Creative Connection

February 22, 2017 /Inspiration /

Five Things We Learnt at BETT

Last month, thousands of educators and students from the UK and across the globe headed to London for BETT, the world’s leading education technology conference. For anyone that didn’t make it to the show, here are five of our key take-outs. And for more from BETT, head over to our YouTube playlist here.

1. Knowing what technology to invest in for the classroom is one of the biggest challenges facing educational institutions

These were the words of Rob Halfon, the UK minster for higher education, skills, apprenticeships and careers. Speaking at BETT, Halfon highlighted the need for the government to support schools and colleges in taking advantage of the opportunities that technology presents. With Adobe’s own research into Gen Z’s learning habits revealing that technology is Gen Z’s ‘natural environment,’ more should be done to ensure technology is embedded into the current curriculum, whether that’s getting students to present their work back in innovative ways or making use of educational content on YouTube in the classroom.

2. 94 percent of teachers believe Gen Z students will one day have careers that don’t yet exist

The overwhelming majority of teachers believe the Gen Z students will work in jobs that don’t currently exist and haven’t even been imagined. To stay ahead of the curve, it is therefore important that students are equipped with the tools and technology required to prepare them for the future world of work. Giving students the confidence to work with these tools from a young age is the best way to prepare them for a digitally-demanding future. 

3. It’s now possible to digitally capture your ideas anywhere, at anytime

Learning happens everywhere, not just in the classroom. Your imagination may be sparked by a film you’ve seen, a trip to you nearest museum, or your daily commute. Whether you’re on the train on the way to school and come up with a great idea for your next presentation, or you want your students to capture all the highlights from a field trip, there are now a wide range of ideation tools available to allow you to capture ideas on the go. Take Adobe’s Comp CC, for example, with which you can easily create wireframes for presentations by bringing together different photos, text, sketches, shapes and fonts. Once you’re done, you can send the wireframe to Photoshop CC to refine and finish it – simple. This is the future of learning and ideation.

4. New technologies are offering new possibilities for teaching and learning

Gone are the days where students have to walk between lessons juggling different notebooks, calculators and arts materials. PCs and mobile devices are increasingly starting to replace the need for these tools, offering a whole range of new possibilities for learning. At this year’s conference, Google introduced a new generation of Chromebooks for education, equipped with a host of new apps, stylus and touch capabilities. We’re thrilled to be releasing a suite of free Android apps optimised for the devices: Photoshop MixLightroom MobileIllustrator DrawPhotoshop SketchAdobe Comp CC, and Creative Cloud Mobile.

Check out Tony Harmer, Senior Solutions Consultant at Adobe, discussing the updates in more detail…

5. Creativity in the classroom is everything

The overarching theme that emerged from BETT was a mutual desire from both students and teachers to see more creativity in the classroom. As a core skill that can help give students that competitive edge when applying for a job, it’s essential that we are nurturing these skills from a young age. Regardless of whether you view yourself as creative or not, there’s a whole host of tools out there to help young people tap into that creative ‘right brain’ thinking, allowing them to take innovative approaches to their day-to-day work and problem-solving. These are the skills that employers are calling out for, so it is vital that schools and colleges are developing and nurturing creativity from a young age.

Do you think more should be done to integrate creativity in the classroom? Are you using any innovative new technologies in your lessons? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  • By Luis Peon-Casanova - 4:02 PM on June 20, 2017   Reply

    Certainly the tools are enabling people of all ages to do all kinds of things, but to me as a 58 year old man and 16 year veteran of higher education, the question is two fold: How to stay technologically current-which is impossible—without wasting time chasing shinny objects; and, how to understand what millennials and Gen Z wants and needs. If we were to assume that everybody learns and will live the same way professionally, we are in a lot of trouble. At some point the old ‘Brave New World’ societal model comes to mind. Not only that, but countries in development with less access to technology enjoy perhaps the fringe benefits of what technology offers. Not at the same rate or with the same yields. The biggest philosophical question to me, is whether we could focus is helping the democratic process survive and help balance the playing field.

  • By Elma Strong - 10:05 PM on June 24, 2017   Reply

    Yes I do believe more should be done to integrate technology into the classroom. Technology must be used as a tool to enhance ones lessons. We are a 1:1 STEM Certified school, and we’ve learned that at least part of the lesson must involve students using technology. I train PD to educators and some include gaming in the classroom.

  • By Debra Vaughan - 4:26 AM on June 25, 2017   Reply

    I’m working in a district with a free/reduced rate of over 70%, and our challenge is to help our students prepare for a future that breakes out of this cycle.
    I believe that we should constantly be looking for ways to improve instruction to promote interest in learning.

    Having more than 400 students, grading and storing reflective journals quickly became overwhelming. I presented the issue to one of my 6th grade classes, and together we worked to find a solution. We settled on the use of Schoology for reflecting in a social media format, and on IMovie for presenting our robotic programming. Instead of waiting in line to present a working solution for a challenge, students now program, test, videotape and upload their solutions to a designated folder. This allows them the freedom of working at their own pace, while at the same time learning technologies for practical application rather than just for the sake of learning. The feedback is quick and easy, and students love to see their work in this format.

    Basically, we’re still accomplishing traditional goals like demonstrating your work. We’ve just updated the delivery system. My students enjoy the experience, too, because it’s different from what they’re used to doing. As they become more comfortable with the technologies, they’re beginning to apply the approach in their other subject areas.

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