Today I am super happy to tell you about what I got to see this weekend in London: Bett Show!
Bett is an educational and technological (or EdTech) show that has taken place in London for the 33rd year in a row! (wow). It is a space where the whole education community across the globe come together to share four days of wonderful experiences, practices and ideas. This year’s topic was Game Changers, as they were celebrating the impact some people have had in the past in the world and some that are creating that impact nowadays! So, I flew all the way from Madrid to London to check it out… and I loved it!
There was SO much to see that I’ve had to go through all my pictures, videos, written notes, the official Bett Guide to be able to organise all the information I have taken with me and all I have learnt. I think that what has impacted me the most has been seeing so many educators and school leaders together; people coming from all over the world to engage others with their products, practices or just to get some ideas and inspiration. I have really come back home full of energy and really proud to belong to such a meaningful and supportive community that it is changing education around world and making it a better place for us and our students.
A floor plan map designed to meet everyone’s expectations with several areas and rooms, for us to be able to attend what interested us the most; from tech innovations, to edtech startup presentations, introduction to coding classes, a School Leaders’ Lounge, or Seminars of all types trying to cover everyone’s interests.
As they recommend, I organised my visit in advanced and I already knew what I wanted to attend and listen to when I arrived. It took me a while, to be honest, but it is something crucial you must do if you want to learn as much as possible and use time wisely when on site.
For example, my Friday looked like this:
10.30 – BRINGING AWE INTO LEARNING. Brett Arena
11 AM – New emerging opportunities for school business leaders. School Leaders Summit
11.30 – EDTECH STARTUPS. School Management. Bett Futures
12.15 Successful Use of Social Media in Education. Learn Live: Primary
12:45 – 13:15 Learnometer with Professor Stephen Heppell – what affect can the physical environment have on learning results and how important is it to get this right.HE Leaders Summit
13.05 – To cook is to be human, so why is it often absent from education? Bett Arena
13.30 How to embrace PR and social media to promote your school to new students and parents. School Leaders Summit.
2 PM – REINMAGINING EDUCATION WITH TECHNOLOGY. GOOGLE. Bett Arena
3 PM- Using technology to communicate with parents. Learn Live: Primary
15.30 – Leading is teaching, teaching is leading! Learn Live: Secondary
15.45 – DAVID CARTER. Bett Arena
16.40 – SIR KEN ROBINSON. The Learning Revolution. Bett Arena
With so many seminars I wanted to attend and so many stands I wanted to visit, of course I was late to some of them, but I tried my best! Heard so many splendid ideas and learnt so much from what others are doing that I wish I could attend this type of congresses once a month instead of once a year. The seminars I attended were related to business, marketing, technology and innovation as I want to start a school in Madrid. Can sound crazy at first, but after attending this wonderful show and listening to all these inspiring educational leaders, I am now, more than ever, sure that this is what my country needs: a new and humanised educational model that offers children the opportunity to learn about the world around them differently, experimenting life, connecting with other students, their families and the community and developing the skills they will need in their future: communication, problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking etc; real-world skills.
Two of the talks that more captivated me where ‘Reimagining Education with technology’ from Google and Sir Ken Robinson’s talk. Google’s Senior Manager, Rajen Sheth, mentioned the importance of making technology useful and meaningful for the students and how what matters is how you use it. He mentioned the four learning principles that he believed technology should support, and these are:
1. Learning should be personalisedand measured,tailoring learning to individual needs and interests.
2. Learning should be collaborativeand diverse,concept of learning as a social process.
3. Learning should be project-basedand self-managed,giving students ownership of their own learning.
4. Learning should be conceptualand experimental,giving students the opportunity to apply what they’re learning.
The last but most important part of my Friday happened when I listened to Ken Robinson’s talk. It impacted me very very much and I would recommend it to anyone in the education business that wants to feel inspired and proud of what they’re doing. With sentences like ‘I believe schools are the answer‘, and ‘There’s room for manoeuvre, keep going‘, this man inspired a crowd full of magnificent educators and leaders in the search of words of wisdom and hope. With humor yet being rigorous, he explained the learning revolution we are going through and some guidelines for a successful educational change at schools and all learning environments. Moreover, he described the competition culture and the famous standardised tests as prejudicial for students and their lives and responded a super clear ‘YES’when someone from the crowd asked if these tests should be permanently deleted from the school system. Finally, he brought out and analysed the aims of education which he believed are ‘To enable students to understand the world around them and the talents within them so they can become fulfilled individuals and active, compassionate citizens.’
It’s been a real pleasure to attend Bett 2017 and I can’t wait for next year’s show. Even though I didn’t have time to visit all stands and talk to everyone there, I did have time to network and chat to people that share my view of education, met up with some Spanish colleagues too, and most importantly, I saw how the world of education is as huge as any other, but creates SUCH an impact that it is impossible to forget or ignore. Thanks to all of the people that were there, children all around the world will have a better future, and therefore, we will all have a better world where to live in and hopefully, a world at peace where all kids, without exception, have access to a good education and a safe environment where they feel happy to learn.
I am very proud of the business I belong to, as Mr. Robinson said, ‘Education is the miracle business’.