETT has focus on selling products they convince us the teachers we can’t live without. What I like with ISTE is that they have great auditoriums and rooms for keynotes, lectures, workshops, poster sessions and more. Here all I see is vendors. And tons of teachers from Norway, Sweden and Finland! And I am wondering what we all get out of this? To be fair I know there is a lot of networking going on and a lot of private sessions as well. Tomorrow for instance I’m invited to a Scandinavian session with Stephen Heppel. I’m very much looking forward to the event! Still one might questions if we have to meet in London to do that?

Then why am I here? I have to admit I was curious about the new location for Bett 2013, and it looked like they were offering a lot more workshops and talks this year. But the main reason is that my proposal was accepted and I’m hosting a workshop on using social media to connect educators in Learn Live Theatre E, Saturday 02 Feb, 13:15-14:00. That will be a useful experience for me and hopefully fun as well. But my concern now is if they will hear what I say since the noise in the exhibit hall is very loud also inside the theater. I will find out on Saturday for sure!

Tower bridge view from my hotel

I have been reading a lot of books about education lately and 2 areas strike me as important for students’ learning. Assessment and student involvement  I don’t think I need any more gadgets or software for that. Okay, I would like the learning management system we use to be more tailored to our needs. Everything I see is very teacher centered, the software included. From clickers to tablets and content offered. To involve the students, what is going on in the classroom needs to be student centered. And to change our classrooms and making them student centered we need to listen to the students. And they are not here, at least not selling products. And that does seem to be the main issue at BETT right now.

Please correct me if I am wrong!

I would love to hear from you