imageI can’t believe it’s that time of year again when I pack my bags and head off to Olympia. This year for the first time without my trusty sidekick (Kristen) and as the new UK Partners in Learning Programme Manager.Luckily I will have  Dan Roberts from saltash.net community school co-presenting with me. So I am sure our presentation will be slick and well rehearsed as ever.

This year we will be reflecting the stage of transition that we are currently in with the Partners in Learning programme. We will be highlighting and demoing the new Partners in Learning Network site, although still in Beta, we will be illustrating the new features and how it is a lot easier to add global collaboration  to your professional/personal learning network.

At past BETT shows we have always demonstrated some of the free applications from Microsoft that teachers are using in this classroom. This year we will highlighting the Learning Suite, this is an application that has aggregated many of our favourites , such as AutoCollage, SongSmith and Kodu into a simple downloader, simplifying the installation process. We will also share lots of ideas how such applications can be used in the classroom with a ‘playful learning’ theme. There may even be prizes!

One of the unique features of the Partners in Learning Network, that sets it aside from other so called ‘Teacher Networks’, is that we give something back. So that schools and teachers can  develop themselves professionally. Working with the SSAT we have developed a self review tool called, Partners in Learning Schools Research. This site allows School Leaders and teachers to identify the real ICT needs and areas of development of their school. This supports the 21st imagecentury transformation agenda, and allows schools to make informed decisions about the implementation of ICT to enhance and support learning.

One outstanding feature of the Partners in Learning Network is to bring teachers together to collaborate and share ideas, this is reflected in the teachers we have on the Microsoft stand. They include, amongst others, the brilliant Ollie Bray, who be presenting on Games based learning. Our stand has a dedicated Xbox and games area, you will find the Princess of Kodu herself, Nicki Maddams and the current genius that is the K-Team AKA Ray Chambers, Gareth Ritter and Jimmy Edwards.

It’s going to a great couple of days, so make sure you visit us, we can guarantee you will go away with a wealth of ideas, resources and contacts that will make your BETT visit worthwhile.