Oliver FisherJanuary 25, 2017
Thoughts from BETT 2017 - Day One
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This year the Glisser team are running live audience engagement at four BETT stages, including the main arena. This is a great event for us – right in the sweet spot – as our technology works just as well in a 20 person classroom as a 35,000 delegate mega-conference.

For those that cannot make it, we’re bringing a daily report on the three most interesting things we saw and heard. Here’s Day One…

EdTech continues to be one of the most exciting and innovative industries on the planet

In the television industry, it’s well known that some of the most imaginative and creative programming is produced for children. They’re a demanding audience – eager to learn but with shorter attention spans, they can be a tremendous test of quality.

It’s clear the bar is equally high in the EdTech space.

Whether it’s Lego robots:

bett-2017-lego.jpgBloodhound’s flame-inducing model rocket cars:

or simply Super Heroes in VR:

bett-2017-superhero.jpg

Everyone in this sector holds nothing back. Even low-tech solutions (or perhaps more ‘traditional’ methods) showed the creativity being applied to teaching younger people. As regular attendees of business conferences, it left us wondering ‘where does this creativity go when we start to teach and train adults?’

The tech’s there – but is the political will there?

Having dipped in on numerous sessions throughout the day, there was a consistent theme: technology alone is not enough. Presenters and delegates alike said we need challenge the status quo at a political level to really move the needle.

At an interesting session on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) run by the EdTech Podcast provided a case in point. When the audience were asked about the best way to get more cross-curricular learning and teaching in schools, over half of the crowd suggested a change in government strategy, rather than makerspaces, school clubs, or a focus on design & technology lessons.

edtech-podcast.jpgThe panel agreed, but felt a combination was also important – “every little helps.”

ExCel’s Wi-Fi has come on leaps and bounds

So we were pretty tough on ExCel’s Wi-Fi set-up in our guide released at end of 2016, although at the time we indicated that we thought the information they’d given us was surely inaccurate. But it’s always been tough to meet the rapidly increasing bandwidth demands of such a large audience.

Well, we’re pleased to say that today we’re eating humble pie. Before the event the ExCel team confidently said that they’d be able to handle thousands of delegates logging in, whether to check email, stream on Periscope, or take part in a Glisser Q&A. Most of the attendees we spoke to seemed to be having no issues, and our connectivity was great throughout. A big step forward.

We’ll be seeing ExCel moving rapidly up the rankings when we release an update of our guide in the next few months.

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