The Olympia Exhibition Centre in London has been invaded this week, but don’t worry -- aliens haven’t landed. The place is being invaded by education staff--from teachers to technicians --as the BETT show opened. The BETT show, which claims to be the world’s largest educational technology event, celebrates its 25th year. The event not only showcases the latest products from education technology suppliers, but also has plenty of seminars to talk about classroom practice and education policies.
The event attracts visitors from around the world (international visitors have their own lounge) but also suppliers from around the globe, with big names such as Asus, Sony, Microsoft, and Toshiba exhibiting as well as a host of smaller suppliers. Here are some highlights:
A few months ago while looking through the Tech & Learning magazine I saw an advert for this product. They have two series--the X series that can have 6 computers connected direct to it via a cable or L series that works over a network setup. The idea is to use virtual computing technology to reduce the cost but still get the same benefits from having a suite of computers. As the cost of hardware decreases and the power of technology increases, this kind of technology will be increasingly attractive to schools which have ever-shrinking budgets.
The Canadian company that has dominated the interactive technology arena will once again be at the BETT Show. This year their showpiece item is the Smart Table, a competitor of the Microsoft Surface. The main question seems to be--will schools buy something with such a large outlay?
Anyone working in a school where students use USB memory sticks knows the sometimes near-daily occurrence of them going missing. SMART has created a wearable bracelet with a mobile student version of their Notebook software. It won’t stop students leaving them plugged in machines, but this might stop the ones that get lost in bags or fall out of pockets.
Intel announced the convertible classmate CES last week and let’s hope they have managed to get one to the BETT show as it will certainly be a crowd puller. This new Intel-powered laptop could go a long way to completing the various 1 to 1 computing schemes.
If you are unable to attend, not to worry. I’ll be blogging regularly over the next few days to showcase some of the interesting products and stands, and will be reporting on the latest news from the entire show.