Guest post by Stone, one of our Microsoft Bett 2013 partners

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It’s that time of year again! We’re really excited to host on our all-new spacious 255 sqm stand C70 at Bett 2013.

This year, we’re doing things a little differently. Gone are the boring ‘suits’, in are innovative teachers and those involved in the front-line delivery of innovative perspectives of ICT in the classroom. Bett 2013 will see a wealth of key speakers on the stand. You’ll have the opportunity to listen to some of the most cutting edge, thought provoking speakers on subjects such as computer programming in the classroom, digital literacy in practice and how technology can transform a school’s academic indicators. Speakers will be free to evangelise about real examples of teaching and learning greatness, free from any interference, addressing key issues and relevant current affairs within the education sector.

We always endeavour to inspire our visitors and this year is no different. We’ll be hosting the very first Hackathon to ever be held at the Bett show. Staggering YouGov research shows that 75% of children age 8-15 want to be able to code, but only 3% know how. With Computer Programming at the forefront of the curriculum, we’re doing our bit to help you bridge the gap.

This area will bring together professional developers and those involved with teaching and learning with the intention of creating new, crowd-sourced innovative applications that will be demonstrated at the end of each intensive day of app-development. The live Hackathon competitions will take place on our stand on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

This year’s a fantastic opportunity for you to get a truly holistic perspective of what we can do for your school, from our ever-evolving hardware portfolio to our end-to-end solutions. An area solely dedicated to our Professional Service Team to demonstrate the true extent of our entire portfolio. The area offers a clear, open and consultative approach toward our considerable infrastructure services, AV, cloud, storage, virtualisation, recovery and back up solutions.

Our professional services area will give you the opportunity to talk to our specialists about your school’s needs and requirements when it comes to ICT solutions, no matter how big or small your institution may be.

We've a specialised and experienced team with over twenty one years of experience in aiding customers in making the right ICT decisions. By working with a number of quality technology partners we’re able to offer customers a diverse, evolutionary solutions portfolio that goes hand-in-hand with the most recent changes in pedagogy.

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In addition to this, it wouldn’t be the Stone stand at Bett without us displaying our latest and greatest - a plethora of our quality devices detailing all the features and benefits that the education sector genuinely want to see.

As a proud UK manufacturer of IT hardware, we’ll be displaying our ‘Best-of-British’ Stone learning devices, pre-installed with Windows 8, in the product area. Whether it’s laptops, netbooks, desktops or audio visual, we'll be displaying the shiny new technology with all the educational benefits that they can offer you and your pupils. Our dedicated account management team will be on hand to talk you through engaging demonstrations and answer any queries you may have.

Don't forget, at Stone we can customise your IT requirements by offering a bespoke service to 'pick n mix' your PC components to truly ensure you are getting exactly what you want. We know Bett can be a long day so look out for this product area as we'll be offering some sweet treats and ‘Best-of-British’ refreshments here in recognition of our truly bespoke, built-to-order PC 'Pick N Mix' service.

And finally, we’re delighted to be a part of the first ever Microsoft Treasure Trail at Bett 2013, so don’t forget to look out for this competition at the show for your chance to win some fantastic prizes.