Last month the Bett show (the British Educational Training and Technology Show) was held in London (UK). I joined a studytrip from SURF. We were with a group of around 25 collegueas from across the country. There were colleagues from SURF, University of Leiden, Hanzehogeschool, ROC van Amsteram, Graafschap College and Hotelschool The Hague, amongst others.
The Bett show was quite an experience. I was there for 2 full days, and still didn’t see everything (and I came prepared with about ten things that I wanted to see).
The Bett show is mainly a very large (!!) tradeshow. These are the most interesting finds so, in no particular order:
- Nureva span visual collaboration system; a 6 meter wide projection device, for collaboration activities and group work (would this work for the classroom of the future, part 2?)
- Sensavis; a Swedish system for visual learning with video, also with 3D capabilities
- Haier; they presented and displayed all sorts of hardware (ie Chromebooks and other tablets), but they also showed us a combination of projection system and a “ordinary” chalkboard (see the picture). I searched the internet for more information on these products, but I couldn’t really find much.
- Inspera ; a very comprehensive digital assessment system from Norway
- Vivi; a device (or is it a minicomputer?) to facilitate wireless presenting from every device in a classroom. We got a nice demonstration from this Australian company. And we got to take home a device to test it out (see picture).
- Explain Everything; we talked with them about a new version that had recently launched. And we also expressed our recent experiences with the software, which were not favourable. They told us to get in touch with our concerns and issues (see the second picture).
- Airserver; also a solution for wireless presenting in (class)rooms, from a Icelandic company.
- Clickmeeting; a solution from Poland for providing webinars, which quite some nice features that you would want to use (such as chat and screensharing). They are supposedly much cheaper than their competitors, such as WebEx. Unfortunately the users need the Flash plugin to get it working. They are working hard on a HTML 5 version, they told us.
- WeVideo; interesting video tool, for creating screencasts, but also for management of video materials, as well as sharing it with peers and/or teachers. They call themselves a cloud-based collaborative video editor. This might be a solution for sharing video within our university community, as well as providing everyone with some basic editing facilities.
- DigiExam; comprehensive assessment solution for all sorts of tests and assessments, developed in Sweden. They have extensive experience with large-scale exams. DigiExam asks a student taking a assessment to download a specific application (for Windows, Mac OS and Chromebook), while Inspera makes use of lockdown browser. DigiExam handles both online and offline digital exams. It can seamlessly switch to offline mode if the student gets disconnected during a session.
- MeeToo; a tool for polling and voting in the classroom, that should work on Windows as well as on Mac OSX computers, including a Powerpoint plugin.
- Open University UK; we had a interesting chat with Jitse van Ameijde (who is Dutch, but already was living in the UK for more than 10 years, he told us). We talked about the learning design process for online and / or blended courses. The Open University obviously has extensive experience with this, and are certainly willing to share their experience with this on this subject. Learning Design involves a set of tools, views and principles which help guide the curriculum design process and place the student experience at the heart of curriculum design.
In conclusion: I had a very inspiring couple of days in London! I will surely visit the Bett show again.