Ben BradburyJanuary 26, 2017
Speaker Insights from BETT 2017 - Day Two
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The second day of BETT had too many great talks for one person to possibly hope to attend. With speakers ranging from British television’s very own Sir Tony Robinson, to Lord Jim Knight compering with Glisser in TES’s School Leaders Summit, there was educational knowledge and value to be gleaned aplenty.

Having a presence across 4 streams that included the main arena, Glisser was being used across the lion’s share of panels, keynotes and fireside chats. We were in a great place to share insights into the educational landscape, and shed light on new, exciting trends. Here’s what we learned across BETT, from our 4 favourite sessions:

BETT Main Arena – The Lie of the Educational Land

BETT’s main stage played host to the Edtech Podcast, hosted by Sophie Bailey. With a host of panelists, she was discussing the challenges within education today, and how technology can play a part in combating it.

This session was especially audience driven, with the discussion being shaped by BETT’s delegates. The audience overwhelmingly thought it was the educator’s responsibility to teach critical thinking about fake news. Furthermore, rather than time in the classroom or a teacher/student ratio, the factor that was viewed as most important in providing better teaching, was quality teaching.

bett-main-stage.jpgTES School Leaders Summit Stream One – Kids Know Best

TES’s first stream has been providing insight into developing educational leadership. Except, this session’s focus came from quite a different kind of leader! In his engaging talk, Neill Melville supported 3 classes of his year 2 students, in showing the audience what they wanted from digital leadership.

With a focus on gamifying the learning of key computing skills, along with innovative approaches to applying them (including programming a small drone), it was clear the kids had tech at the heart of their education. One child’s point of view was that ‘you should spend twice as long exercising as you do looking at screens’. Sound advice from an unlikely source – the kid was definitely wise before his time!

Glisser’s audience of school leaders thought that the chance to learn independently was critical in developing digital leadership.

TES School Leaders Summit Stream Two – DIY Schools

TES’s other School Leaders Summit focused on the skills and strategies required to run a world-class school or group. Kirsty Tonks gave a fascinating talk on what it takes to start a school from scratch. Presenting a great perspective on the technology vs. humans debate, she was a believer in “mundanely clever” tech, and we should use it to find solutions to existing issues by making it work for us, rather than be dictated to.

Alongside her colleague, Sir Mark Grundy, Kirsty stated compared to building their first school, they gave much less of a focus on school architecture, placing more of an onus on a collaborative learning environment.

Glisser’s audience of thought leaders were totally split, thinking there were a range of factors that could play a part in affecting schools in the coming years. These ranged from recruitment and training, to technological change and government funding.

glisser-on-laptop.jpgHigher Education Leaders Summit – Bid farewell to the lecture theatre?

Meanwhile, on the Higher Education Leaders Summit, there was a fascinating conversation about the future of the lecture theatre. Panellists spoke about different institutions, and how they are approaching the evolving learning space.
At the beginning of the session, Glisser ran a poll, asking if online learning portals will overtake the lecture theatre. As expected, almost 80% of the audience believed learning spaces would become the next thing.

higher-education.jpgSpecial Mention – Blackadder Went Forth

The day was rounded off in spectacular fashion, courtesy of Discovery Education’s very own Sir Tony Robinson. Passionately adamant that we live in an age where our children must be, above all, adaptable, Sir Tony argued that we should not be restricting A level options to our kids, rather give them far more to help broaden their horizons, diversifying their learning processes.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading. Stay tuned for our next set of updates from BETT very soon.

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