Five Things We Learnt at BETT
Two weeks ago, thousands of educators from around the world headed to London for BETT, the world’s leading education technology conference. With so many innovative ways to inject creativity into the classroom on display over the show, we’ve rounded up all the key takeaways in five bite-sized chunks…
1. Children need to grow into more than ‘digital consumers’
Speaking at BETT, the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, Anne Milton, highlighted the need for children to grow up to be “more than just digital consumers, but practitioners and creatives”. With 90% of newly created jobs now requiring digital skills, Anne stressed that every stage of education should strive to develop these skills in the classroom, to help prepare more young people for the world
2. Devices should champion learning inside and outside of the classroom
Google returned to BETT to announce a range of new educational-focused Chromebook models, including the Lenovo 500e Chromebook and Dell Chromebook 11 2-in-1 5190. Equipped with front and rear-facing cameras, a stylus and with the ability to turn into tablets, both models highlight the importance of giving students access to devices that they can use outside of a classroom environment – whether that be for field trips, virtual lessons or to aid studying at home.
3. Students who excel at creative problem solving will have higher paid job opportunities
Our own global study of 2,000 educators and policymakers from across the UK, Japan, Germany and the US revealed that jobs requiring creative problem-solving skills are less likely to be impacted by automation in the future. Students that possess these skills are therefore more likely to enter higher-paid jobs upon graduating from university, highlighting the urgent need for these skills to be nurtured from a young age. Despite this, 90 percent of all educators surveyed believe we need to find better ways to integrate creative problem solving into the curriculum, giving students more opportunities to create and develop innovative thinking, self-expression, and learning through success and failure.
4. VR and AR can help students learn more about the world around them
Eric Klopfer, Director of Scheller Teacher Education Program, The Education Arcade, at MIT, explained how gaming can be used effectively in education. “Gaming is hard fun. Pleasant frustration is where the enjoyment of gaming comes from,” he said. According to Klopfer, games which involve augmented reality and virtual reality can boost learning and benefit students in two distinct ways; “VR can help you experience a new world. AR helps you experience this world in a new way.”
5. There are more ways than ever for students to tell their stories
A range of creative storytelling tools were on display at BETT, all of which are geared towards helping students express their ideas and opinions in a novel way. In a bid to help students build their storytelling skills and improve their confidence in their own creative abilities, Adobe announced that Spark Premium will be available to all schools and universities for free from April, giving young people a seamless way to create and share stories across web and mobile.
So, there you have it! Did you visit BETT this year? What were your highlights? Drop us a line in the comments section below.