It has been a great start to the show, with loads of exciting stuff going on around Bett 2013 at the ExCel in London.

With Microsoft’s VP for education Anthony Salcito's address during the opening ceremony in the Bett Arena on Wednesday, to standing room only in our Learn Live Theatre, Bett 2013 has been a fun and rewarding experience so far for all.

image

Some of Anthony’s key takeaways during the opening ceremony included ‘’Technology will always step up to the challenge we need in our classrooms’’ and ‘’A teachers role should expand on reality and connect with their students in different ways’’.

We’ve had some hugely popular presentations at the Microsoft Learn Live theatre too, with most sessions brimming at the sides with Bett attendees. You can catch most of these sessions (stand E270) during Friday and Saturday if you are coming to Bett.

One of the sessions to take place in our Learn Live theatre was Head in the Cloud, Feet on the Ground from James Penny (Harris Federation) and Mark McManus (Microsoft). The session covered some interesting points about saving money and time by using a unique private cloud, which improved teaching and learning.  James and Mark made some good points such as  "The cloud enables teachers to spread the class way beyond the reach of the school’’ and "Office 365 enables us to reduce the complexity of our technology."

Janet Hayward (Cadoxton Promary School) and Tom Rees (Simon de Senlis Primary School) also delivered an inspirational session and gave their top ten tips to embracing the cloud in the classroom. 

image

Some key points made by the speakers were "We need to take an educational perspective as opposed to a technological approach to digital learning by training our best teachers to talk about how it benefits them and their classes’’ and "The cloud enables us to achieve transformational outcomes."

They also talked about HWB, a website for quality learning resources.

Kristian Still from Wellington Academy and James Marshall (Microsoft) gave their view on Bring Your Own Device in education, talking about the positive impact on Children’s attainment and some ideas about starting your own BYOD project. They explained four key ingredients for enabling students to bring their own devices into the classroom:

  • Make it easy - help students get their external devices online
  • Support - assist them in using their devices online
  • Windows To Go - part of Windows 8 - provides a desktop environment on a portable device. Lets students work within a secure environment
  • Cloud - helps provide a consistent experience for everyone

image

James said "Students are much more productive if they can access technology in the way they want’’ and Kristian talked about how SkyDrive helps students share information and collaborate on projects, which in turn makes information more available and accessible. Also Kristian described how Skype helps bring others into the classroom by allowing for interesting experiments between different classes of students or outside influences.

Yesterday saw our computer science in the curriculum panel session in the Bett Arena which offered a thought provoking perspective on how best to prepare the software and games developers of the future. The launch of the Kodu Cup on the Naace stand was an exciting compliment to this session, also.

We’ve had three lucky winners each day that have taken part in our Treasure Trail competition. The prizes have included a Surface, HTC Windows 8 phone, £500 to spend with RM and Xbox and more. These prizes have been kindly donated by our partners on the trail who include Civica, Elearing Force, RM, Elearing Force, Joskos and European Electronique, to name a few. You can play again today by getting a leaflet from the Microsoft stand (E270), getting it stamped by our participating partners and returning it to our stand with your details. The draw will take place in our 4pm session at the Learn Live theatre where the prizes will be presented.

image    image    image

Our Windows 8 theatre has also had some exciting sessions including a Surface for education demo and Windows 8 app showcases. You can see a large amount of these sessions again if you are coming to Bett over the next couple of days. Visit our stand for a schedule of what’s on and when.

We’ve been showing off the Surface too, with loads of you coming to check out the devices, as well as our partner Windows 8 devices on the stand. Everyone is welcome to try out the devices and Windows 8, with our team on hand to guide you through the some of the awesome features of the hardware and software.

With some more excellent content planned for the remainder of the show, Friday and Saturday promise to be engaging for Bett visitors. A mix of teachers, network managers and Microsoft staff will be presenting on how technology can help build 21st century skills and create more emotional connections with learning within our Learn Live Theatre.

We look forward to a fabulous rest of the show and look forward to welcoming you on our stand – E270.